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Angels draftee Adell likely to pass on college baseball

Outfielder is excited to start his professional career

When Jordon “Jo” Adell left for New York over the weekend to attend the 2017 MLB draft, he didn’t know whether his immediate future would be playing college baseball or starting his professional career. Shortly after landing home in Louisville, Kentucky, late Tuesday morning less than 12 hours after being selected by the Los Angeles Angels with the 10th pick of the first round, Adell’s life appeared to have a bit more clarity.

“I’m excited to be with the Angels,” Adell said from Louisville. “I can’t wait — when my time comes — to make it out there and help them win some championships.”

Adell was the fifth of 11 high school players taken in the first round of Monday’s opening rounds of the MLB draft. The assigned signing bonus for the 10th pick is $4.3 million.

Major League Baseball commissioner Robert D. Manfred Jr. (center) poses for a photo with first-round picks (from left) Jordon Adell, Hunter Greene, Trevor Rogers and Bubba Thompson during the 2017 Major League Baseball draft at Studio 42 at the MLB Network on June 12 in Secaucus, New Jersey.

Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Other notable players selected in the first round include:

  • Royce Lewis (first pick, Minnesota Twins): The Twins intend to groom Lewis as a shortstop, even though he also played in the outfield at JSerra Catholic High School in California. He hit .377 with four homers and 25 stolen bases last season.
  • Hunter Greene (second pick, Cincinnati Reds): Greene, 17, was a flame-throwing pitcher and power-hitting shortstop at Notre Dame High School in California. He’s expressed a desire to play center field as a professional.
  • Jeren Kendall (23rd pick, Los Angeles Dodgers): Kendall hit .312 with 15 homers at Vanderbilt, where he was a swift-footed center fielder.
  • Bubba Thompson (26th pick, Texas Rangers): A two-sport star at McGill-Toolen High School in Alabama, Thompson has multiple college offers to play both football and baseball.

Adell led the nation in homers (25) last season at Ballard High School, where he spurned offers to play both basketball and football. The outfielder received a scholarship offer from the University of Louisville after his freshman year of high school and held that as an option until the draft. Asked Tuesday whether there would be a possibility of playing college baseball, Adell said, “Probably not.”

The Angels had Adell in for a workout last week. “That was the first time I met with them, and I got good vibes from everyone there,” Adell said. “They gave me the feeling that they always wanted me, and that makes me excited.”

After his name was called, Adell hugged his family and then put on an Angels jersey and team hat. Asked during the MLB draft telecast what the Angels were getting in a player, Adell responded confidently: “They’re getting a full package, I believe. I’m just looking forward to going to work and getting after it.”

Before he gets to work with the Angels, Adell planned to spend the rest of his Tuesday meeting up with friends in Louisville. Later this week, Adell, his parents and his sister will fly east for a family vacation and celebration in North Carolina.

“We’re going to have a little party,” Adell said. “I’m sure I’ll be in Los Angeles soon. This is great. This has been incredible for me.”

Jerry Bembry is a senior writer at Andscape. His bucket list items include being serenaded by Lizz Wright and watching the Knicks play a MEANINGFUL NBA game in June.