SALT LAKE CITY — Jo Adell has heard the hype surrounding him.
At just 20 years of age, Adell is the crown jewel of the Los Angeles Angels organization — the No. 4 prospect in all of baseball, according to MLB.com, and the best outfield prospect in the minor leagues.
Not since Mike Trout came through Salt Lake in 2012 — staying for all of 20 games before the Angels realized what they had and called him up — has an Angels prospect commanded this much attention. Adell is aware of the buzz about his play and the possibility that he may one day be the face of the Halos’ franchise, but he tries to block out the outside noise and focus on bettering himself every day.
“I’m obviously aware of that stuff, but for me, I think it’s a game and I know my capabilities and what I can do on the field. Am I going to do them every day? No. It’s really about bringing the best I can to the table and everything else will take care of itself,” Adell said.
Why is Adell so hyped? Standing 6-3 and weighing 215 pounds, Adell is a mountain of a man. His stature translates well into batting power, with baseball prospects site FanGraphs ranking his raw power at a 70 on a scale that goes up to 80. Simply put, the ball jumps off Adell’s bat. He’s also fast and a good fielder. Adell has the potential to be everything you could want in a major league outfielder. FanGraphs ranks Adell as the third-best prospect in the minors and projects his “future value” for his first six years in the MLB as 65 — in between an All-Star and a top-10 overall player.
The thought of Mike Trout, the best player in baseball, and Adell roaming the outfield together soon has Angels fans salivating.
Halos fans got a taste of that possibility in spring training, but they soon found out they’d have to wait a little longer. Through 11 games in 2019 spring training, Adell was batting .391, but things took a turn for the worse when he was injured running the bases in an Angels spring training game against the Cubs. He suffered an ankle sprain and a hamstring strain. The injury sidelined Adell until May 24.
“It hurt. It sucked,” he said.
Instead of playing, Adell was in Arizona rehabbing from his injury.
“What I did was I went to work in Arizona, took every day as if it were a game, even though I wasn’t playing in them, and I got myself back. The training staff there worked their butts off, got me back, and here I am,” Adell said.
Last season, Adell played 17 games with Double-A Mobile, batting .238 with two home runs, six doubles and six RBIs. This year in Mobile, Adell upped his game, batting .308 with eight home runs, 15 doubles and 23 RBIs over 43 games while coming off the injury.
He attributes his success in Mobile with settling into a routine.
“A lot of it really has to do with the routine. You play in a place long enough, you get into a routine that you like. Bouncing around last year, by the time I got to Mobile last year, my routine was all over the place. We made it work. I learned a lot from that short stint there and for me, that’s what I brought into this year — the things that I learned in that league and came back this year and was ready to go,” Adell said.
Adell on the hype surrounding him and how he blocks out outside noise pic.twitter.com/86dsD7o0fU— Joe Coles (@JoeAColes) August 3, 2019
Now in Salt Lake, Adell is hoping to establish a routine that will help him in Utah. Being in Utah isn’t foreign to Adell, who spent 18 games with the Orem Owlz.
“It’s pretty awesome. I was just talking with my host family from Orem, they sent me a text like, ‘Hey, it’s not too long ago that you were staying with us, playing in Orem,'” Adell said
Adell’s host family from Orem attended Friday’s game.
As for his stint in Salt Lake, Adell hopes to learn as much as he can.
“The more I can learn, the better. A lot of these guys have big league time, and just soak up all the information I can and just learn from them and experiences they’ve had and really embrace the competition,” Adell said.
He knows that if he can prove himself in Triple-A, a major league call-up in on the horizon.
“It’s like (Angels general manager) Billy (Eppler) told me when I got drafted, the moment that you show you can handle a level, you move. That’s been the goal and that’s what’s happened. It’s been really awesome to be with these guys,” Adell said.
Through three games with the Bees, Adell is batting .273 with a double and an RBI. He had his first game with multiple hits on Saturday, going 2-for-3.
Bees manager Lou Marson, who was also Adell’s manager in Mobile last season, noted that Adell hits the ball hard and is disciplined at the plate.
“He looks like he’s going to be a special player," Marson said. “The whole organization is anxious to see him perform here. It’s going to be a fun last month.”