A quick word of update on Angels outfielder Jo Adell, who has been turning heads in the Arizona Fall League–which isn’t to say that eyes weren’t already trained on him to begin with. After a 2019 season that saw Adell hit .289/.359/.475 with ten home runs across three levels and 341 plate appearances, the Kentucky native entered AFL play last month as MLB Pipeline’s 5th-ranked prospect in the game. As Kyle Glaser of Baseball America points out this morning, Adell is bolstering that pedigree with his most recent performance for the Mesa Solar Sox (link).
The 20-year-old Adell, who was selected 10th overall by Los Angeles in the 2017 draft, went 7-for-17 in AFL play last week with a home run and a balanced 5-to-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Adell reached as high as Triple-A in the Los Angeles system in 2019, although the team may want to see him improve upon the production he posted there in a small sample of 130+ plate appearances (to say nothing of the potential service time considerations involving a prospective star such as Adell). With outfielder Kole Calhoun a possibility to move on in free agency, there does figure, at least, to be some MLB opportunity for the youngster in 2020 when GM Billy Eppler deems him ready.
More from around the AL this Monday morning…
- A sad note of remembrance in recognition of the passing of Orioles organizational fixture Andy Etchebarren, who died this weekend at age 76. Etchebarren, an All-Star in his rookie season of 1966, was an important part of Baltimore’s mid-century dynasty. Perhaps most notably, the backstop helped catch, along with Elrod Hendricks, the Orioles’ four 20-game winners of 1971; it’s probably not un-noteworthy that the man known as “Etch” was also the last man to ever record an at-bat against Dodgers legend Sandy Koufax. After his playing career, as noted in a post from MASN’s Roch Kubatko (link), Etchebarren carved out a nice career for himself as a coach in the Baltimore pipeline, including stints as manager of the club’s Triple-A and Double-A affiliates, and time spent as the bench coach for former manager Davey Johnson.
- The site has already thoroughly explored the ongoing contract outlook for Red Sox superstar Mookie Betts. To recap, the club’s forthcoming CBT trapeze act, Betts’ impending arbitrational raise, and the player’s apparent ambivalence to signing an extension with the team have all coalesced to the point where the near-unthinkable–a trade involving the near-peerless Betts–may be a consideration this offseason. One factor that won’t figure into Betts status for 2020? Organizational tension. As noted in a piece from Chris Cotillo of Masslive.com, the four executives* in charge of Sox operations in the wake of the Dave Dombrowski firing–including assistant GM Eddie Romero–are not holding Betts’ businesslike approach to negotiation against him (link). “I think he’s doing what’s in the best interest of Mookie and I think that’s what athletes should do,” Romero told Cotillo. “Every situation of these is case-by-case. Mookie has been the one who has sacrificed his body and has put in the work. He has the right to decide what he wants to do.” In addition to Romero, team president Sam Kennedy and chairman Tom Werner both comment in Cotillo’s piece on their faith in Betts as both a person and a player, and Romero goes as far as to say that the player has “earned” the right to hit free agency. While this dialogue could just be seen as an encouraging bit of rationality in the front office realm, it is fair to wonder, for those reading tea leaves, whether such a congenial atmosphere could be foreshadowing to an amicable parting of ways between player and team.
*An earlier version of this post mistakenly referred to “four men” running the baseball operations department, when in fact the group of four executives is made up of one woman (Raquel Ferreira) and three men (Eddie Romero, Zack Scott, and Brian O’Halloran). We regret the error.