Visalia, California —— After being promoted to High-A Inland Empire not even a full calendar year into his professional career, 19-year-old Jo Adell has taken the California League by storm. The Los Angeles Angels prospect is slashing .314/.353/.597/.950 through 45 games for the 66ers — this, after slashing .326/.398/.611/1.009 in 25 games at Low-A Burlington to start 2018 — and on Sunday afternoon, he’ll hit leadoff in the Futures Game as one of the top young prospects in all of baseball still nine months before his 20th birthday.
To say it’s been something of a whirlwind for the teenager to make the jump and dominate against competition four and five years older is something of an understatement, but no one has taken it in stride or with a level head better than Jo Adell himself. We caught up with Adell during the 66ers’ recent series against Visalia to talk about his approach at the plate, adjusting to his meteoric rise, and the optimism he has for the Los Angeles Angels over the next few years.
Jo Adell on his approach and process at the plate:
“I’ve been sticking with the same process that I had at the beginning of the year. Be on time, stay in the zone, swing at balls you can handle. Pitchers at this level really compete in the zone. There are a lot of older guys, college guys, and first rounders, and so for me, it’s about being able to pick the pitch that I can drive in the strike zone. And I’m just really trying to embrace the process. I get in the box here the same way I would get in the box in Burlington, and it’s still a one-on-one competition. If he gets me one at-bat, or I get him, we get to come back and do it all again two or three innings later. And that’s the way I take it, no matter if it’s here, or Burlington, or Double-A, no matter where I may be.”
“It’s not really a guessing game, it’s more of a reaction game. Guys have good stuff — two-seamers, breaking balls — and I just need to be ready to go every pitch. Yeah, you’re looking for the fastball, but really if it’s in the zone where I want it, I need to be ready to go no matter what pitch it is. If it’s a curveball that a guy leaves in the zone, maybe that’s the pitch I need to be swinging at. You can’t get in the box wondering which pitch might be coming, but it’s more reacting to what’s in the zone, what I can handle, and if it’s there and I’m ready, I need to attack.”
Jo Adell on how much the Angels’ farm system has improved:
“The moment I stepped off the plane and got in this clubhouse, I could tell there was this will to win with everybody here. And as talented as this group is, it’s one of those things where I don’t have to be Superman every single day. We’re all working on some things, and this is the minor leagues for a reason, everybody has their own process to try and do the things they need to do, but this unit really has a shot to come together and win, I think. We’re all friends with each other, and everybody has the same goals and aspirations, and when you get everybody on the same page, that’s when you win ball games.”
“It’s cool to really step back and look around, and see some of the guys in this organization really getting better, really putting in the work to improve. Outside of the three of us [Adell, Jahmai Jones, Brandon Marsh], there are plenty of other guys who are really doing their thing. Jose Suarez for one, who got moved up to Double-A, look how far he’s come growing into such a great pitcher. And we have a ton of other guys coming. We’ve got arms, we’ve got athletes, and they are all guys who are really putting in work. I’m just one piece of this puzzle here. It’s cool to be a part of this group.”
Adell’s teammate Jahmai Jones also had plenty to say about the outfield prospect. Jones knows a thing or two about moving quickly, after the Los Angeles Angels pushed Jones up to High-A as a teenager himself last season. Excited at the time about being reunited with a friend in Adell (earlier this week, Jones was promoted to Double-A), the Georgia native had a very positive reaction to Adell’s presence, encouraged about how seriously the Los Angeles Angels appear to be committed to moving prospects quickly.
Jahmai Jones on Jo Adell, and the Angels’ farm system:
“He’s a guy that knows how to take care of business, and I expect to see Jo do what Jo does as long as he’s here. I got to see it during spring training, and the dude just goes out and plays, day in and day out, one through nine innings, it doesn’t matter. You get that guy out on the field and he’s going to play. I’m excited for him. We all get along, we all hang out, so it’s looking to be a really fun, tight group. And big picture, that’s the dream, getting to play in the big leagues with the guys you came up with in your organization, and getting to reach the big leagues with the organization that drafted you. And knowing that, I know we take it as seriously as if we were up there. Enjoy the game, have some fun, try not to get too mad if we don’t succeed, but it’s going to be easer with Jo. I’m looking forward to it.”
For more on Los Angeles Angels outfielder Jo Adell…
More people are reading Baseball Census than ever, but advertising revenues across digital media continue to fall. Unlike many sports media outlets, we haven’t put up a paywall, because our core mission is to produce extensive, high-quality prospect content that is free and available for all. To that end, we need your help. Our baseball content takes time, money, and lots of hard work to produce. If you like what you read for free on this site, please help fund Baseball Census’ continued existence by giving any amount of support securely via PayPal: