Assessing the Angels outfield situation with predictions (Part 1)
By Justin Gideon
After being drafted 10th overall in 2017, Jo Adell skyrocketed through the minor leagues and made his major league debut at the age of 21 last season.
The hype surrounding Adell was astronomical, as he was a consensus top-10 prospect on every list and often appeared in the top-5. Adell’s debut, however, was less than impressive. He was the worst qualified hitter in the league, slashing .161/.212/.266 with three home runs and a strikeout rate of 41.7 percent over 124 at-bats.
Despite the poor performance, Angels fans shouldn’t give up on Adell. I wrote at length as to why I believed Adell would be a good breakout candidate for the 2021 season. However, Joe Maddon has gone on record to say Adell will start the season in triple-A.
Part of the reason Adell struggled so much was a lack of minor league season in 2020. He was called up in early August after playing in non-competitive games at the alternate site. The plan for Adell in 2020 was to give him more experience in triple-A since he only had 131 plate appearances the season prior. That plan was obviously upended by the pandemic. Adell was seemingly rushed as it was clear he was not ready for the major leagues in 2020.
Jo Adell will begin the season in the minor leagues, but he could play for the Angels soon.
Adell probably shouldn’t have been called up last season, but hindsight is “2020”. I will admit I was one of the many voices hoping for Adell to join the big league team and was more than excited when he did.
It remains to be seen when Adell will return to the Angels, but until then, it is clear he will not factor into the outfield conversation for opening day.
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The current Angels outfielders will battle for starting spots this season. If none of them can get the job done, the answers may lie elsewhere via trade or free agents.
To be continued…