Summer Swing: Two-Way Standouts
September 1, 2016
By Nathan Rode
School is back in session, temperatures are dropping and playoff races are heating up. Despite what the calendar says, summer is essentially over. It was another busy one in the amateur baseball world, filled with big events and highlights from the country’s top prospects. Summer started for me at the conclusion of the 2016 Major League Baseball Draft. After that, I started to look ahead at the Class of 2017 and beyond. The biggest events on my schedule were the Under Armour Classic, Tournament of Stars, Metropolitan Baseball Classic, Under Armour All-America Game, East Coast Professional Showcase, Prep Baseball Report Future Games and Area Code Games.
To wrap up our summer coverage, I’m sifting through all my notes and highlighting some of the standouts. We’ll start with the top two-way players and then look at hitters, pitchers, underclassmen and more over the next couple weeks.
Below are reports on five 2017 prospects that have shown ability on both sides of the ball. Some have a clear future, whether it’s as a hitter or a pitcher. Others, it remains to be seen.
Any stats referenced in the reports are ones that were recorded myself or come from trustworthy sources and don’t include days I was not physically present. Specifically, the schedule didn’t allow for me to see the entirety of East Coast Pro and the Area Code Games.
Jordon Adell, OF/RHP, Ballard HS, KY
One of the better athletes in the 2017 class, Adell looks the part with his 6-foot-3, 200-pound frame. His raw tools are undeniable on offense and defense. He is a plus runner, turning in a 6.4-second 60 at the Tournament of Stars and a 6.56 at East Coast Pro, and shows a plus arm from the outfield. In batting practice, he can put on a show with plus raw power. The Louisville recruit is raw with the bat and was inconsistent in BP sessions throughout the summer, but when he gets his timing down, the ball can fly off his barrel. Between TOS, the Met Classic, East Coast Pro and Area Codes, Adell went 10-for-37 with nine strikeouts. He’s prone to swinging and missing and generally ambushes fastballs on the inner half, but isn’t intimidated by velocity. At the Under Armour Game, he popped out and struck out in his first two at-bats before lining out hard to third base and singling through the left side against 94 and 92 mph fastballs. Given his upside, Adell will likely go out as a hitter, but if his athleticism doesn’t take over and bring polish to his game, he is more than capable of pitching at the next level. He threw sparingly over the summer and was impressive when he did take the hill. He has an easy delivery and a long, live arm action that delivered fastballs at 89-93 at TOS, touching 94. He was erratic in his first outing there, but bounced back and threw more strikes later in the weekend. He has a sharp slider that ranges from 79-84 with swing-and-miss potential. At East Coast Pro, he was 88-92 in an inning of work with a 77-80 slider.