The 2022 season presented another curious case of Jo Adell with a year full of question marks. His season was one more example for the former 2017 first-round pick of the Los Angeles Angels in which there were moments of potential that were overshadowed by eyebrow-raising mishaps.
Adell was selected 10th overall by the Angels, and since then he’s gone from heralded prospect to the dark side of his initial draft profile. For a player as fast, athletic, and quick-twitched as he is, Adell’s ability to find any consistency on defense is almost nill.
Adell grades out in the 98th percentile in sprint speed, 80th in arm strength, and at the plate, he displays better-than-average exit velocities.
However, in 2022, he held a 36.2 whiff percentage (Major League Baseball average is 24.7%), 17th percentile outs above average defensively, and out of qualified hitters, Adell ranked 570 out of 588 with a -9 run value against fastballs.
In his first stretch of games from Opening Day through May 2, he posted a .627 on-base plus slugging, prompting the Angels to option him to Triple-A Salt Lake with the Bees. The club would try that method a few more times in 2022, but after his call-up prior to their July 13 game against the Houston Astros, he would stay in MLB for the remainder of the season.
From July 13 through his final game on Oct. 5, Adell carried a .212/.259/.353 slash including a 71 wRC+. His 4% walk and 38.9% strikeout rates were enough to bring out the bust comments as the season wrapped up.
The 2022 season for Adell was tough to gauge as a building block as there’s much more work to be done on a player with that much athletic potential.
Jo Adell 2022 highlight
On Sept. 27 against the Oakland Athletics, Adell stepped into the box with the go-ahead run in Matt Duffy on second base with one out. A’s left-hander A.J. Puk delivered a 2-1 pitch that stayed over the heart of the plate and Adell smashed it through the infield hole, plating Duffy which gave the Angels the lead.
The Angels would go on to win the game by a 4-3 final score.
With Adell under team control for a good chunk of time, there’s been speculation surrounding a change of scenery and if that could be a good thing for the young player. But without much leverage in any of those negotiations, the club has zero incentive to do so.
Their acquisitions of more veteran outfielders hint that the Angels won’t provide Adell with a clear slot to figure out whatever is holding him back. He might have to do that in the offseason, or with the Bees.
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