Los Angeles Angels: Joe Maddon says Jo Adell needs more time in minors

MESA, AZ - OCTOBER 14: Jo Adell #25 of the Mesa Solar Sox (Los Angeles Angels) looks on during an Arizona Fall League game against the Glendale Desert Dogs at Sloan Park on October 14, 2019 in Mesa, Arizona. Glendale defeated Mesa 9-5. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
MESA, AZ - OCTOBER 14: Jo Adell #25 of the Mesa Solar Sox (Los Angeles Angels) looks on during an Arizona Fall League game against the Glendale Desert Dogs at Sloan Park on October 14, 2019 in Mesa, Arizona. Glendale defeated Mesa 9-5. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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Los Angeles Angels top prospect Jo Adell made his highly anticipated Major League debut in 2020. It went about as poorly as it could have.

Jo Adell was the Los Angeles Angels’ top prospect coming into 2020. But when he finally made his debut, you wouldn’t be able to tell.

Now, manager Joe Maddon thinks Adell needs some more time in the minor leagues.

Adell played in 38 games in 2020, slashing just .161/.212/.266 for an OPS of .478. It was clear to everybody watching that he just wasn’t ready yet. Even in that small sample size, those just aren’t the numbers you expect from your team’s top prospect in his first major league action.

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And it leaves you wondering if Adell would have even played in the Major Leagues had the Minor League season not been canceled. There’s only so much prospects could do at team’s alternate training sites this year. And while they played a lot of simulated games, nothing quite recreates the atmosphere of a real game.

We saw many teams turning to prospects who may not have gotten the call yet had the minor league season not been canceled. Clarke Schmidt for the New York Yankees is a perfect example, struggling in three big league appearances without a single pitch at the Triple-A level.

And who knows, maybe starting the year at Triple-A in 2020 would have given Adell a better chance to succeed in his first Major League stint. Getting regular at bats is essential to success in baseball. And it’s just something you can’t do at an alternate training site.

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Regardless, it’s clear that Maddon is right. Jo Adell needs a little bit more time in the minors. He’ll likely get the call back at some point in the 2021 season after he gets his feet back under him. Adell is overflowing with talent so it shouldn’t be too long before he’s ready to play at the big league level and make an impact.