Catching up with LA Angels prospect Jo Adell
By David Rice
The LA Angels have a top 10 farm system now and a lot of the reason for this is the last three drafts the Angels have stockpiled five-tool players like Jo Adell.
When the LA Angels drafted Jo Adell out of Ballard High School in Louisville, Kentucky they knew they had something special and he has shown a lot of promise since the 2017 draft. Adell had a strong 2018 season starting in Low Single-A Burlington and making it all the way to Double-A Mobile by season’s end.
This Spring the Angels invited Jo Adell to participate and he played well until he got hurt in the third week of the exhibition season. In 11 games Adell hit .391 with three RBIs with a .462 OBP. On March 9th while running to second base he pulled his left hamstring and then while trying to stop he rolled his ankle as well. The prognosis was that Adell would be out 10-12 weeks.
Two weeks ago Adell reported to Inland Empire to do a rehab stint for the 66ers. In six games for the 66ers Adell went .280 with two homers and five RBIs before getting promoted back to Double-A Mobile. So far in seven games in Mobile Adell has continued to tear it up hitting .400 with a homer and six RBIs.
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While Jo Adell was in Inland Empire I had a chance to catch up with him and talk about his recovery from the Spring injuries, the experiences he had in Tempe and his future.
What was it like for you when the injury happened?
“It was pretty devastating. I had a pretty good Spring for a few weeks,thought I was going to wrap up in big league camp, then I went down with an injury,” Adell said.
“It happens, it’s part of the game. At the time I was upset, thought my season was over. But I started grinding and now I’m back which is a good feeling.”
What helped you to get through your rehab?
“It was just understanding the big picture and not focusing on the fact that I’m not playing. Instead remembering that there is 140 games in a season. To be out.a couple of months to get myself back right in the long run is nothing,” Adell said.
What is it like to be back now and playing in Inland Empire again?
“It’s awesome. A lot of the guys I played with last year. To face some game pitching is big and get some at-bats to get my timing back,”Adell said. “To come back and play in some games that matter is huge, I feel good. It’s like normal baseball again. It’s not that simulated stuff that doesn’t matter. It’s actual ball and it feels great.”
What was it like to play in Spring Training with Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, etc. ?
“I think you learn a lot watching them go about their business. Watching them you get the most out of that. Watching how Mike Trout does things every day you can learn more than sitting and talking with someone about hitting,” Adell said.
What would it be like to play alongside Mike Trout in the future?
“It will be pretty awesome. He is the best player in the game. He is a guy to look up to and learn from,” Adell said. “When that opportunity comes it will be pretty awesome.”
With all the young talent the Angels have coming up which you’re a major part of, how do you feel about the future with the Angels?
“Yeah, It’s funny because in Spring Training they called it the “youth camp”, because we had so many young guys that showed that they could play at that level,” Adell said. “It’s going to be fun with a new wave of young players coming up with us, plus guys who have already got called up to the big leagues this year. It’s crazy. It’s fun. It’s going to be exciting, there’s a new energy coming in the next couple of years.”
For Adell’s part he will probably end up being a guy who could lead-off or bat anywhere in the top four spots in the line-up because he has a good OBP along with some power and speed coupled with a high batting average.
Jared Tims, a writer for Diamond Digest that covers the minor leagues, had this to say about Adell.
With Kole Calhoun having a club option for 2020, the Angels could choose to let Calhoun walk and bring up Adell to take his place. When asked about the possibility Adell just shrugged and said, “I don’t really focus in on that. I don’t make coaching decisions. That’s totally out of my thing. I just go out there and play and whatever happens, happens.”
From the few times I have talked to him and seen Adell play he exudes confidence, but is not cocky. He has a strong work ethic and is very driven to succeed. The final piece of the puzzle, and maybe the most important one, is that Adell is a very nice young man who gets along well with his teammates and treats people with respect. He will be a nice complement to Trout in the Angels outfield and maybe eventually replace him in centerfield in the future.
Only time will tell…