Entering the 2020 season, Jo Adell was seen as one of the top prospects in all of baseball. He made his debut with the Angels, and he looked like anything other than one of the top young players in the game.
He had a bWAR of -1.3 in 38 games. He hit .161 and he struck out in nearly half of his at bats. Adell knows his season wasn’t great. However, he’s not letting that stop him from bouncing back and proving himself to the Angels.
“Was I ready? I was going to have struggled regardless,” he said to reporters on Friday. “You don’t know until you’re thrown into the fire. You don’t know any of the pitchers. At the end of the day it was good for me to get out there and face adversity.
“That made me a better person and player by going out there and screw up. That’s what allowed me to improve so much in the offseason. If I had to do it all over again, I’d fail again.”
This offseason, the Angels added a number of outfielders to their roster, meaning that Adell is likely going to be starting the season in the minors. Although it seems like the most likely outcome, manager Joe Maddon doesn’t think he needs to have a conversation with him yet about possibly sending him down.
“He knows there are things he has to work on,” Maddon said. “He’s already making some pretty good adjustments. He’s great, he knows what’s going on. There’s no need for in-depth conversation for where he’s going to play this year. Go have a great camp and see what you look like after that. There’s no better pupil. He’s a pleasure to work with.”
Adell said that when he made his debut last year he didn’t let himself play loosely. He played too reserved, almost as if he was afraid to just be himself. For him though, he’s not worried about last season. He’s put it behind him. He’s just happy to be back with the big-league club and is ready to earn himself another chance.
“I’m here to play a game,” he said. “I love this game and I don’t care if I play in the sandlot. I’m keeping the energy level high. If it’s in Salt Lake or Anaheim, I’m ready. I’m here to bring it full force.”