John Russell is a native of Glastonbury, CT. He attended Glastonbury High School and earned All-State honors his senior year. After high school Russell walked on to The University of Connecticut baseball team. In 2017 he broke the single season saves record at UConn with 14 saves and earned ABCA/Rawlings All American honors. Later that year he was selected by the San Francisco Giants in the 2017 MLB Draft. In His first full season with the Augusta Greenjackets (Low-A) Russell posted an 8-5 record with 7 saves, a 2.49 ERA and 71 strikeouts through 61 innings before earning a promotion to the San Jose Giants (High A) at the end of the year.