LA Angels: Jo Adell and Trout signal bright future ahead for the team

LA Angels (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
LA Angels (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Top prospect outfielder Jo Adell pairing up with an all-time great in Mike Trout gives the LA Angels an outfield tandem that could become one of the best in baseball for years to come.

The classic baseball film “Angels in the Outfield” now has its real life counterpart.

Nearly 50 years since the release of the first version of the movie in 1951 and 26 years since the 1994 re-make, the LA Angels have developed some gems of their own.

Jo Adell, the organization’s top prospect, made his debut Tuesday night against the Seattle Mariners, playing right field and going 1-for-4 at the plate in the Angels’ win.

He collected his second big league hit on Wednesday night in an Angels’ loss.

Since coming back from the paternity list after the birth of his child, Mike Trout has hit three home runs, a feat of unbelievable dad strength and a microcosm of the talent he flaunts as baseball’s best player.

The Angels might have taken a series from the division rival Mariners, but that’s only a subplot to the much larger, encompassing narrative.

If Mike Trout is Batman, Jo Adell seems ready to be his Robin, and that’s a scary proposition for the rest of baseball.

Following in the long lineage of Angels outfield greats like Tim Salmon, Vladimir Guerrero, Darin Erstad, Garret Anderson, Torii Hunter and Don Baylor, the organization seems to have found their  next dynamic outfield duo of the present and future.

And rarely has Trout had a running mate that can instill fear into opposing pitchers facing the Angels’ lineup, making Adell’s arrival and potential that much more exciting.

The team did sign third baseman Anthony Rendon in free agency, who when healthy, provides an explosive bat behind Trout in the lineup.

Sure, Albert Pujols and Justin Upton have been there also, but they’re just shells of their former selves at this point.

No disrespect to David Fletcher or Brian Goodwin or Tommy LaStella, all of whom are gritty players. However, none of those names would exactly qualify as world beaters either.

Same goes for shortstop and defensive whiz Andrelton Simmons, whose bat usually falls well behind the caliber of his glove.

That’s why a player like Jo Adell has a chance to change the trajectory of the Angels’ organization going forward.

A  .300 hitter in three minor league seasons with an OBP of .361 and an OPS of .878, Adell’s minor league stats are akin to what Trout consistently produces in the big leagues.

Not to mention, both provide exceptional outfield defense, which doesn’t hurt for an Angels pitching staff that still needs improvement.

A second star is the only piece Trout has been missing in his otherwise stellar career to this point.

LeBron James got his second star in Anthony Davis in the last NBA off-season, and the Los Angeles Lakers are now the top seed in the Western Conference in 2020 because of it.

Before Angel fans get too excited, we should caution you that baseball development takes a lot longer than those of the other sports, so don’t expect the Angels to be the top seed in the American League anytime soon.

However, the comparison could eventually ring true, perhaps even in the more immediate future.

For now though, it’s a shame that Los Angeles has mostly wasted prime years of Trout’s career. Since 2012 (the year of Trout’s debut), the team has made the playoffs just once (2014) and finished over .500 in one other season (2015).

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Now with Rendon’s bat secured for the long term and Adell’s tantalizing potential bubbling to the surface, it’s possible the Angels will finally be able to reverse their recent misfortune sooner rather than later, while still taking advantage of Trout’s prime.

An outfield of Jo Adell and Mike Trout is soon to be the envy of the league and primed to be one of the top tandems in the game for years to come.