Originally being a first round pick from Ballard High School in Louisville, Jo Adell has been a highly touted MLB prospect in the last few years. At only 23 years old, he's dominated the minor leagues, but has struggled to adjust to the major leagues so far. With solid outfield depth at the major league level, the LA Angels have had to make some tough decisions as to keep him on the major league roster or option him to AAA-Salt Lake. This most recently happening on May 3 of this year where he was optioned back to the Salt Lake Bees.
His option back to Salt Lake was for him to get more innings, not because he can't play at that level. With Brandon Marsh currently slashing .282/.333/.427, Ward hitting like the best player in baseball, and Mike Trout being the best player in baseball, Adell simply has had no room to get comfortable. The Angels front office made the right decision to let Jo play everyday in Salt Lake which will help him continue to add to his game. Unfortunately for the Angels' front office, Adell hasn't made the decision so easy.
Since his return to the minor leagues, Adell has played in 9 games, where he's recorded 6 2B, 5 HR, and is currently batting .314, while racking up 10 RBI. He's giving every reason possible for him to come right back, but with how the team has played I don't think it is possible for him to get in the lineup. It begs the question, is Adell's future in the MLB with the Los Angeles Angels?
Can Jo Adell stay with the LA Angels?
The only way I see Jo Adell working out as a Los Angeles Angel anytime soon would be if the team sees a drastic decline in the performance from Ward or Marsh to the point where Adell might play over them. The reason why the conversation of trading Adell isn't more prevalent for the Angels' front office is because the Halos have a small sample size of performance between Ward, Marsh and Adell to make a decision for the future of the franchise.
Adell has only 92 games of major league experience, compared to Ward's 187 and Marsh's 103. That makes it hard to make a quick judgement on any of the three players.
So I completely expect the Angels to wait to see how most of the season (or more) goes to make a decision about the future of their outfield considering they have all of them under contract for the distant future.
Obviously both Marsh and Ward played better than Adell during the time they were sharing the field, but its hard for any of them to get into a real rhythm when they aren't playing every day. That is why I think the front office made the decision to move him too. If things continue to go the way they are headed, Adell would have to wait his turn for a roster spot to open, even if he continues to play outstanding in the minor leagues.
The odds the Angels front office decides to change up the day to day lineup of one of the top performing teams this season are very unlikely. I think it is very important that we acknowledge that he is still only 23 which allows the Angels to consider the possibility of just holding onto him in the minor leagues.
Outside of the pure competition for the position on the major league roster, it was pretty evident that the nerves of major league pressure impacted how Adell approached the game. With the struggles in the field and the strikeout problems at the plate, he really just needs more reps to help himself get comfortable.
It seems as though he could feel the pressure of having to perform because he's seen as a top future player for the organization. As a former baseball player myself, I know the feeling of pressure and expectations that simply just take time for people to learn how to manage. I truly believe that Adell will show his true potential once he gets consistent playing time whether that be for the Angels or another team where the stakes might not be so high.
Is Jo Adell a trade option for the LA Angels?
Jo Adell continues to remind us that he's still the talented player that he can be for the LA Angels. It is worth mentioning, should the Angels look to trade him? It could be for the best for both Adell and the organization.
As the season goes on and the Angels' dreams of October continue to change, whether that be good or bad, Adell will still have trade value. Assuming that Ward and Marsh continue to have good seasons and the Angels are looking at a possible AL West pennant, Adell could be a very valuable piece to help the Angels get more pitching.
Here is the Angels current/possible starting pitchers:
1. Shohei Ohtani
2. Noah Syndergaard
3. Patrick Sandoval
4. Michael Lorenzen
5. Griffin Canning (when back from injury)
6. Reid Detmers
Although the rotation has been very good this season with the staff posting a 3.38 ERA as a whole, most will question the longevity of it. Especially if the Angels are in the hunt/trying to make a run in the playoffs. Insert Jo Adell.
Now we are looking at a possible player who could help the team get more elite pitching that could better help the roster now versus a few years down the road when the window of Trout's career is narrowing. Clearly Anaheim is in win now mode, so it would be very fitting if they decide to move some pieces around this year at the deadline or before in order to best prepare the roster for a run.
I understand that the club may not want to deal a possible star player in the future, but with the outfielders posting some of the best stats in MLB this season, outfielders in the organization may be the least of their concerns.
On the other side of the equation, a trade would most likely give Adell an immediate opportunity to play every single day on an MLB roster. Everyone would agree that he definitely has some of the best tools of any young player coming out of the minors and it shouldn't be left in the minor leagues. With the performance he's been putting together in AAA, Adell could definitely become a large part of an organization that is in need of a possible star player.
In the end if Adell were to get traded to another team, it would not only help the Angels' chances towards success in October, but it would also give Adell the chance to blossom into the player we all know he can be.