Jo Adell discusses adjustments from high school to pro ball
Jason Frakes/The Courier-Journal
Each time Jo Adell returns to Louisville, there’s one, admittedly unconventional, stop he and his family make.
It’s at Red Robin, the burger chain restaurant, at the urging of his dad — probably because of the bottomless french fries.
“Every time I come back in town, he wants to hear about the trip, and that’s just where we go,” the 19-year-old Los Angeles Angels prospect said Thursday. “We have fun with that. A lot of memories there.”
The former Ballard High star and his family will have a lot to talk about as he prepares for his second annual Jo Adell Baseball Camp on Oct. 13 and 14.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” Adell said of the camp. “The big thing that I’m trying to get out of this camp is to show all the kids that anything is possible, and that with effort and the right staff around you, anything is possible.”
Adell will be joined for the two-day camp by a fellow 19-year-old super prospect: Cincinnati Reds pitcher Hunter Greene. The two met when they were 14 years old and were both selected in the top 10 of the 2017 MLB draft.
“He’s a really good friend, and an unbelievable talent. … It’s going to be great to have him around,” Adell said of Greene, who can throw as fast as 103 miles per hour.
Adell’s return to Louisville will also provide him the opportunity to catch up with his high school baseball coach, David Trager.
Trager admitted that it was hard sometimes stay a coach and not be a fan after watching Adell as a high schooler. He chalked his success up to his professional approach to baseball, adding that there’s “no doubt he’s going to do some special things.”
“He genuinely loves it,” Trager said. “Having a kid that approached the game in such a professional way at a such young age was pretty special for me to see. You accompany that with his talents and his abilities and you know there was something special there.”
Trager said the fact he even holds the camp “speaks volumes to what kind of kid he is.”
“He’s got such a great heart and I couldn’t be more proud of him,” Trager said, adding that Adell donated jerseys and cleats to the Bruins baseball team after he was drafted. “I’m excited to see him grow and mature and be the best player he can be.”
Adell started his 2018 season with the Class-A Burlington Bees before earning two promotions up to the Double-A Mobile BayBears. His performance earned him several accolades, including an invitation to the prestigious Futures Game, where he batted leadoff and went 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI.
Before that game, Adell said he received a call from Angels’ outfielder and two-time American League Most Valuable Player, Mike Trout, who told him he was proud of him. Adell said he tries to model his approach to the game after the seven-time All-Star.
“The guy soaks every part of the game up, comes to the field every day with the same mindset,” he said. “He erases the past and just keeps moving forward. … You never seem him throw a helmet, never see him act a fool.”
Adell said the Angels haven’t told him where he’ll start next season, but want him to increase his versatility in the outfield, so that he can play alongside Trout, a centerfielder. Adell said he’s working on developing an offseason routine, and he’ll focus on consistency, as well as improvements to his base-running and fielding.
Asked how he is handling the increased hype, Adell said it’s easy to ignore during the season because he’s out late playing baseball and back at it again early the next day.
“Regardless of how well you’re playing, how poor you’re playing, there’s not a whole lot of time to look at stuff on the outside,” he said. “We come here every single day and be the best that we can be and learn the game and everything else will take care of itself.”
Jo Adell’s Louisville Baseball Camp
When: Oct. 13 and 14 at Ballard High, 6000 Old Brownsboro Road.
What: Campers will receive instruction from Jo Adell, Hunter Greene and local coaches.
Who: The camp will be broken into two sessions: Grades 5-8 from 8 a.m. to noon, and Grades 9-12 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
How much: $125 per camper. Donations for scholarships also accepted.
Information: Registration and more information can be found at www.ballardbruinsbaseball.com.