Russo vs. Malec: Who Will Have The Better Career?

Thought this might be a good way to get some discussion going on the blog again.  I’m going to pick a few players and ask you who you feel like will have the better career.

This one’s pretty simple…who do you think will have the better career, Chris Malec or Kevin Russo?


Chris Malec (Photo: Mike Ashmore)

The Malec File

Age: 26
Height: 5′ 11″
Weight: 195 lbs.

Primary Position: 3B

2008 statistics: .291 avg., 5 HR, 51 RBI, 68 BB, 57 K, 0 SB

Pros: Plate discipline
Cons: Needs to improve defense to maximize versatility


Kevin Russo (Photo: Mike Ashmore)

The Russo File

Age: 24
Height: 5′ 11″
Weight: 190 lbs.

Primary Position: 2B

2008 statistics: .307 avg., 2 HR, 33 RBI, 23 BB, 42 K, 8 SB

Pros: Consistency
Cons: Minimal power

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT


9 Responses to “Russo vs. Malec: Who Will Have The Better Career?”

  1. RIKERS Says:


  2. justin Says:

    Everything I’ve heard about Kevin Russo, especially during his tear in the AFL was that he could slot in as a super-utility guy in the bigs in 09′. I’ve heard another year down-under wouldn’t hurt his development but to me it sounds like he already has a niche and isn’t far from filling it. I haven’t heard much buzz about about Malec his stat line looks interesting, it looks like he has a bit more plate discipline about the same contact abilities as Russo with more power and less speed. While power is a nice thing for a utility guy (I’m assuming that’s what Malec profiles to be) I don’t think its as useful as speed and defensive prowess. I’m gonna have to go with Russo.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    I’ll make a case for Malec.

    This actually wasn’t so clear cut for me, and I think we’ll get a clearer picture after seeing them both play at AAA. Each player has his own strengths / weaknesses.

    I’ll start by saying that Russo has age, speed and the good AFL performance on his side. But Eric Duncan batted .362 in the AFL a few years ago and it’s a notorious hitter’s league, so I’m not going to weigh those stats too heavily…

    Malec has had more BB than K in EVERY season of his professional career. He had a 7/4 BB:K ratio in the GCL in 2005, a 38/33 ratio in 2006 with Charleston / Tampa, 69/48 with Charleston / Tampa in 2007, and 68/57 with Trenton last year.

    Russo has had more BB than K only once (20/18 in the GCL in 2006). He had 4X more K than BB in 2007 (15/66) with Tampa and about 2X more in 2008 with Trenton (23/42). While it’s encouraging that his ratio is improving, I think plate discipline will be especially important at the higher levels, where impatience is more likely to be exploited by pitchers.

    Both players are close in batting avg. Malec is a career .291 hitter, while Russo has hit .288. Malec beats Russo in OBP, .394 to .343 and OPS, .789 to .733

    As of now, I’m more comfortable with Malec’s bat. The fact that he hits with equal ability from both sides of the plate is an added bonus. I’ve also heard nothing but good things about his work ethic, although I’m pretty sure that applies to both of those guys.

    Russo, however, does get the definite edge in baserunning and (probably) defense.

  4. Blake Says:

    Well you guys are comparing the two players based on stats and stats alone, but lets also consider that Russo mans 2B and Malec 3B. Its a lot harder to find a decent hitting second baseman who also has some defensive prowess, where as a 3B with some power and some plate discipline isnt exactly the hottest of commodities.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Russo has played 2B, 3B, SS and a little OF. Malec has played 2B, 1B, 3B and like 2 games at OF. Neither is solely a 2B or 3B.

  6. Stu Says:

    I don’t think either of them has a future as an ML regular. As a result, you’ve got to look at who has the best future off the bench, and to me that’s Russo. He’s more versatile defensively, and a decent pinch runner.

    Russo’s also 2 years younger, and has a bit more growth potential.

  7. Steve Says:

    I gotta say Russo solely due to the positions he can play, yet this is only if he can keep his average respectable. Malec can rely on walks to keep up his OBP, while Russo has to rely on his average more.

    If I were Malec I would really be working at 2B and SS this offseason.

  8. mbn007 Says:

    I go with Russo. Based on the fact that he can play a bunch of positions, and also seems to have some hitting ability. He strikes me as someone who will be a “super-utilityman” down the road, possibly starting in 2010.

    Malec seems to be limited to 1B and 3B, yet he does not have the power for either, as of yet. I a, impressed with his overall hitting abilities though. But he spent a lot of time batting 3rd, and he is far from your prototype #3 hitter, lacking power.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    Russo so far in 2009 ST: .000 (0 for 10), 0 BB, 3 K

    He’s also made 2 errors (one at 2B, one at 3B)

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