With Mike Trout still sidelined due to a Grade 2 calf strain, the Los Angeles Angels have attempted to fill his void by giving more playing time to highly regarded prospects Jo Adell and Brandon Marsh.
Marsh is in the midst of his rookie season while Adell rejoined the Angels at the start of August for his second big league stint. The 22-year-old’s first cup of coffee in the Majors didn’t go so well as he struggled in 24 games during the shortened 2020 season.
And though he has yet to put it all together in his second go-round with the team, Adell encouragingly is showing signs of improvement in several areas such as plate discipline and defense.
Angels manager Joe Maddon has taken notice of a more confident Adell and will look to challenge him over the final month of the regular season, via Jeff Fletcher of the Southern California News Group:
“I’m hearing him talk and his confidence is up,” Maddon said. “If we can just keep nurturing that for the rest of the year, you want to build them out of the prospect category to a guy that could actually help you win. This month permits us to put him in positions of difference-making. Let’s see if you’re ready for this, which I think he might be on the verge of. Go ahead and do it.”
One example of Maddon pushing Adell to greater heights was moving him up to the cleanup spot in Saturday’s game against the San Diego Padres after an impressive performance the previous contest:
“I want to start challenging him a little bit more up in the lineup,” Maddon said. “Nice job yesterday. Here you go. Do it again.”
Although he didn’t record a hit in Friday’s series opener, Adell lined out twice and drew a walk on a 3-2 curveball from Padres starter Joe Musgrove that just missed the strike zone.
Adell responded by going 1-for-4 with a double, RBI and walk as the cleanup hitter in the Angels’ 10-2 win over the Padres on Saturday.
Maddon, Minasian seeing improvement in Adell
Adell’s progress in his second stint with the Angels has been noted by both Maddon and general manager Perry Minasian. In 24 games this season, Adell is hitting .225/.281/.337 with seven extra-base hits and 17 RBI over 96 plate appearances.
While those numbers don’t look all that impressive on the surface, it’s worth noting Adell has recorded six hits in his last 19 at-bats dating back to Aug. 24.