Jordyn Adams came into the 2018 Draft with red hot draft value which saw him taken 17th overall by the LA Angels. Even though Adams was primarily a football player in high school, a baseball showcase at the NHSI (National High School Invitational) allowed Adams to show off his more-advanced-than-expected baseball makeup.
While it’s true that many two-way athletes are prized for their next-level athleticism, Jordyn Adams is in possession of some truly special skills which see him immediately rank as a Top 5 LA Angels Prospect alongside athletes such as Brandon Marsh or Jahmai Jones.
One thing that really stuck with scouts observing Jordyn Adams was that he was not nearly as raw as they expected. Given that he spent the majority of his time/energy playing football and even went so far as to commit to the University of North Carolina where his father works as the defensive line coach. Although he committed as a two sport athlete it was generally believed he would settle in as a star wide receiver.
Jordyn Adams (OF)
Drafted in 2018 – 1st Round (#17)
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Jordyn Adams is full of surprises. His hitting tools were much better than anyone could have expected with Adams displaying a quick bat and surprising raw power. His biggest tool right now is his speed with many scouts having raved over his efficient quickness on both the base-paths and in center field. Now that he’s fully committed to his baseball development many see him as a potential elite athlete. His instincts in the outfield still require a bit of development though he is already at a great start with his natural “star wide-receiver” instincts coming into play as an outfielder. His ability to naturally track a ball alongside his closing speed allow the foundations for an elite defender to grow.
His base-stealing isn’t as advanced as his defense given his need to work on timing/reading pitchers, but with his strong athletic IQ it’s very easy to see him growing into one of the better base stealers in the game. His speed is rated between 75-80 on the 20-80 scale depending on what scouts you talk to, but the general consensus is that he is an elite defender/stealer in the making. Regarding his defense however, he has the problem with his arm strength. It’s not noodle-arm tier, but it’s something that needs to be improved in order to really see him shine as a defender. However, there are two things to consider with this sentiment.
1) His arm already rates as playable as a center-fielder (though this doesn’t deflect from his need to improve obviously)
2) Mike Trout had a notoriously underwhelming arm early in his career and since then has elevated this tool to be more in line with the rest of his excellence.
There’s a world of potential waiting to be unlocked by Jordyn Adams, and this is just looking at his defense and speed. With his hitting in mind we can see right now that he has the ability to produce hard contact consistently off his bat, though given his youth he has been seen to be overwhelmed by some pitching. This isn’t a huge worry as the Angels have already gone through this process with Torii Hunter Jr., another two-sport star whom focused massively on football before committing to a baseball career. Hunter Jr. was a star wide-receiver as well, though with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The Angels saw him fight through the struggles of extended Spring Training (aka baseball purgatory), his biggest issue being that he was not as up to speed regarding his hitting talents as other athletes.
Torii Hunter Jr. finished the 2018 season in Class A Advanced hitting .264 overall. Many believe that Jordyn Adams is behind on his baseball experience, and lucky for him the Angels have experience in helping a football primary athlete get up to speed and compete with the rest of the prospect world. Given that Adams hit .267 in 122 Plate Appearances it’s clear that whatever learning curves exist for Adams the Angels are doing their best to minimize them effectively.
Overall Adams already looks to be one of the best prospects in the Angels system given his all-around excellent value being elevated by his standout athleticism and makeup. As a hitter he looks to develop into a 15-20 HR hitter, though at the age of 19 he’s already shown he can maintain a commanding swing and punch a ball routinely. His ceiling regarding his hitting tools can always improve given his youth and more-advanced-than-expected hitting. Regarding his defensive value there is already near limitless value extended into elitism and if he can work out his arm to average he’ll solidify himself as one of the better defenders in the game.
Developmental Needs: Plate Approach, Defensive Arm Strength, Consistency
Best Tools: Speed, Makeup, Maturity, Defensive Ability, Raw Power, Athleticism, Adaptability
MLB ETA: 2022