Every offense needs a spark plug to give it energy. For the Hoots, that spark plug in the second half has been Lindenwood product Ambrose Russo.
Russo played his first game for the Hoots on June 29, going 1-3 against the Quincy Gems. The California-native started his career at LA Harbor Community College, but found his way to Lindenwood after the COVID-19 Pandemic forced the community college to only play 15 games in Russo’s two seasons. Before the Hoots, Russo was in the Metro League and was recommended to the Hoots by a coach at Lindenwood.
Adjusting to a new team is rarely easy, but Russo says his adjustment has been a smooth one.
“It [adjusting] has been a lot better than expected,” said Russo. “The team is super awesome so I was super excited to end up joining the team.”
Despite only standing at six-feet tall, Russo provides plenty of pop. In his 17 games this season, Russo has hit three home runs and two doubles – that’s good for a .500 slugging percentage. His hard work in a non-game setting has paid off.
“All of the outside work has helped me unlock this power,” said Russo. “My bat speed is my number one key to getting my power.”
Russo showcased his power on Monday night when he hit a home run over the tall CarShield Field wall in right field. Not only does Russo have power, but he is what some would consider a “five-tool” player. He can hit, hit for power, run, field and throw. In an age where many players are one or two tool players, Russo showcases that the all-around player still exists.
“I try to be an all-around player, especially because I’m not a super big player,” Russo said. “Having all five tools gives me an advantage in a game.”
On the season, Russo is slashing .280/.383/.500 with three home runs, 14 RBI’s and four stolen bases in five attempts and looks to help the Hoots make a late season push toward the Prospect League playoffs.