Now Commenting On:

{"event":["draft_central" ,"prospect" ] }

Rays grab UNC shortstop Russell in fifth round

Rays grab UNC shortstop Russell in fifth round play video for Rays grab UNC shortstop Russell in fifth round

After selecting four consecutive pitchers, the Rays went for a shortstop in the fifth round of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft when they selected shortstop Michael Russell out of the University of North Carolina.

The Draft concludes on Saturday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on MLB.com at 1 p.m. ET.

Russell's tools aren't what grab most scout's attention, it's the total package. Simply stated: He's a baseball player.

A good indicator of his grit came in the Tar Heels' recent 5-2 win over the University of Florida that eliminated the Gators from the Gainesville Regional.

In the bottom of the second inning, Russell got hit in the head by a fastball from Bobby Poyner. He ended up leaving the game, but not without protesting the decision.

Because of his work ethic, the way he plays the game, his athleticism -- he played basketball and football in high school -- and his versatility, he could become a quality utility man. If that's the case, he's in the right organization since the Rays value having multiple players on their roster who can play different positions.

There are doubts that he can be an everyday shortstop at the next level due to lack of range and quickness. However, he's the kind of player who seems to enjoy defying the odds.

He does have an arm to play multiple positions. If he sticks to one position, he projects best at second base.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"event":["draft_central" ,"prospect" ] }
{"event":["draft_central" ,"prospect" ] }
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español