Developing his skills quite literally under the nose of Braves scout Phil Dale - an Australian baseball Hall-of-Famer - Russell is one of very few Australian players of his age to be signed as a pitcher. Major Leaguer Peter Moylan is the other who immediately comes to mind, coincidentally also a Melburnian who signed with the Braves at a mature playing age.
Aside from all that, and aside from being right-armers, the two have other qualities in common. They are both sidearm pitchers - a relative rarity in the game - and they both throw the ball hard. Very hard.
Russell has been clocked at around 88 to 92 mph. He'll report to Orlando for spring training and then he is ticketed for double-A Mississippi to start his pro career. Unlike Moylan, Russell has never played pro baseball in the States. He was a two-way player down under, but he'll just be a pitcher for the Braves.
If he can repeat what Moylan did, then the Braves will have another tough side-arm pitcher to add to their minor league depth -- remember that Cory Gearrin is also a side-armer.