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Jo Adell

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Jordon Scott Adell

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Biographical Information[edit]

Outfielder Jo Adell was selected 10th overall in the 2017 amateur draft, by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. He was a pure product of Louisville, KY, having been born there, gone to high school there, and had a long-standing commitment to attend the University of Louisville. However, plans changed when he was drafted in the top 10, and it took him little time to come to terms with the Angels. On June 15th, three days after the draft, he signed a contract including a signing bonus of $4.3 million. He was the first player taken in the first round to ink a contract that year.

An outstanding all-around athlete, Adell also pitched in high school, with quite a measure of success, but it was clear that his future lay as a hitter, after he was named the Kentucky high school player of the year as a senior on the strength of a .562 average and 25 home runs - most in the nation. He began his pro career in 2017 with the AZL Angels and also played for the Orem Owlz in the Pioneer League before the end of the year. In 49 combined games, he hit .325/.376/.532 with 11 doubles, 8 triples and 5 homers. In 2018, he began the season with the Burlington Bees in the Midwest League where he hit .326 in his first 25 games to earn a quick promotion to the California League and the Inland Empire 66ers. He was named to the United States team for the 2018 Futures Game, where he started in center field as the team's lead-off hitter. He played the entire game, going 1 for 4, scoring the go-ahead run on a wild pitch in the 7th, and then driving in an insurance run with a sacrifice fly in the 8th. By the end of July, Adell was promoted to AA. He homered, singled and scored three times in his debut to lead the Mobile BayBears over the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, 9-6, on July 31st. Overall, he hit .290/.355/.543 in 99 games between the three stops, with 83 runs, 32 doubles, 20 homers and 77 RBIs. He was named the #1 prospect in the Angels organization by MLB, and #14 overall.

Adell was identified by many as the player to watch in spring training for the Angels in 2019, even if he was targeted to start the year back in AA, but his time in camp ended early with an ankle sprain on top of a hamstring injury putting him on the shelf as of March 9th. Recovery was slated to take from 10 to 12 weeks. He returned to the Futures Game that year, this time as a member of the American League team, as the format had been changed. Adell was ultimately limited to 76 regular-season games during the year, but he did manage to reach AAA for the first time in the process. Playing at three different levels, he hit .289/.359/.475 with 10 homers and 36 RBIs. Jo was then sent to the Arizona Fall League to gain more experience against top-level talent. During his time in the AFL he was selected to the 2019 AFL Fall Stars Game.

Following the 2019 season, Adell was selected to the US's roster for the 2019 WBSC Premier12 Tournament. He was very good, hitting .394/.429/.667 with 3 homers and 5 RBIs in 33 at-bats. He went deep off four-time Olympian Rob Cordemans, Yudai Ono of champion Japan and Arturo Reyes of #3 Mexico, which edged out the US for a spot in the 2020 Olympics (which were then delayed due to COVID-19). His homer off Reyes was one of two US in runs in the decisive game, when they fell 3-2 in ten. He tied Seiya Suzuki, Matt Clark, Brent Rooker and Jon Jones for the tournament lead in homers, led in hits (13, one ahead of MVP Suzuki) and was second in total bases (23, 5 behind Suzuki). He did not make the event's All-Star outfield as Suzuki, Jones and Jung-hoo Lee got picked.

He was ranked the #6 prospect in baseball by before the 2020 season, the highest ranking by an Angels prospect since Mike Trout. He did not make the Angels' opening day roster when the season finally started on July 24th, but was one of the players biding his time at the team's alternate training site in Long Beach, CA. He was called up to make his debut on August 4th and went 1 for 4 in a 5-3 win over the Seattle Mariners that day, starting in right field. He singled off Justin Dunn in his first at-bat. On August 9th, he was charged with a rare four-base error when a ball hit by Nick Solak of the Texas Rangers bounced out of his outstretched glove and over the fence. As the ball would have fallen visibly short of leaving the park if Adell had not touched it, and because it was catchable with ordinary effort, the official scorer reversed his initial call of giving Solak a homer. The most recent four-base error before that had been charged to Steve Tolleson in 2015. On August 29th against the Mariners, Adell hit his first major league home run, and also his second. The first was a two-run shot off Justus Sheffield in the 2nd inning, and the second was a solo homer off of Aaron Fletcher in the 6th inning. Overall, though, it was a tough first season as he batted just .161 in 38 games, with 3 homers, 9 runs and 7 RBIs.

Given his struggles in 2020, the Angels decided to give Adell the benefit of some additional minor league experience in 2021. He began the year with the Salt Lake Bees of the re-named Triple-A West, where he played 73 games, batting .289 with 23 homers and 69 RBIs. Having found his hitting stroke again, he was called up to Anaheim on August 3rd and in his first game back, he went 3 for 4 with a pair of doubles in an 11-3 win over the Texas Rangers. He ended up playing 35 games for the Angels, hitting .246 with 4 homers and 26 RBIs, for an OPS+ of 89. In 2022, he played 88 games in the majors, but fell back to .224 with 8 homers and 27 RBIs, an OPS+ of 79, and just 11 walks against 107 strikeouts. He did not do much better with Salt Lake, finishing there at .239 in 40 games, albeit with good power: 15 doubles and 13 homers, for a slugging percentage of .587. He was back in Salt Lake for the start of 2023 and went on an absolute tear to start the season, hitting .353 through his first 9 games, with 7 homers and 15 RBIs for a slugging percentage of 1.088. This included a streak of six straight games with a long ball, putting him ahead of any other player in either the majors or minors. He was called up to Los Angeles for just one game on June 8th, during which he went 1 for 3 and homered against Drew Smyly of the Chicago Cubs in a 3-1 win. Back in Salt Lake, on June 20th, he hit a monster home run measured at 514 feet, which made it not only the longest homer hit in the minors that season, but longer than any hit in the majors as well. In 74 minor league games he hit .273 with 24 homers and 57 RBIs, but only .207 with 3 homers and 6 RBIs in 17 games in the big leagues. On July 14th, he went on the injured list with a left oblique strain and was out until mid-September, killing any momentum he had managed to develop: he played 12 games in the bigs after his return, hitting just .200.

Adell had basically become an afterthought heading into the 2024 season, his days as an exciting top prospect seemingly in the distant past. He was still only 25, however, and began the season hitting better than he ever had at the major league level. Not that his .248 average after 36 games was anything special, but he had already hit 7 homers - one behind his personal best achieved in 88 games two years earlier, was also nearing his best for RBIs and had an OBP over .300 for the first time of his career. All that led to an OPS+ of 125, transforming him from a player who was a drag on the offense to one of the few contributors on a badly struggling team.

Adell's father, Scott, was an offensive lineman for the North Carolina State University football team, and was drafted in the 12th round of the 1992 NFL draft by the New Orleans Saints. [1] [2] [3]

Further Reading[edit]

  • Maria Guardado: "Angels take high school slugger 10th overall",, June 13, 2017. [4]
  • Maria Guardado: "Adell's stock continues to climb: Angels' top prospect turning heads in the Minor Leagues",, August 1, 2018. [5]
  • Gabe Lacques: "Jo Adell tearing up minor leagues – and looks destined to play alongside, not replace, Mike Trout", USA Today, June 15, 2018. [6]
  • Brent Maguire: "The post-hype prospect enjoying a long-awaited breakout",, May 17, 2024. [7]
  • Jacob Resnick: "Not a repost: Adell homers in 6th straight at Triple-A",, April 9, 2023. [8]
  • Brendan Samson: "At 514 feet (!), Adell obliterates longest HR of the year",, June 21, 2023. [9]

Related Sites[edit]