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Angels

Angels prospect Jo Adell selected for Olympic baseball qualifying team

Angels prospect Jo Adell bats against the Kansas City Royals during a spring training game March 7.
Angels prospect Jo Adell bats against the Kansas City Royals during a spring training game March 7.
(Matt York / Associated Press)

Top Angels prospect Jo Adell will be part of the United States team that tries to qualify for the first Olympic baseball tournament since 2008.

The 20-year-old outfielder, who was selected 10th overall in the 2017 draft, will play under U.S. manager Joe Girardi at the World Baseball Softball Confederation Premier12 in November.

The global tournament, where the top nation from North and South America will qualify for the Tokyo Summer Olympics, begins with a Nov. 2 matchup between the Netherlands and the U.S. in Guadalajara. The full schedule can be found at premier12.wbsc.org.

Adell will have his hands full until then. He has spent the last month playing in the Arizona Fall League, which is widely considered a finishing school for baseball’s top prospects. After only one hit in 24 at-bats to start in Arizona, he was named a league All-Star on Tuesday. He was also named hitter of the week after batting .462 with one home run, three doubles, five RBIs and four runs scored for the Mesa Solar Sox in four games last week. He also walked three times and stole a base.

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Adell has charted a meteoric rise through the Angels minor league system since being drafted out of Ballard High in Louisville, Ky. He reached their double-A affiliate by the end of his first full season in 2018 and made it to triple-A in August. His arrival at the top level of the minor leagues might have come sooner if he had not missed 10 weeks because of hamstring and ankle injuries sustained in a spring training game in early March.

Despite the setback, Adell hit .289 with 27 doubles, 10 homers and 36 RBIs in 76 games this season.

Although there is a likely chance the Angels decide to promote their top minor leaguer next season, Adell does not have to be added to their 40-man roster until he is on the cusp of making his major league debut.

His exclusion from their roster made him eligible for a spot on the qualifying team. No players from MLB 40-man rosters are eligible for Premier12, according to USA Baseball.

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The 2020 Olympic field will include six nations, down from eight at the 2008 Beijing Games.

The Angels interviewed Joe Maddon on Monday but Buck Showalter and John Farrell also have emerged as candidates to be the team’s next manager.


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