Angels’ former first-round pick Jordyn Adams hopes to finally put tools together
TEMPE, Ariz. — It was 5 years in the past that Jordyn Adams’ resolution turned one of the intriguing storylines surrounding the MLB Draft. He was a four-star extensive receiver signee at North Carolina, and a No. 17 total pick by the Angels. Adams was not dissimilar to Kyler Murray, who was picked eight spots earlier in 2018 earlier than opting to change into an NFL quarterback.
On the time, Adams stated in a Baseball America interview that soccer got here extra naturally to him. Baseball, he famous, was a sport of failure. “Baseball is tough,” the then-high faculty senior said.
Quick ahead 5 years. Adams selected baseball over soccer — a call he says now, trying again, wasn’t tough. However he’s had to face these failures head-on. Geared up with each athletic device, Adams nonetheless has to present he is usually a high-level skilled ballplayer. As a result of the flashes of greatness and his varied tools have been overshadowed by an lack of ability to discover constant offensive success.
“Now my mindset is: simply do what I’ve received to do to get to the massive leagues,” Adams stated in an interview this week. “My mentality is now simply to preserve going.”
Adams’ trajectory can, at finest, be described as a gradual crawl upward. The 23-year-old was promoted to Double A for the primary time final season however struck out in 29.7 % of his 236 plate appearances with Rocket Metropolis.
Jordyn Adams flashed his velocity and defensive prowess at Double A however strikeouts stay a sticking level. (Danny Parker / 4 Seam Photographs through Related Press)
And that’s the hindrance to Adams’ sport. He stole 33 bases final yr. His protection is extraordinarily good. You can put him on an MLB playoff roster proper now as a base-swiper or defensive alternative. However his lack of contact and lack of energy — Adams had simply 4 homers and a .649 OPS final yr — are holding him again from fulfilling that first-round promise.
“He’s most likely our most athletic participant on this system. He can actually play protection,” stated Angels farm director Joey Prebynski. “He can actually run the bases. For Jordyn, it’s simply persevering with to get higher on the plate and having extra constant at-bats.”
Prebynski’s feedback got here nearly precisely a yr in the past. That illustrates how the outlook on Adams each has and has not advanced. He’s a participant who has all of the tools to be good. In 2020 and 2021, Adams was MLB Pipeline’s No. 3 Angels prospect. In 2022, he dropped prime No. 20.
It’s not that Adams has gotten worse. It’s that his offense simply hasn’t come round. Adams instructed reporters a yr in the past that he felt extra prepared to mentally commit to being an precise baseball participant. Not simply an athlete who occurs to play baseball.
And a yr later, Adams feels as if he caught to that dedication. His offensive statistics did enhance, although marginally.
“I really feel like I’ve grown into that baseball participant mindset that I used to be telling you a few yr in the past,” Adams stated. “I really feel like that helps my sport throughout. From a defensive standpoint, to on the plate, to method, stuff like that. I additionally labored on it this offseason from a psychological facet. As a result of that work by no means stops.”
For Adams, that meant spending time round veteran gamers over the offseason. He hit with Royals infielder Nicky Lopez and Blue Jays infielder Matt Chapman, a former All-Star. He stated he was purposeful about selecting their brains as a lot as doable.
The offense is the lacking piece. Adams doesn’t want to hit for plenty of energy. He simply wants to put the ball in play extra. His elite velocity will help in making his offense extra priceless. The strikeouts stay an enormous hindrance.
“Now it’s simply being on time,” Adams stated. “Having the ability to deal with any pitch within the zone, stuff like that. I simplified my swing. Reduce loads of fats out of my swing. I really feel nice about it. I really feel assured as properly.”
The swing change that Adams alluded to has been an ever-present a part of his improvement. Prospect skilled Keith Regulation wrote in The Athletic final month that Adams’ swing may be very inconsistent, generally shifting inside a sport from at-bat to at-bat.
Adams stated he truly most popular hitting in Double A as a result of pitchers have a tendency to be extra across the plate. He did have a better OPS in Double A, and his year-over-year strikeout numbers declined final season, although stay fairly excessive.
Adams has gotten a few appears as a alternative in spring coaching video games this camp, his first on the major-league aspect. He’ll probably get some begins within the outfield when different regulars go away to compete within the World Baseball Basic.
“I simply need to see him play,” stated Angels supervisor Phil Nevin. “I do know he’s athletic, he’s gifted. He wants to play. Our (participant improvement) employees has performed a extremely good job with him. I feel he’s studying so much this spring, being round some actually good gamers. I like him. I just like the power.”
When Adams appears again on his 2018 resolution now, he stated it wasn’t a tough one, a “no-brainer.” Definitely not as difficult as he believes some have made it out to be.
As he stated earlier this week and has stated quite a few occasions earlier than, baseball was his first sport. The primary sport he liked. A sport he began taking part in at simply 3 years outdated.
It’s additionally a sport that he hopes to play on the highest degree. However questions stay over whether or not he can put all these tools together and truly make it occur.
“Going by the tough phases, at first, coming into professional ball, was form of laborious,” Adams stated. “As a result of I’m not used to actually struggling like that. I feel that helped me develop as a participant, to the participant I’m at the moment.”
(Prime photograph of Adams: Mark J. Rebilas / USA In the present day)