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Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error RANCHO CUCAMONGA — Someday, if Jo Adell becomes a major league star, the journal might be a sought-after piece of baseball memorabilia.Adell, the 10th player selected in the 2017 draft by the Angels out of Ballard High in Louisville, Ky., is laying waste to the Cal League just as he did to the Arizona Rookie League, the Pioneer League and the Midwest League before this. He did go hitless Tuesday night at Rancho Cucamonga, ending an 11-game hitting streak, but the Inland Empire 66ers’ 19-year-old center fielder was hitting .314 in 37 games in the Cal League going into Wednesday’s games, with 10 homers, 24 RBIs, 11 doubles, 2 triples, a .936 OPS and 7 stolen bases in 8 attempts.He has had 12 multi-hit games in the Cal League, and five three-hit games. And before arriving in San Bernardino, he played 24 games at Burlington (Iowa) of the Midwest League with 6 homers, 29 RBIs, 7 doubles, a .300 average and a .979 OPS. Baseball America currently lists him as the Angels organization’s No. 2 prospect, and the only reason he’s not higher is that the magazine still lists Shohei Ohtani as a prospect.There are, of course, Adell’s strikeouts: 45 in 159 at-bats with Inland Empire, 26 in 90 at-bats in Burlington. We’ll get to those. The journal? It is Adell’s method of keeping track of the pitchers he faces and the way they approach him, and it’s indicative of a cerebral approach to hitting.“One of the best things I’ve done,” he said. “Kind of (keep track of) what pitches I saw, where they were located. And before we face a guy that we’ve seen before, I just go back and revisit that and kind of understand what they’re trying to do.“Most of my outs this year have been me getting myself out. The pitcher is trying to execute a pitch, he’s trying to throw something for a reason. So you need to understand why that is.”It could be a baseball time capsule. Who knows? A decade from now, some of the pitchers he’s facing (and chronicling) now might be successful big leaguers themselves.Adell’s baseline approach is to look for location, especially early in counts. When he first moved up to the Cal League, he said, pitchers were challenging him with fastballs, and when he started jumping on those he noticed he was seeing offspeed pitches early and fastballs later in the count. “But I always loved to hit,” he added. “Every team I played for, it would be, ‘We want him to pitch on Sunday but we’ll let him hit through the week.’”Sound familiar, Angels fans? In this case, Adell enjoyed pitching but loved hitting and was willing to give up one to concentrate on the other. Years from now, if the Ohtani experiment is ultimately deemed a success, young players might not have to make that choice.In the meantime, Adell traded a position that treasures strikeouts for one in which they are worrisome. But while the minor league analysts wonder if those strikeout totals portend difficulty when Adell gets to higher levels, he sees them as the cost of doing business.“I say this before a game: Even if I get fooled on a pitch or I swing at a pitch that’s out of the zone, I’m not going to sacrifice a good swing just to hit the ball,” he said. “I could go into a game and just try to make contact, right? But when I get in the box I’m trying to do damage, and you’re going to get some swings and misses.“I’ve watched big league games this year where guys have gotten down in the count quickly and hit home runs, and it’s because they trusted their swing. … I’m going to put up my best swing every single time. And if things don’t fall my way, if I strike out, then it’s part of the game.”I believe that approach is known as “high risk, high reward.” It has worked for Adell to this point, and it likely will earn him a promotion to Double-A before this season [email protected]@Jim_Alexander on Twitter Jose Suarez’s rocky start sinks Angels in loss to Astros Angels’ Shohei Ohtani spending downtime working in outfield Angels’ poor pitching spoils an Albert Pujols milestone Angels’ Mike Trout working on his defense, thanks to Twitter Angels offense breaks out to split doubleheader with Astros “For me, the big thing is don’t necessarily assume,” he said. “React.