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Jo Adell, Brandon Marsh top Baseball America list of Angels top 2021 prospects

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Outfielders and pitchers galore in the Angels top 10 prospects

MLB: Seattle Mariners at Los Angeles Angels Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

Thanks to a rule tweak after a truncated 2020 season, Angels outfielder Jo Adell is no longer considered a rookie heading into 2021. But Baseball America still recognizes him as such, and has Adell atop the list of top Angels prospects for a third straight season, followed by fellow outfielder Brandon Marsh at No. 2.

Adell totaled 124 at-bats last season, six shy of the 130 required to exhaust rookie status. Under normal rules, another way to use up rookie status is to accrue 45 days of pre-September service time. But since rosters didn’t expand in September 2020, all days of major league service were counted towards rookie status. In a normal year, Adell’s 28 days on the roster in August (and his at-bat total) would have kept him a rookie into 2021. But his full September put him over the 45-day threshold, losing his rookie status, explained here by Anthony Castrovince at MLB.com in September.

The other most notable feature of 2020 was how bad he was at the major league level. He took his lumps in the majors, hitting .161/.212/.266 in 38 games, with no minor league season for him to otherwise develop.

“Despite Adell’s ugly debut, evaluators still view him as a potential impact player,” said Baseball America’s scouting report of Adell. “With more experience, he still projects to develop into an all-star-caliber player.”

Marsh, who was added to the 40-man roster in November, rates as the Angels’ No. 2 prospect, just as he was in 2020. Marsh, the Angels’ second-round pick in 2016, was named as the Angels prospect with the best hitter for average and the best strike-zone discipline, as well as the best defensive outfielder and best outfield arm.

With Adell not considered for the Baseball Prospectus list, Marsh topped BP’s list of Angels prospects in December.

Chris Rodriguez, the pitcher who was also added to the 40-man roster this offseason, moves up from the Angels’ No. 5 prospect last year to third this year. BA wrote, “Rodriguez has the ingredients of a front-of-the-rotation starter, but he has to show he can stay healthy.”

Rodriguez was picked by Baseball America for the best fastball and best slider in the system. Reid Detmers, the left-hander drafted by the Angels in the first round in 2020, rates with the system’s best curveball and best control, and checks in as the No. 4 prospect on the team.

Baseball America 2021 Angels top prospects

Rank Player Pos 2021 age* Acquired 2020 BA rank
Rank Player Pos 2021 age* Acquired 2020 BA rank
1 Jo Adell OF 22 2017 draft (1st rd) 1
2 Brandon Marsh OF 23 2016 draft (2nd rd) 2
3 Chris Rodriguez RHP 22 2016 draft (4th rd) 5
4 Reid Detmers LHP 21 2020 draft (1st rd) n/a
5 Jordyn Adams OF 21 2018 draft (1st rd) 3
6 Jeremiah Jackson SS 21 2018 draft (2nd rd) 4
7 Jack Kochanowicz RHP 20 2019 draft (3rd rd) 12
8 Jahmai Jones 2B 23 2015 draft (2nd rd) 11
9 Hector Yan LHP 22 Int'l FA (2015) 9
10 Kyren Paris SS 19 2019 draft (2nd rd) 10
*age as of June 30, 2021 Source: Baseball America