Halos top prospect Adell talks potential '20 debut

20-year-old outfielder reflects on Rookie Career Development Program

January 13th, 2020

ANAHEIM -- Angels top prospect is close to reaching the Majors, and spent last week learning more about what to expect in the big leagues while taking part in the annual MLB/MLBPA Rookie Career Development Program.

Adell, ranked as the club’s No. 1 prospect and baseball’s No. 5 prospect overall by MLB Pipeline, sat down with MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo to discuss several topics while at the program, which Adell believes will help him going forward. Adell heard about the program during the Arizona Fall League season, and said he mostly spent time picking the brains of those who have already reached the Majors.

"For me, it's a great opportunity to get some questions answered and learn more about the experiences that guys have had being a rookie,” Adell said. “Like what's that all really about. It's just a good opportunity to learn everything you need to learn and ask questions."

Adell, 20, is coming off a season that saw him hit .289/.359/.475 with 10 homers, 27 doubles, 36 RBIs and seven stolen bases in 76 games across three levels, including 27 with Triple-A Salt Lake. He also participated in the Arizona Fall League, batting .273/.351/.444 with three homers and nine RBIs in 24 games.

Adell, however, didn’t make his 2019 season debut until late May after suffering both a right ankle sprain and a left hamstring strain while running the bases in a Spring Training game against the Cubs. He finished the year healthy, though, and even played for Team USA in the Premier12 tournament in early November, both homering and robbing a home run at the Tokyo Dome in Japan.

"I thought my 2018 was crazy, but then this year I had the dual injury at Sloan Park, so I think I just really learned how to come back from an injury and how to prepare,” Adell said. “I had to face something that hit me in my face. I could've gone one of two ways and put my head down and be sad, but I said, 'Nah, I'm gonna get up and get after it.'"

Adell will head to big league camp for a second straight year, but this season he’ll be competing with Brian Goodwin for the starting job in right field. Goodwin is considered the favorite, as Adell is likely to open the year at Triple-A. That said, Adell could make his Angels debut at some point in April or May, and he knows that he has to prepare himself for the challenges that being in the Majors brings.

"It does seem really close,” Adell said. “But obviously I don't make those decisions on when that's going to happen. I think the more detail oriented I am, the better it's going to be for me. I can hit the ball hard, run, play the field -- all those good things. But when it comes to a difference between a big league player and everybody else, it's the little things like how you're reading the pitcher, what kind of jumps you're getting in the outfield, how you set up at-bats."