Jose Suarez Shines In Three-Level Jump
Scouting director Matt Swanson believes the Angels chose "a potential franchise player” in Jo Adell, the Louisville-area high school outfielder who was the 10th overall pick in 2017. While it’s too soon to project whether he can live up to those sky-high projections, the 19-year-old Adell has done little to temper them.
After an impressive pro debut in 2017, Adell spent less than two months at low Class A Burlington this season before being promoted to high Class A Inland Empire on May 20. Overall he hit .303/.362/.601 with 13 home runs and 10 stolen bases through 47 games.
Virtually everything Adell does on the field is explosive. He has the power to mash 450-foot homers, the speed to run a 6.4-second 60-yard dash and the arm to make laser-like throws from the outfield, which isn’t a surprise. As a high school pitcher, his fastball was clocked between 92-94 mph.
The Midwest League didn’t provide much of a challenge for Adell, who slashed .326/.398/.611 with six homers with 11 walks and 26 strikeouts in 25 games for Burlington. He continued to hit for plus power in the California League, even as his walk and strikeout rates had not yet stabilized.
BIGGEST LEAP FORWARD
Don’t let his size fool you. Lefthander Jose Suarez may be 5-foot-10, 170 pounds, but he has such an advanced feel for pitching and a knack for missing bats that he jumped from Inland Empire to Double-A Mobile to Triple-A Salt Lake within the first two months of this season
Suarez, who signed as a 16-year-old out of Venezuela in 2014, mixes a fastball that averages 92 mph and touches 95 with an 81 mph changeup he throws with deception and sinking action and an improving mid-70s curve. He increased his strikeout rates from 5.7 per nine innings in 2015 to 10.7 in 2016 to 11.8 in 2017.
The 20-year-old has maintained those rates in 2018, striking out an average of 12.8 batters per nine innings in 13 starts across three levels, though Suarez found his level at Triple-A, where he struck out 11 and walked 10 through his first 17.2 Pacific Coast League innings.
Impressively, Suarez had allowed only one home run all season in 56.1 innings, while recording a 3.04 ERA and .264 opponent average.
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** Shortstop David Fletcher slashed .350/.394/.559 with six homers, 25 doubles, five triples and seven stolen bases in 58 games at Salt Lake to earn his first big league callup. He had three hits in his debut against the Mariners on June 13.