Adell likely to minors, can still be star

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After an almost 38-game introduction to the big leagues in 2020, Joel Adele will not be surprised by Angels manager Joe Madon if he makes his upcoming season debut in the minors.

He also wouldn’t be surprised if the 21-year-old still turns into a superstar.

“Yes, he needs more time in the minor leagues. No questions, ”Maddon said on Friday. “But I’m certain, looking at that opportunity, you’re going to see what you thought you were going to see for the first time.”

Adele was the 10th overall pick in the 2017 draft, and the outfielder immediately became one of the game’s top prospects with a combination of power, speed, and athleticism. But his first stint in the big leagues was tough: he had just .161 batting average out of 124 batters and also struggled defensively.

Madon said that once the problems started, “it started to spin very quickly, which happens to many people who come from minors to major leagues.”

The manager said that Adele would benefit from a normal routine during the 2021 season and that the organization is still “over-talented”.

“Based on what you saw last year, evaluating it can be very dangerous,” Maddon said. “This guy, great athlete, obviously. This guy, really bright. Great teammate, great work ethic and really well informed.”

Madden spoke with reporters on Friday on several topics during his hour-long zoom call, including the need to improve the team’s pitching staff. He is optimistic that two-sided player Shohi Ohtani will be available on the mound after throwing just 1 2/3 innings last year after Tommy John surgery in 2019.

Madden said that even though Ohtani is healthy, more work needs to be done to improve a pitching staff that had a 5.09 ERA. This was a big reason why the Angels finished a disappointing 26–34 during the coronovirus-shortened season.

“The pitching has not been good,” Madden said. “We need to do pitching where it can be a championship caliber,” he said. Where it can be of playoff caliber. If you can’t get out there and win by 1-0, 2-1, 3-2, etc., then it is difficult to have a 90-run winning team on a nightly basis.

Maddon said he has had almost daily phone conversations with the new general manager, Perry Minassian, and the two have discussed several options on the free agent market.

“I like the name and the optimists (we) can improve,” Madon said. “It has to be plural, we probably need more than one. So that was the brunt of the conversation.”


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Travis M. Andrews
Travis M. Andrews is a features writer for The Washington Post. He joined The Post in 2016 as a reporter for Morning Mix. He was previously a travel and culture editor for Southern Living magazine, a contributing pop culture reporter for Mashable and the Week, and a contributing editor for the Syfy blog Dvice. He also has freelanced for magazines, including Esquire, GQ and Time. He is the author of the coming book "Because He's Jeff Goldblum," a semi-rumination and semi-ridiculous look at the career of the enigmatic actor and an exploration of the shifting nature of fame in the 21st century, to be published in November by Plume.