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Angels call up former top prospect Jo Adell from Triple-A

Once one of the brightest young talents in the game, Adell has torn up Salt Lake City as he looks to get back to the Majors.

Jo Adell of the Los Angeles Angels lines out in the third inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers during a spring training game at Camelback Ranch on March 10, 2023 in Glendale, Arizona. Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Not so long ago, Angels outfielder Jo Adell was arguably the top prospect in all of baseball. It’s been a long and winding road for the former top-10 pick since then, but he’s about to get another to chance to make his mark in the Majors — L.A. has recalled Adell from Triple-A while Hunter Renfroe is on the paternity list.

It’s hard to overstate just how loud the hype around Adell was just a few years ago. MLB Pipeline had him ranked as the No. 6 overall prospect in the game entering the 2020 season, and they might’ve been the lowest on him. Drafted 10th overall out of high school by the Angels in the 2017 MLB Draft, he was the consummate five-tool prospect: built like a linebacker, with light-tower power and top-of-the-scale speed in center field. And all that talent showed up immediately on the field as Adell tore through the Minors, getting all the way to Triple-A before he even turned 21. With the 2020 Minor League season wiped out by the COVID pandemic, Los Angeles called Adell up to the MLB roster, and he seemed on the verge of becoming the game’s next big thing.

But then something unexpected happened: Adell could never quite figure out how to hit Major League pitching. He slashed just .161/.212/.266 during the 2020 campaign, and every year afterward, the pattern was the same — Adell would crush it in Triple-A, earn another chance in the Show and then struggle mightily once he got there. His career OPS in the Minors: .904. In the Majors? .616, with 194 strikeouts in 161 games.

Given all that, it will probably not surprise you to learn that Adell is at it again in Salt Lake City this year.

Adell has hit .278/.365/.593 with a whopping 18 homers and 43 RBI across his first 55 games. The physical tools are as evident as ever, and he’ll get at least one more chance to show that he’s finally developed the plate discipline to thrive at the highest level. Baseball fans everywhere should be rooting for that to happen, because if it does, look out.