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Angels first-rounders made a splash together

June 14, 2020

ANAHEIM -- As it turns out, being the No. 10 overall pick by the Angels isn’t the only thing that top prospect Jo Adell and recently drafted Reid Detmers have in common.

ANAHEIM -- As it turns out, being the No. 10 overall pick by the Angels isn’t the only thing that top prospect Jo Adell and recently drafted Reid Detmers have in common.

Adell, ranked as the No. 6 overall prospect by MLB Pipeline, and Detmers, who was the club’s first-round selection on Wednesday, both played on the same Area Code Games team -- the White Sox -- in 2016 at Long Beach State’s Blair Field.

Adell, now 21, and Detmers, 20, were also part of the same recruiting class at the University of Louisville and went on a campus visit together. Adell signed with the Angels after being drafted in 2017, while Detmers went on to an outstanding collegiate career as a left-handed starter for Louisville.

“The guy’s stuff is good, man, and it always has been,” Adell said Friday. “I knew that watching him come up the high school ranks. He always had a mindset with everything he did and focus on the mound. His stuff developed, and he got better and better. He went to Louisville and really shoved. We’re grateful to have him.”

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Adell, a Louisville native, and Detmers, who hails from five hours away in Chatham, Ill., both had fond memories of the event and remembered playing well against top competition such as top prospects Hunter Greene and Royce Lewis. Detmers said Adell was already looked at as a potential star by other players, and it was clear he was going to be drafted early.

“I remember him being one of those that everybody knew,” Detmers said Friday. “He was one of those high-profile guys who was really good. He could hit, he could pitch, he could do a little bit of everything.”

Adell’s memory of Detmers was his laid-back personality and how even-keeled he is. Even Angels general manager Billy Eppler said Thursday that Detmers was the calmest player he has ever talked to on the phone after being a first-round selection.

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“That’s what makes him great,” Adell said. “He’s able to filter things and go about his business. He doesn’t get too up, or too down. You can see that from afar. If you don’t know him on a personal level, you still know this guy competes and keeps it even-keeled. That’s all you can ask for, especially in a big league starter.”

Detmers, though, couldn’t help but show some excitement when Adell won the Home Run Derby at the Area Code Games, earning the entire team brand-new New Balance cleats. Detmers poured Gatorade on Adell after he won and still has the picture after posting it to Instagram shortly after it happened.

“That was a cool moment,” Detmers said. “We were all excited and thought Jo would win it. So when he hit that last home run, we went crazy. I remember grabbing the Gatorade cooler and pouring it all over him. Once I saw that I had a picture of it, I had to post it. It was a pretty cool picture.”

And although Adell didn’t attend Louisville, he has kept tabs on the program in recent years and followed the career of Detmers, who got stronger and improved his velocity in college. The 6-foot-2, 210-pounder set the school record with 167 strikeouts as a sophomore last year and tied the record for the most wins with 13. He was also off to a 3-0 start with a 1.23 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 22 innings before this season was cut short because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Adell was consulted by Angels director of amateur scouting Matt Swanson because of his history with Detmers and had nothing but good things to say about Detmers, who could now become his teammate again.

“I had some conversations about guys I knew because this was my high school class that was in college,” Adell said. “And watching the guy go about his business, it’s more than just stuff, it’s what you do with it and where you put it. He checked all the boxes, so I was all-in on him from the start, for sure.”

Rhett Bollinger covers the Angels for He previously covered the Twins from 2011-18. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.