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Angels to call up top prospect Jo Adell

He’ll make his highly anticipated debut in Seattle

Cincinnati Reds v. Los Angeles Angels Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images

After a slow start to the season, the Angels are calling up their top prospect Jo Adell, hoping he can rejuvenate some life into the team.

Adell, 21, was drafted in the first round of the 2017 MLB Draft by the Angels. He’s their No. 1 prospect, and is widely regarded as a Top 10 prospect in baseball. In 2019, Adell spent his season across three different minor-league affiliates. He hit .289/.359/.475/.834 with 10 homers and 35 RBI.

The Angels are off today as they head to Seattle. Adell could make his major-league debut tomorrow night.

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Perceived to be one of the toolsiest, and most raw, prospects in the 2017 Draft class, as a high schooler from Kentucky, Adell has blown past any and all expectations in terms of how quickly he’d figure things out at the pro level. A two-time Futures Game player, Adell reached Triple-A in 2019 at age 20 despite missing nearly two months at the start of the season because of hamstring and ankle injuries suffered during Spring Training. He made up for lost time as one of the best prospects in the Arizona Fall League.

When Adell was entering pro ball, the biggest worry was that he wouldn’t make enough contact to perform at the highest levels. He still swings and misses quite a bit, carrying a 25.3 percent strikeout rate in his pro career into the 2020 season. He could draw more walks, and it was encouraging to see him walk in nearly 10 percent of his AFL plate appearances, but his elite bat speed and ability to read pitches more than offsets that deficiency. He can drive the ball to all fields and his raw power will almost certainly show up more consistently as he matures.

Big and physical, Adell’s plus speed makes him a five-tool threat, though he didn’t run as much in 2019 following his injuries. He can handle playing center field, but might best fit into an outfield corner, especially given Mike Trout’s presence in Los Angeles. His plus arm and his potential to be a run producer profile well in a corner, and he’s not too far from being ready to join Trout in that big league outfield.