The teammate who impressed Brandon Marsh the most at the Angels’ alternate training site last summer is an outfielder who will likely push Marsh for a big league roster spot in the next year or two.
That may not be great for the 23-year-old Marsh, but it should be good for the Angels.
Marsh is one of the best all-around athletes in the system, but after playing with Jordyn Adams for the first time last summer, Marsh isn’t sure he’d put himself in the same class as the 21-year-old outfielder.
“He is one of the best athletes I’ve ever seen,” Marsh said of Adams. “He’s not just a runner. He doesn’t just play Gold Glove-caliber outfield. He can hit, too. A lot of people kind of sleep on that. As long as he keeps his head on the right track like he’s doing now, he’s gonna have a very special future.”
The 6-foot-2, 195-pound Adams, the 17th overall pick in the 2018 draft, signed for an over-slot $4.1 million out of high school in Cary, N.C., and touched High-A Inland Empire as a 19-year-old in 2019.
He has excellent bat speed and wiry strength, which he showed when he homered five times in about 200 plate appearances last summer. He also impressed coaches with his off-the-charts speed, athleticism and improved defense.
After committing 13 errors at Low-A Burlington in 2019, some coming when he outran balls in the gaps, Adams has refined and improved his defense to the point where he has a chance to be an elite center fielder.
The strong-armed Adams is getting better jumps, running cleaner routes, and he made three home run-robbing catches last summer.
“It’s so cool for him to be in the outfield with me, because he’s going to push me to be as good as I can be, while I’m trying to do the same thing for him,” Marsh said. “It’s all out of love.”
Adams’ aggressive approach on defense also rubbed off on Marsh.
“Seeing him kind of opened up my eyes, like, ‘Dang, this dude can really play. I gotta step it up.’ “
— Manager Joe Maddon admitted in a Dec. 18 video call that the Angels “rushed” Jo Adell to the big leagues last August and that the touted outfielder, who hit .161 with a .478 OPS, three home runs, 55 strikeouts and seven walks in 124 at-bats, “needs more time in the minor leagues, no question.”
— Lefthander Hector Yan, who struck out 148 in 109 innings at Low-A Burlington in 2019 but struggled to regain his velocity after a lengthy layoff last summer, allowed one run and struck out two in 3.1 innings of his first five games for Cibao of the Dominican League.