LA Angels top prospect Jo Adell starting to figure things out.
By David Rice
Last month I had a chance to watch a couple of the top LA Angels prospects Jo Adell and Brandon Marsh. Both had been recently promoted from Low Single-A Burlington to High-A Inland Empire.
At the time when I saw Adell, the LA Angels first pick in 2017 and Marsh, the Angels second round draft pick in 2016 they were both scuffling a bit. In all fairness it had only been a week into their High Single-A careers, but Marsh was hitting .103 and Adell was sitting right at .200.
Since then both have improved on their early numbers, especially Adell. Adell over his last 10 games is hitting .311 with two home runs and five RBIs. Adell has raised his batting average from .157 to .253 in that span. On Monday against Lancaster, Adell went three for five, scoring three runs with a home run and two runs batted in.
I caught up with Adell recently to see how he is dealing with the trials and tribulations in the minors. Adell, who is a Louisville, Kentucky native, starred as an outfielder for Ballard High School graduating in 2017 and being drafted less than a month later. He is just 19 years old and has already turned some heads in the Angels organization as minor league experts.
Adell is the Angels highest ranked prospect on the MLB.Com top 100 as he checks in at 53rd on the list. Kevin Maitan (78th) and Jahmai Jones (83rd) are also in the top 100.
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“I don’t feel any pressure (being a first round pick). I just have to go out and play the way I play. It is for everyone else to figure out where they want me to play,” Adell said. “I think that getting put on a higher pedestal (because he is first round pick) is something I don’t pay any attention to. For me I will play the game the way I play. I play athletic, and play hard. I try to make solid contact at the plate. That’s about all I can control. Just like everyone else in here, that’s what we all try to do every day.”
Adell started the season in Low Single-A Burlington and was tearing it up in the first 25 games hitting .326 with six homers and 29 RBIs before being promoted to Inland Empire on May 21st. Brandon Marsh was promoted a few days before Adell, which ruffled his feathers a bit. However, the two prospects share a tight bond.
“It’s good to have the brother back (Marsh). He left me in Burlo (Burlington) for a couple of days and I was a little salty about that,” Adell said with a laugh. “It’s good because you don’t feel like you have to do everything. You got his bat in the line-up, and Jahmai’s (Jones) bat in the line-up. They are both plus athletes who can handle the bat. That takes a lot of pressure off me. I can just go out there and compete. Do the best that I can.”
While Adell’s ultimate goal is to make it to Anaheim, he is content to just take things day-by-day and focus his attention to improving each game both at the plate ND in the field.
“The only goal for me right now is to not give up an at-bat. I want to go in and be as locked in as I can every pitch and take it from there. No real goal as far as moving up,” Adell said. “I think its all about are you ready and do you have the rhythm. That’s kind of what we are about in the Angels organization. If you show you can handle it then you get promoted. If you are ready to go they move guys right on up. Tat’s one of the good things being with the Angels.
If Adell continues to improve a promotion to Double-A Mobile is possible before season’s end. Overall Adell is very happy to be a part of the Angel organization and all its star power. He has already had a talk with the Kid Fish, Mike Trout and got some good advice from #27.
“It’s definitely awesome to know with those pieces (Trout, Pujols, and Ohtani) that Billy Eppler and Sosh (Mike Scioscia) are putting together, that you have a chance to get a ring,” Adell said. “At the end of the day I want a World Series Ring. The Angels are putting the pieces together to win a championship which is what it is all about.”
Adell even got a chance to sit and talk with the two-time AL MVP when he travellled to LA. ” He told me (Trout) to stay within yourself,” Adell said. It’s baseball you are going to have ups and downs. You’re not going to strap the team on your back every night. That’s the big thing he taught me. Know your game, know you and don’t try to do anything outside of that. That’s what I focus on every day knowing my role and working on it. I try to be an asset to the team. That’s what drives me.”
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Adell has received high praise from many scouts, coaches, front office personnel, and even his teammate Brandon Marsh.
“We are like brothers. It’s great to have him here with me. Jordon is a student of the game. He does everything right. He is fun to work with,” said Marsh of Adell. “He pushes me, I push him. We are both here to get better and try to move up. It’s fun. I’m glad he is here it’s and I’m glad to be with him. He’s awesome, he is my dude. We help each other out.”
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Hopefully in a few years you will see Adell and Marsh together again playing in the outfield together for the Angels.