Top Los Angeles Angels prospect Jo Adell was thrust into action during the shortened 2020 season due to a need at right field. The result was a player who clearly wasn’t ready for MLB play, causing him to be optioned to the Angels Triple-A affiliate, the Salt Lake Bees, with manager Joe Maddon closely watching his progress.
In Adell’s age-22 season, he’s had some incredible signs of progression while also still showing he needs more time. He’s slashing .270/.333/.730 and has hit 10 home runs to go with 19 RBI’s in just 81 plate appearances. He’s also shown improved fielding ability, with his fielding percentages up at all three outfield positions. However, he has struck out 27 times to only six walks, showing a lack of plate discipline.
Maddon spoke about where he believes Adell is in his development, according to Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com:
“I know he’s making some progress, but we still think he has things to work on,” Maddon said. “It’s one of those things, you just have to wait. My opinion, you don’t just want to force somebody into a role here because you feel as though there’s a need. You can actually hinder or stifle development if that player arrives too quickly without the ingredients to be successful up here. So that’s what I’m hearing.”
It sounds like it’s going to be a little while before Adell comes and fills the gap in right field. However, he’s still shown immense progress with highlights like this, posted via the Salt Lake Bees:
Another day another Jo Adell 🚀
He has 10 this year and 6 in the last 5 days 🤯 pic.twitter.com/hqZB3PxUT3
— Salt Lake Bees (@SaltLakeBees) May 25, 2021
For now, Taylor Ward and Jose Rojas — and even Shohei Ohtani at times — have made for a decent right field platoon. Obviously, the preference was to have veteran Dexter Fowler before he tore his ACL, ending his season.
With Adell, it’s just about patience. If he can get his strikeout numbers down while maintaining his power, there’s a chance he could be a late call-up this season. More likely is that he spends this entire year down in Triple-A before starting the 2022 season back with the Angels.
Maddon impressed with Rojas in right field
Despite being a career infielder, Rojas has made some decent plays from the outfield spot in his short stints there this season. He caught the attention of Maddon, who is just looking for ways to keep the right field slot filled with a productive player.