Angels’ top prospect Jo Adell unlikely to make MLB debut in 2020?

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels know they have someone special in outfield prospect Jo Adell. Unfortunately for the club’s fans, it sounds increasingly unlikely that one of the game’s top prospects will make his MLB debut early this year.

When will Jo Adell make his MLB debut?

The Angels invited Adell, their No. 1 overall prospect, to spring training 2.0 before the 2020 MLB season. While it’s an incredible opportunity for the 21-year-old outfielder, manager Joe Maddon made it clear that this high-ceiling prospect won’t be on the Opening Day roster.

“The guy’s high-ceiling all the way around,” Maddon said, via The Orange County Register. “But he has things to work on, quite frankly. Don’t be deceived by a couple well-struck balls in a spring training game, whether it’s here now or in an actual spring that we just went through.”

It’s hard not to be impressed by Adell, who is rated as the No. 6 prospect in baseball by MLB Pipeline. He possesses incredible raw power with a quick bat and game-changing speed. At his prime, he could be a perennial All-Star outfielder for the Angels and another star alongside Mike Trout.

Maddon recognizes the long-term impact Adell will make on this club, potentially being the piece that finally puts them over the top. However, he also made it clear that the organization is focused on helping Adell progress at a natural pace, rather than rushing him to the majors.

“This guy is absolutely a huge part of our future,” Maddon said. “No question. But, again, there’s really no rush. Just make sure that all the boxes are checked, that he’s able to work in all the different areas that make a complete Major League Baseball player. I’ve been around situations where guys have been rushed. And when you do that, you could lose a really good player.”

Adell, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 MLB Amateur Draft, began his 2019 tore through High-A and Double-A in 2019. He finished the year at Triple-A, struggling in 27 games with a 32.6% strikeout rate and a .264 batting average.

The future remains exceptionally bright for this young outfielder. It will just be more difficult to make it to the majors in a 60-game season. While he won’t get a spot on the MLB roster, though, he can work with coaches as part of the 60-man roster with no MiLB season. He might even get a shot to make his debut before the year is over.