2020 Fantasy Baseball Prospect Profiles: Few hurdles remain for Jo Adell


Jo Adell’s march to the majors was derailed due to injuries and his first real taste of failure in 2019, but his prospect status barely took a hit. He is still one of the top prospects in the game, with a profile that could make him an absolute stud for Fantasy. If it wasn’t for a gruesome spring training injury last season, he would already be several hundred plate appearances into his major-league career before his 21st birthday — which was Wednesday. Happy Birthday, Jo! We’ll see you soon.  

Numbers to Know

  • Date of Birth: 4/8/1999
  • Height: 6’3″
  • Weight: 215 lb
  • Prospect Ranks: No. 3 at Baseball America, No. 6 at MLB Pipeline, No. 2 at Baseball Prospectus
  • Scott White’s Rank: No. 5 Fantasy prospect
  • 2019: (AA) 43 G, .308/.390/.553, 8 HR, 23 XBH, 6 SB (100%), 10.4 BB%, 22.5 K%; (AAA) 27 G, .264/.321/.355, 0 HR, 11 XBH, 1 SB (100%), 7.6 BB%, 32.8 K%
  • Career: 224 G, .298/.361/.518, 35 HR, 117 XBH, 30 SB (83.3%), 7.6 BB%, 25.3 K%

Known Injury History

Missed time with ankle, hamstring injuries in 2019

Strengths

Adell is a prototypical five-tool prospect, which is where any discussion of him has to start. He hasn’t swiped as many bases as his athleticism might lead you to expect, but he has been an efficient base runner, so it’s not about ability in his case. The fact that he would still profile as the Angels center fielder of the future in a Mike Trout-less universe supports the idea that there is untapped stolen base potential left. He hits the ball hard and has shown an ability to adjust to higher levels of competition when challenged, a good sign for his chances of hacking it in the majors.

Concerns

There’s some swing and miss in his game, and he has reportedly tinkered with both his set up and swing could be a red flag — on the other hand, his ability to do those things while maintaining productivity could be counted as a mark in his favor. His issues with strikeouts upon initially reaching both Double-A and Triple-A could be warning signs that his transition to the majors may not be as smooth as hoped, and it may take some time until he is a true Fantasy star.

Outside Take

“When a prospect has multiple carrying tools, that is what usually puts him on the map. Adell not only has four carrying tools, but one of them is 70 grade, and there’s still a chance for a fifth. Part of what makes Adell special is how quickly he’s made it to the upper minors, how he’s been able to accomplish so much for his age, and the legitimate potential for five tools.” -Ricky Conti, Baseball Prospectus

Fantasy Comparison

Before long, Adell will flank Mike Trout opposite Justin Upton in the Angels outfield, and the combination of incredible athleticism and strength with his success at this age make Upton a fine comp for Adell. Adell is a year behind Upton in his path to the majors, but the injury explains most of that, and the production is pretty similar — Upton hit .289/.375/.485 with 36 homers and 36 steals in 239 games in the minors. Consistency has been an issue for Upton, in large part due to his strikeout rate, but Upton has been a high-end Fantasy option several times and is always worth starting. Peak seasons in the .290-.300 range with 30 homers, 20 steals, and 100-plus RBI and runs will certainly justify this lofty rank. 

Fantasy Bottom Line

Even if the contact skills don’t improve much, Adell still has enough skills to be a viable Fantasy option, and we saw how Fernando Tatis’ incredible skill level overcame those concerns as he blew his minor-league numbers away in his first taste of the majors. Adell isn’t likely to be as active a base stealer as Tatis, but there are similar tools otherwise, and Baseball Prospectus actually ranked Adell higher this time last year. The combination of speed and power give Adell a reasonably high floor, and the ceiling could be first-round caliber. 

So which sleepers should you snatch in your draft? And which undervalued first baseman can help you win a championship? Visit SportsLine now to get rankings for every single position, all from the model that called Kenta Maeda’s huge breakout last season, and find out.





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