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Russell John Stephans
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 190 lbs.
- School Los Angeles Valley College, Arizona State University
Russ Stephans was taken by the Philadelphia Phillies and California Angels in the two 1979 amateur drafts but did not sign with either. In the 1980 amateur draft, he was selected by the Kansas City Royals in the 49th round and did sign. He debuted with the Charleston Royals that year, going 3 for 21 with two walks in 8 games.
In 1981, Russ saw limited time at three different stops. He hit .301 with 2 HR and 19 RBI for Charleston, hit .167 for the Jacksonville Suns and .333 for the Omaha Royals. The next year, Stephans batted .263 with 42 RBI and a career-high 10 HR for Jacksonville.
In 1983, the 24-year-old started a four-year stretch with Omaha. Splitting catching duties there with Brian Poldberg, Russ hit .240/~.351/.337 in 61 contests. He was a called up to the Royals on June 29th to be the third catcher, but he never appeared in a game before being sent back down on July 5th and never got another shot at the majors.
He had his best season in 1984, producing at a .290/~.389/.452 clip for Omaha and being named to the American Association All-Star team alongside Kevin Buckley at catcher. He was considered a likely September call-up but dislocated his shoulder on August 25, derailing his career.
He hit .286/~.375/.429 in 10 games at DH in 1985 for Omaha. In 1986, Stephans only batted .202/~.280/.238 in 35 contests for that club to conclude his career.
Sources include 1981, 1984 and 1985 Baseball Guides, 1984 & 1985 Kansas City Royals Media Guides, 1986 and 1987 Baseball America Statistics Reports and Pat Doyle's Professional Baseball Player Database.