The LA Angels have a Top 10 prospect in the MLB. The last time this was true, it was 2011 and the prospect was some guy named Mike Trout. It is time for Jo Adell.
Now, I’m not saying the LA Angels Opening Day starting outfield should include Jo Adell. He has yet to take a single at-bat in Triple-A and played only 17 games in Double-A ball last year. However, when he did play, he was magical.
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It is no secret Kole Calhoun‘s time in Anaheim is almost up. He struggled at the beginning and end of last year, and despite an inspiring performance during the dog days of summer, 2019 will likely be his final year starting for the Halos.
And his time may be even shorter.
Across three levels last year, Adell hit .290/.355/.543 in 99 games. He went deep 20 times, had 32 doubles, and legged out four triples. Put 15 stolen bases into that, and it becomes obvious Adell’s offensive game is incredibly well-rounded, and he can affect the game in a multitude of ways.
On defense, he possesses elite range and a solid arm. He projects as a center fielder, but with Mike Trout putting together a Gold Glove season in center, Adell will likely debut alongside in left field. With Justin Upton (or Calhoun), Trout, and Adell, the Angels would have one of the best defensive outfields in baseball.
Adell’s biggest weakness is his strikeouts, as he went down 111 times last season. Developing better vision and discipline at the plate should be his main priority this winter, and even if he can improve minimally, he’ll be a dangerous weapon for the Angels at some point in 2019.
And when he does show that he is ready, the Angels need to pounce on the opportunity. Get him used to the big leagues as soon as you can. Adell is a huge selling point for free agents (and Mike Trout) for the future of the Angels. Showing he can hang in the big leagues this upcoming season, rather than waiting until 2020, will give free agents (Mike Trout) something to believe in in Anaheim.
Yes, Calhoun is a fan favorite. Yes, his defense is extremely valuable. However, when Adell is raking in Salt Lake, and Calhoun is showing even more signs of his twilight, the Halos would be ludicrous to not swing for the fences and call Jo Adell up to The Big A.