It's tough to slap someone who's currently hitting .284/.367/.593 at Triple-A with the "former top prospect" label. But when you came with as much hype as Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim outfielder Jo Adell did during his rapid rise, it's fair to do so when things still haven't worked out in the bigs three years after your MLB debut.
Still just 24 years old, Adell has a .960 OPS with 20 bombs in 61 games with the Salt Lake Bees this season. Is the Angels' Triple-A club in the hitter haven Pacific Coast League? Yes. Are those numbers still exceptional, despite the altitude and modern baseballs? Yes.
Adell's pop is still both real and spectacular, as evidenced by the singular masterpiece he drilled onto the berm on Tuesday night.
Unable to break through into an Angels outfield that remains their strength, does Los Angeles prefer to keep Adell in the chamber until Shohei Ohtani potentially leaves this offseason? Or would they rather maximize their asset before his age-25 season?
MLB Trade Deadline: Can Yankees buy low on Angels' Jo Adell?
Not only was it a 514-foot home run, but it was a 514-foot three-run home run to tie the game in the bottom of the eighth. That's what we call ... having that dawg in you.
It's no secret that the Yankees do not have a left fielder. Therefore, it goes without saying that they lack depth at the position, routinely running out first baseman, DHs and middle infielders at the position depending on the day. Adell could someday take over for Hunter Renfroe and Taylor Ward in Anaheim, but there's a clearer path to playing time with the Yankees, who are still waiting for Jasson Dominguez and Spencer Jones to develop (and who haven't extended Harrison Bader yet).
How does a GM calculate Adell's value after so many fits and starts at the MLB level from 2020-2022? Entering the bigs, he was a top-10 prospect in the league prior to the 2020 season (according to MLB Pipeline), and ranked similarly on Baseball America's big board. That talent hasn't disappeared; he's still raking at Triple-A. But is he closer to Estevan Florial or Luis Robert, after so many failed attempts to get him acclimated over the past few years?
Maybe the Yankees try a two-for-one swap, offering the Angels more pitching in the process? Anaheim has always sought arm talent, and the franchise has only recently both drafted and developed at the position (Sam Bachman, Ben Joyce, Reid Detmers). Maybe the Yankees counter with top-10 prospects Yoendrys Gomez (who's battled injury troubles) and Richard Fitts? It could even cost less. One-for-one.
A team that just went through an all-pitching draft in 2021 can't be wrong. They could always use more arms.
The Yankees were willing to swap several interchangeable arms (their words, not ours) for Frankie Montas and Scott Effross at the 2022 trade deadline. Adell doesn't have even the short big-league track record of Effross, but he does have the control. If the Yankees can make it work, they should be all over this potential pairing.