The Los Angeles Angels have not been known for their loaded farm system in recent years. In fact, the Halos have ranked towards the bottom for quite some time now due to various efforts to improve the big league roster. Their saving grace was Jo Adell, who has consistently been ranked among the best prospects in baseball.
Adell got the chance to show what he was made of in 2020 during the pandemic shortened season. However, it was clear he wasn’t ready for the major leagues, and was optioned to begin 2021. He’s now in Triple-A with the Salt Lake Bees and has made some noise early in their season. In 29 plate appearances, Adell is slashing .231/.310/.654 and has hit three home runs and seven RBI’s.
He’s also struck out 10 times and walked only three, meaning there are still some issues to be worked out. However, Angels manager Joe Maddon is happy with the reports he’s been hearing out of the minors, according to Jeff Fletcher of The O.C. Register:
“I’m hearing that everything we talked about, everything we’re trying to get him to, to focus on he has,” Manager Joe Maddon said on Tuesday. “It’s kind of exciting because I’m hearing really good stuff.”
“The bat is playing really big and he’s making a lot of wonderful adjustments on defense,” Maddon said of Adell. “He’s a really good student. He’s a great listener and a superb athlete.”
It sounds like Adell is not only making progress at the plate, but in the field as well. He struggled in all facets in 2020, and given the current state of the Angels defense, any improvements for Adell would be vital for the team’s long-term success.
Luckily for Adell, the Angels have the least amount of certainty in right field. It’s the only position where they don’t have a consistent every day starter, as Dexter Fowler tore his ACL in the opening week of the season. Currently, Taylor Ward is filling that gap with Juan Lagares as his backup.
When the Bees and the Angels both agree that he’s ready to move back up, he can very quickly reclaim his starting role.
The Angels have done some work in the last couple years to replenish their farm system, but Adell’s success is extremely important to the organization as a whole.
Angels defense showing signs of improvement
Since the Angels made the huge, and controversial, decision to release Albert Pujols and move Jared Walsh back to first base full-time, they have not had a multi-error game. This talk about defensive improvement became the forefront of people’s minds when the Halos put together a four-error game against the Tampa Bay Rays.