“A lot of times when they say the hitters get fooled, it has to do with the assumption, not the reaction part of the game. That’s what hitting is, reaction. We can sit (on) a pitch, we can think something’s coming, we can have everything the right way – and you get a curveball on a fastball count. You get thrown off, you know? So that’s the big thing: clear-mind it, know what zone I’m looking for, and be a reactionary hitter. And that’s what I’ve done.”There were said to be questions about his ability to hit at the pro level going into the 2017 draft. The foot speed and athletic ability were there in a 6-foot-3, 205-pound package, and he projected as a superior defensive outfielder, whether it be in center (his preferred position) or a corner spot.And consider: He could have been drafted as a pitcher, which might be part of the reason the chess match between hitter and pitcher intrigues him so. He was primarily a pitcher through the end of his junior year at Ballard.“Good fastball, could get up in the mid-90s, upper-90s from time to time, slider,” was Adell’s scouting report on himself.Related Articles
And USA shared the spoils in an entertaining encounter on Tuesday after Oscar Opazo’s ninth-minute equalizer at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston.Berhalter said he would makes changes and he did just that with seven alterations to the starting 11. One was enforced after Schalke midfielder Weston McKennie suffered an ankle injury against Ecuador, though Borussia Dortmund star Pulisic was named in the lineup.WATCH HIM WORK! @cpulisic_10 puts away the opener in Houston! pic.twitter.com/SDGPLa6MGt— U.S. Soccer MNT (@USMNT) March 27, 2019Meanwhile, Chile, who was stunned by Mexico last time out, featured Arturo Vidal, Gary Medel and Mauricio Isla.It was a lively and open start to proceedings, with USA needing just four minutes to break the deadlock against the South American visitors.A delightful one-touch pass from Gyasi Zardes sent Pulisic through and the Chelsea-bound star scooped the ball over Chile goalkeeper Gabriel Arias — becoming the youngest USA international to double figures with his 10th goal.Not since 1983-84 under Alkis Panagoulias had USA kept four consecutive clean sheets to start a coaching tenure and Berhalter’s quest to tie the record was ended by Opazo.Play for the crest.Second half of #USAvCHI underway. Keep it on ESPN2, UniMás, & UDN! pic.twitter.com/aQiuoGSoq2— U.S. Soccer MNT (@USMNT) March 27, 2019Responding well to falling behind, Opazo — unmarked at the back post — fired a powerful shot across Ethan Horvath and into the far corner of the net for his maiden international goal in the ninth minute.Both teams looked threatening but USA was dealt a blow 10 minutes before halftime when Pulisic was substituted hobbling off the ground.Chile gained control as the game wore on but Zardes almost restored USA’s lead 10 minutes into the second half after getting through on goal and creating a chance out of nothing, but his shot went over the bar.What does it mean? USA yet to taste defeatBerhalter’s 100 percent record as head coach came to a halt but the rebuilding Americans continue to move forward. They were forced to play on the counter against an impressive Chile side and managed to make it four games without a loss. Christian Pulisic scored as the United States stayed unbeaten under Gregg Berhalter thanks to a 1-1 international friendly draw against Chile.Pulisic opened the scoring inside four minutes for USA, who had won three successive matches without conceding a goal since Berhalter’s appointment, with a sublime scooped effort before suffering an apparent muscle injury. Zardes cementing his spotThe only player to play in every match since Berhalter’s appointment, Zardes impressed again on Tuesday. The Columbus Crew forward was a nuisance throughout, while he produced the moment of skill to unlock Chile and tee up Pulisic in the first half.Another injuryAfter McKennie was carried off on a stretcher in Orlando, USA star Pulisic was also forced from the field. Pulisic went down and received treatment before being replaced by Sebastian Lletget. It may be precautionary but USA and Dortmund will be sweating over his fitness.What’s next?Attention turns to respective tournaments for USA and Chile. A friendly against Venezuela and another yet to be confirmed will be followed by the start of the CONCACAF Gold Cup in June. Chile, meanwhile, will focus on defending their Copa America crown in Brazil.