Frank is on a well-earned vacation, so this is Dan Schneier handling the newsletter this week. One of the 20 best prospects in baseball over the past three seasons on nearly every list has been Angels outfielder Jo Adell. Strikeouts have been the name of his game, and in his first taste of the majors he struggled mightily. We hadn't seen him since until he started to absolutely tear up the minors over the last month. Adell got the call up -- finally -- and picked up right where he left off in the minors on Tuesday. We'll dive into that and more below.
Adell ascends in first game back with the Angels
Angels OF Jo Adell made the most of his return to the majors on Tuesday. In his first game back, the Angels slotted him in the No. 6 hole. Adell responded by going 3 for 4 with one walk, three RBI and a stolen base. That's a box score Fantasy Baseball managers can get behind. This was a very promising debut this season after his notable struggles last year in the majors. He was really hot in Triple-A and has been hitting well all season. This was certainly better than most of the debuts we've seen from top hitters prospects this season. This was the first three-hit game of Adell's young career.
Heading into Tuesday, Adell had this slash line in the minors at Triple-A Salt Lake: .289/.342/.592 with 23 homers and eight stolen bases. He looked overmatched last season during his stay in the majors, but after tearing it up in the minors prior, he's staying hot.
Adell reminds Chris a lot of Byron Buxton as a base stealer. Despite not having huge stolen base numbers in the minors, he has the skill set to grab more moving forward. Towers sees him as a 25/15 (homer/steal) type prospect and someone who should be added in all five OF leagues. Scott even added it's never wrong to take a chance on upside and that means he's likely worth pursuing in leagues where you only need to start three OF.
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Gil dominant in MLB debut
Yankees SP Luis Gil made a surprise start for New York on Tuesday after Gerrit Cole was unexpectedly forced to miss his scheduled start after landing on the COVID IL. With Jordan Montgomery also on the COVID IL, the Yankees called up Gil from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and the 23-year-old was borderline dominant against the Orioles. In a decisive 13-1 victory for the Yankees, Gil delivered six scoreless frames. Gil allowed just four hits and walked one batter while punching out six.
Gil's struggles in the minors have typically related to his high walk rate (he walked 160 batters in 268 minor league innings including 36 in 61 innings this season). That wasn't the case at all in his Yankees debut. He also had only pitched six innings or more in two of his 15 minor league starts this year. That also wasn't an issue for Gil on Tuesday. After the game, the Yankees returned Gil to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, but given their issues in the rotation this season, this might not be the last we've seen of him in 2021.
Gil has a big arm and his stuff measures up. He hit 98.5 on his fastball and it's a high spin fastball with over 2400 rpm. If he sustains that, it will be one of the highest spin fastballs in the majors. He has a slider and changeup, so it's easy to buy into his well-rounded arsenal. The big issue here is that he's been so inconsistent in the minors. Scott is hesitant to take a flyer on Gil because it seems unlikely he'll be able to find a consistent spot in the rotation. On one hand, Domingo German could be on the shelf for some time, but on the flip side Luis Severino is getting even closer to returning -- and that could shut the door entirely on Gil's chances of sticking in the rotation.
More news and notes
- White Sox OF Eloy Jimenez (groin) was back in the lineup.
- Mets SP Jacob deGrom says his current issue is different from the forearm tightness he felt earlier in the season. He also said he expects to pitch again in 2021.
- Dodgers SS Trea Turner (COVID-19) will join the Los Angeles on Friday, but may not be activated.
- Yankees SP Jordan Montgomery (COVID-19) tested positive.
- Marlins 2B Jazz Chisholm was placed on COVID-19 IL, but we're not sure if he tested positive.
- Red Sox RP Matt Barnes was placed on the COVID-19 list but has tested negative.
- Blue Jays 2B Cavan Biggio was placed on the IL with neck stiffness.
- Dodgers OF Mookie Betts started at 2B for the second straight game.
- Phillies 1B Rhys Hoskins (groin) was back in the lineup.
- Marlins SP Trevor Rogers was placed on the family medical emergency list.
- Rays SP Tyler Glasnow will have Tommy John surgery on Wednesday.
- Royals OF Andrew Benintendi has a left shoulder strain; suffered while stealing a base.
- Rockies SP Kyle Freeland left after being hit by a comebacker on the foot.
- Giants' Tommy La Stella should be back Wednesday, out since May with hamstring issues and then a fractured thumb.
- Mets OF Brandon Nimmo returned to the lineup.
- Royals SP Brad Keller (back) expects to make his next start.
- Astros SP Jose Urquidy (shoulder) will throw off a mound Wednesday or Thursday.
- Yankees 3B Gio Urshela (hamstring) was placed on the IL.
- Blue Jays SP John Axford was placed on the IL with elbow discomfort after his first MLB appearance since 2018.
- The Nationals recalled C Riley Adams, acquired from the Blue Jays for Brad Hand.
Scott White's five players to trade for
These are players Scott thinks you should target before your Fantasy league's trade deadline.
Trevor Story, SS Rockies: Now that he's staying in Coors Fields, breathe a sigh of relief and buy low! The strikeout rate is the same, the exit velocity is normal and so the bounce-back still seems likely to happen even this late into the slump. His expected home runs are 21.6 and he only has 13. That gives you an idea of what kind of turnaround he's capable of moving forward.
Pete Alonso, 1B, Mets: His strikeout rate is down below 20% for the first time in his career. He has a career-high 77% contact rate as well. There's a chance that he can turn what's a mini hot streak right now into a long-lasting one. Scott has moved him into the top five at 1B.
Aaron Nola, SP, Phillies: The home run rate and fly ball rate are both up, but he's done a much better job over the past two starts overcoming this. The key here is that the strikeout rate has been dominant all season. He still has a 4.34 ERA so there's still time to buy low.
Frankie Montas, SP, Athletics: He's headed in a great direction with 20+ swinging strikes in three of his past four starts. His split-finger fastball is back to being dominant and he's pounding it. He doubled his usage of this in the month of July. He has a 57% whiff rate with this pitch despite doubling its usage. We're getting some Kevin Gausman vibes with Montas. He may be living up to the ace everyone thought he was becoming two years ago.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B, Yankees: The key here is that the expected stats say he would have nearly double digit more homers if he had played all of his games with the Yankees this season. He pulls the ball and that will help in his new stadium.