Jo Adell: Angels 2019 Minor League Player Of The Year
Jo Adell has started more games at the two corner outfield spots than in center field this season, a pretty good indication of how close the 20-year-old is getting to the major leagues.
The Angels believe the 6-foot-3, 215-pound Adell has the physical tools and defensive instincts to be an All-Star center fielder, but with that position currently manned by Mike Trout, the best all-around player in baseball, Adell’s entrée to the big leagues will be in either left or right field.
That won’t come this season. The Angels do not plan to call up Adell, a 2017 first-round pick out of Ballard High School in Louisville, when rosters expand on Sept. 1. But they are already prepping Adell for his big league promotion, which is expected to come at some point in 2020.
"He’s a five-tool player—he hits for average and power, he can run, field and throw,” Angels general manager Billy Eppler said. "As far as athleticism and power, his size, speed and strength—the trifecta that we look for—he checks all of those boxes. His play will let us know what his timetable is.”
After missing most of April and May because of hamstring and ankle injuries suffered in spring training, Adell hit .308 with a .944 OPS, eight homers and 15 doubles in 43 games for Double-A Mobile. His bat cooled a bit after an Aug. 1 promotion to Triple-A Salt Lake, where Adell hit .215 with a .574 OPS, no homers and five doubles in his first 15 games, but that hasn’t altered his trajectory.
"As far as his early exposure to Triple-A, a lot of his peripheral numbers and underlying metrics that we look at kind of point to his first exposure to Double-A last year,” Eppler said. "He’s hitting the ball really hard, drawing some walks. He’s still getting his feet underneath him and getting exposed to a different way they pitch in Triple-A as opposed to Double-A."
The Angels will look to get Adell some winter-league at-bats to supplement his injury-shortened 2019 season. They want him to get a better feel for how balls spin, slice and hook in the outfield corners and to add some refinements at the plate before promoting him to Los Angeles.
— Jeremiah Jackson, a 19-year-old middle infield prospect who was a second-round pick in 2018, hit three home runs in one game for Rookie-level Orem on Aug. 15. He hit another homer on Aug. 17, giving him 21 homers, 52 RBIs and a .991 OPS in his first 54 games this season.
— Outfielder Michael Hermosillo hit three homers for Salt Lake in an Aug. 16 game against El Paso, giving him 10 home runs in 12 games through Aug. 17.