Next up in the MLB Draft Profile series is the guy with the highest ceiling in Jordon “Jo” Adell. If you know anything about me, I’m absolutely enamored with power, and Adell has tons of it.
6’2, 195 pounds
Position: Right field/center field
DOB: April 8, 1999
Commitment: University of Louisville
Slot recommended bonus (No. 23): $2,702,700
Editor’s Note: All information of draft prospects compiled from Internet sources, scouting reports and video.
This is, easily, the most ambitious I’ve been with a prospect in these draft profiles. Adell’s lowest ranking comes from Keith Law. Despite that, it doesn’t look like he’s going to be available at No. 23. Then again, we didn’t think Delvin Perez would be available last year, Walker Buehler would be available in 2015 and Grant Holmes would slide in 2014. Two of those three are prep prospects, as is Adell. I would be remiss if I didn’t state the reason Perez fell was due to a positive performance-enhancing drug test before the draft, but he still fell.
Adell possesses perhaps the highest ceiling of any prep position player in this draft. His raw athleticism, nearly double-plus speed, plus-defense and plus-power are all enticing. So, why is a guy like this not in contention for the 1-1 spot? There are serious questions about his ability to make consistent contact. Scouts wonder if his hit tool will even be fringy, let alone average or better. But with the kind of athletic ability and professional instruction, there’s a chance for improvement.
His stance is wide with his back foot pointing slightly toward first base. He’ll employ a toe-tap, but it’s inconsistent. Sometimes he uses it, sometimes he doesn’t. What has scouts drooling are his incredibly quick hands, strong forearms and elite bat speed. That’s how he’s able to generate such massive power. His hips fire open quick and despite having a long swing, the bat gets through the zone and is powerful. The ball sounds different coming off his bat than most other prep prospects in this draft field. With that length, though, there’s a lot of swing and miss. That’s what has evaluators worried most: will he be able to maintain his power while improving his contact rate? If he can, he’s going to be a star. If not, he’ll be just another in the long line of fringe-MLB players.
Defensively, he should be able to handle center field, but there are questions about his long-term viability there. His defense is much better in right field. His arm is plenty strong (clocked at 94-95 MPH on the mound), but it hasn’t looked as strong this spring. Still, he projects to be a profile right fielder. He also has plus-speed that could lead to him being a threat on the base paths, but it should help him at least have the range to play center field. His instincts are going to determine his defensive future.
Videos courtesy of rkyosh007, Jon Tarr and Prospect Pipeline.
Adell has a first-division, middle-of-the-order profile. He projects to hit for massive power and could be a 30 HR/year player. But his future will be determined by his ability to recognize offspeed pitches, improve his plate discipline and make more consistent contact. If he doesn’t reach this ceiling, he should be the right-handed half of a platoon with plus-defense.
If Adell were to fall to No. 23, he might take a little more to sign since he’s a projected Top 10-15 pick. He could be bought out of his commitment to Louisville, but it has developed into one of the premiere programs in the country so if he doesn’t get what he wants in the form of a signing bonus, he could make it to campus. Also, he’s a tremendous young man.