The Los Angeles Angels drafted Jo Adell tenth overall in the 2017 MLB Draft and immediately began envisioning an outfield that consisted of Mike Trout in center field with The Ballard High School product in either corner.
Adell immediately became one of the top prospects in the Angels system and one of the more popular prospects in all of baseball. His combination of speed and power is one to marvel at, but Adell simply has never put it together at the MLB level.
This season felt like the time he was finally going to break out. He had a monster year in AAA and once Mike Trout went down, there was an opening for him in the outfield. Unfortunately, we never really got to see him get extended reps as he landed on the IL himself just a few days later only to return in late-September.
Adell is entering his first year of arbitration this offseason, and is under team control through the 2027 season. Eventually, the Angels have to make a decision regarding his future.
LA Angels must decide to either start or trade Jo Adell in the 2024 season
The young outfielder played in 74 games for AAA Salt Lake and had a terrific year, slashing .273/.375/.586 with 24 home runs and 57 RBI. He was finally walking more and striking out less, two things that had plagued him throughout his development. It's not easy to say, but it does feel like Adell has accomplished all he needs to in the minors.
It's unfortunate that Adell went down when he did because he was going to get extended reps as a starter in the outfield, especially when Taylor Ward went down. Sending Adell back down as the team's fifth outfielder doesn't feel like the smartest decision. Benching him most often as the team's fourth outfielder also doesn't make much sense. The Angels have to either start or trade him.
As of now, the Angels outfield in 2024 projects to be Taylor Ward in left, Mike Trout in center, and Mickey Moniak in right. Things can always change with a surprise Mike Trout trade or a Taylor Ward setback, but there really isn't a spot for Adell to get regular at-bats. Trading Ward is an option as well, but you'd be doing that off a scary injury when he didn't have a great year when healthy. In other words, you'd be trading him when his value isn't quite as high as it once was.
An Adell trade might even be simpler to make. Trading him in exchange for a pitcher who can fit into the Angels rotation makes a lot of sense. Especially with Shohei Ohtani not pitching in 2024 whether he is an Angel or not, they need help desperately in their rotation.
Having your former first round pick waste away in AAA shouldn't be on the table. Adell is 24 years old and will be making more than the minimum in 2024. It's time to either give him a starting role, or trade him for something that will help this team next season.