Angels take high school slugger 10th overall

June 13th, 2017

The Angels selected high school outfielder Jordon Adell 10th overall with their first selection in the 2017 Draft on Monday.

Adell, a product of Ballard High School in Louisville, Ky., is considered a high-risk, high-reward pick, though his enticing blend of power and speed gives the Angels a potentially major building block as they attempt to restock a farm system that ranks among the worst in baseball.

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"He's a really special, young kid off the field as well as everything that he does on the field," new amateur scouting director Matt Swanson said. "It's amazing. We were holding our breath kind of all along, hoping he was going to get to us, and we were just beyond thrilled that he was there.

"I think our organization can now have a player to build around long term," he added. "I think everybody was thrilled."

Adell, who arguably has the best all-around tools in the Draft, is known for his electric bat speed and raw power from the right side. He also has above-average speed and a plus-arm in center field, where Swanson said he is likely to stick.

The 18-year-old slugger batted .562 with 25 home runs, 61 RBIs, 22 stolen bases and 53 runs in his senior season for the Bruins and was named the Gatorade Kentucky Baseball Player of the Year. His 25 homes led all high school players in the nation. Swanson, who personally scouted Adell three times, said the most impressive thing he saw him do was take batting practice.

"You just look at the power and his physical upside and his athleticism, and all that is present, but I think it's somebody you can also just continue to just dream on and see a really, really special package long term," Swanson said.

There are some concerns about Adell's swing-and-miss tendencies, but Swanson said the Angels studied video of Adell from last summer and this spring and saw "major improvement" in that category.

The 6-foot-2, 195-pound Adell is ranked by as the No. 21 prospect in this year's Draft class. He was one of four amateur players invited to attend the 2017 Draft on Monday at MLB Network's Studio 42 in Secaucus, N.J.

"This is unbelievable," said Adell, whose father is former New Orleans Saints lineman Scott Adell. "I'm just really blessed to be here in this situation and be with my parents and have a great experience. I can't wait to get out there, the fan base is just crazy. They're getting the full package, I believe."

Adell is the Angels' first selection under Swanson, who was hired by general manager Billy Eppler last summer to replace Ric Wilson. He represents the Angels' highest Draft pick since 2000, when they selected high school left-hander Joe Torres 10th overall.

The Draft continues on Tuesday with Rounds 3-10. The preview show begins at 9:30 a.m. PT, with exclusive coverage beginning at 10 a.m. PT.