Two Angels outfielders were ranked in Baseball America’s top 100 prospects heading into the 2021 season, the second straight season Jo Adell and Brandon Marsh were so honored.
Adell is ranked the 13th-best prospect in baseball, and Marsh was 38th.
It’s the fourth straight season in the BA top 100 for Adell, who was ranked third overall last year, sixth in 2019, and 46th in 2018. He struggled mightily in his first taste in the majors in 2020, hitting .161/.212/.266 with three home runs and a 41.7-percent strikeout rate in 38 games with the Angels.
But that didn’t stop Baseball America from being high on Adell, who turns 22 in April. “Adell’s MLB debut was rough, but his physical talents, ability to adjust and elite makeup have him primed to rebound in a big way,” BA’s scouting report said.
Adell, the Angels’ first-round pick in 2017, has struggled at various times in the minors, but managed to adapt at each tier of the minors. Jack Howell, who managed Adell at Class-A Burlington in 2018, said of Adell last March, “It seems like at each level he’s made those adjustments and shown the things he needs to continue to do to improve. The best thing I can say is that it’s no surprise he’s moving like he is.”
There was no minor league season for Adell to continue to develop in 2020, so he took his lumps at the big league level. In doing so, Adell exhausted his rookie status, though Baseball America still counts him as a prospect because he didn’t reach 130 at-bats.
Both Adell and Marsh figure to see time in the majors in 2021, especially since Marsh was added to the Angels’ 40-man roster in November.
Marsh is up five spots from his 2020 preseason ranking, with BA having high hopes for his future: “At some point Mike Trout is going to stop roaming center field. Marsh’s speed, defense and solid bat give them a plan for the day Trout slides to a corner.”
On Tuesday, Baseball America unveiled prospects who just missed the top 100, including 88 prospects who received at least one vote by a BA staffer for the top 150 who didn’t make the top 100. Three Angels made that list — pitcher Chris Rodriguez, who like Marsh was added to the 40-man roster in November; 2020 first-round pick Reid Detmers; and outfielder Jordyn Adams. Unsurprisingly, those three rounded out the Angels’ top five prospects at Baseball America from two weeks ago.