Continuing our series of 2017 MLB draft profiles, we turn our attention today to Jordon Adell, a high school outfielder from Ballard High School in Louisville, Kentucky. Three months ago he was considered a lock for the early part of the first round. That’s still possible, but as draft season enters the stretch run, his status is a bit unclear. Let’s take a look.
Adell has been on the scouting radar quite awhile, attending various showcases and drawing particular notice during the Area Code Games in 2016. He is a top-caliber recruit who had his pick of baseball schools including Louisiana State until settling on the hometown University of Louisville Cardinals. He’s been on “possible first round 2017 picks lists” for years.
He is listed at 6-3, 205, a right-handed hitter and thrower, born April 8th, 1999, just turning 18 earlier this month.
Do you like speed? Adell a 70 runner, timed at 6.19 in the 60-yard dash by Perfect Game. Do you like arm strength? He’s been clocked at 95-97 MPH. Do you like power? He has excellent bat speed and gets 55-60 grades for his raw power. Do you like makeup? He’s got a strong reputation there, too. Do you like numbers? He hit .512 with 10 homers in his first 16 games this spring.
He passes the subjective eye-test with ease: just look at the videos linked below and tell me that this guy doesn’t ooze talent. This is an early first-round physical package, no question.
For all his obvious talent and dominance this spring, Adell’s position in the draft remains a bit uncertain.
He has not always hit well against good competition, struggling to convert the bat speed into consistent production, and there’s some doubt about his ability to recognize quality breaking balls. Optimists feel this will be cleaned up with pro instruction and simple experience. Given his age and his work ethic, there is plenty of time for that to happen. Pessimists point to the long history of tool-laden outfielders who never convert their tools into skills.
It isn’t fair to hold the failure of other players against Adell of course, but it does raise just enough doubt to perhaps keep him from the very earliest picks in the draft. He’s still a good bet for the first round however.
Baseball America video
Baseball Rebellion swing breakdown
This Baseball America video is from 2015. You can see how he’s matured physically.