Prospect Radar: Could The Angels’ Jo Addell Be A Difference Maker In 2020? Not So Fast…

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There was the feeling the Jo Addell would make an impact at the highest level in 2020, though it likely wasn’t going to come on Opening Day.  It seemed like the team was simply keeping a spot warm, waiting for their prized prospect to be ready.  Just look at the expected starting outfield:

  • Mike Trout
  • Justin Upton
  • Brian Goodwin

Trout is Trout, but Upton has been streaky and injury prone and Goodwin was hardly a guarantee to produce.  So there was a path to playing time, especially after their proposed trade for Joc Pederson fell apart, and with the potential for expended rosters and no minor league season Addell’s arrival seems likely to be expedited.

So why is it that his average ADP in NFBC formats sits at around 234?  Wouldn’t we expect owners to be reaching for him earlier, especially given the greater likelihood of his debut?

It’s not like Addell, despite being one of the elite prospects in the game, was a guarantee to produce immediately.  Just look at what we had to say about him:

It’s fair to be concerned with his ability to make consistent contact.  Just consider these numbers from ’19 (Strikeout Rate / Walk Rate / SwStr%):

  • Double-A – 22.5% / 10.4% / 12.6%
  • Triple-A – 32.6% / 7.6% / 19.0%

He has the potential to get that in order, as we have to remember that he was extremely young for the competition level.  Still it’s something to monitor and could help to limit his production initially at the highest level.

Now 21-years old, the 21-year old may not be able to make the adjustments necessary.  He’s not going to have as much time, as he’d be losing the additional developmental time at Triple-A that was expected.  Keep in mind this spring he had struck out 13 times in 26 PA, so initial struggles should be assumed.

Keep in mind that his future teammate, Mike Trout, struggled mightily in his first taste of the Majors.  Back in 2011 he hit .220 with 5 HR in 135 PA, before he figured it out and exploded in 2012.

Adell remains one of the elite prospects and it’s even more likely that he sees significant time in the Majors in 2020.  However this year should be viewed more like a learning year as opposed to one where he’ll make a significant impact.  Keep that in mind before pushing him further and further up your draft board.

Sources – Fangraphs, Baseball Reference

Make sure to check out all of our 2020 prospect rankings:

AL EastAL CentralAL West
Baltimore OriolesChicago White SoxHouston Astros
Boston Red SoxCleveland IndiansLos Angeles Angels
New York YankeesDetroit TigersOakland A's
Tampa Bay RaysKansas City RoyalsSeattle Mariners
Toronto Blue JaysMinnesota TwinsTexas Rangers
NL EastNL CentralNL West
Atlanta BravesChicago CubsArizona Diamondbacks
Miami MarlinsCincinnati RedsColorado Rockies
New York MetsMilwaukee BrewersLos Angeles Dodgers
Philadelphia PhilliesPittsburgh PiratesSan Diego Padres
Washington NationalsSt. Louis CardinalsSan Francisco Giants
PositionLast Updated
Catcher04/13/20
First Baseman--
Second Baseman04/15/20
Shortstop04/17/20
Third Baseman04/20/20
Outfield04/24/20
Pitcher--

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