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    Angels’ Jordyn Adams: ‘I probably wasn’t ready’ for big-league debut
    • March 13, 2024

    TEMPE, Ariz. — Jordyn Adams’ dream came true when he reached the big leagues, but it quickly became a nightmare.

    Adams, who had been known as an outstanding defender, misplayed a fly ball and made three bad throws in his first big-league game in August in Atlanta. He also went hitless in four at-bats, with two strikeouts.

    Now, the Angels’ 24-year-old prospect can look back on his big-league debut and appreciate what was missing.

    “Mentally, I probably wasn’t ready for that,” Adams said this week. “It probably showed. But now I’m ready for anything.”

    Angels manager Ron Washington, who was the Braves’ third base coach when Adams made his debut, said he sees a different player now.

    “He finally matured,” Washington said. “The first time I saw him, he couldn’t hit a cutoff man. The first time I saw him, he got a ball and didn’t know where to throw it. Now, he’s learning the game.”

    Adams, who was optioned earlier this week, doesn’t have a spot in the Angels’ short-term plans because the outfield is crowded with Mike Trout, Taylor Ward, Jo Adell, Mickey Moniak and Aaron Hicks.

    In the long run, though, Adams could still work his way into a role.

    Adams hit .128 in the majors, with no extra-base hits. He hit 15 home runs with an .817 OPS last season at Triple-A.

    Adams said he’s been working on his defense and making more consistent contact. He struck out in 16 of his 40 plate appearances in the big leagues, and his 27% strikeout rate in the minors is also high.

    “As long as I get a good swing off, that’s the main part for me,” Adams said. “Last year, I was getting in position to not even get a good swing off.”

    Part of that involves “simplifying” his mechanics and turning back to his athleticism, Adams said.

    “Most guys when they get to pro ball, you try to change stuff and tweak stuff and just fit in,” Adams said. “But at the end of the day, you are yourself. Athleticism is my best tool, so I just tried to put myself in that position to let that come out and show.”

    Washington said there’s still more to come in that respect.

    “He’s got a little baby body,” Washington said of Adams, who is listed at 6-foot-2, 180 pounds. “He’s not a man yet. I told him that. He’s still got some shoulders to get. He’s still got some chest to get. He’s still got some legs to get. And he’s still got some knowledge he’s got to pick up. When all that comes together, he’s gonna be dangerous.”

    The knowledge comes with comfort in the big leagues, which Adams admittedly lacked last year, but not now.

    “The nerves are gone,” he said. “The butterflies are done. Now, it’s time to go out and perform.”


    Third baseman Cole Fontenelle, who was drafted last year, remains in big-league camp, even though almost all of the prospects who aren’t in the immediate major-league plans have now been sent to the minors.

    “If I was a betting man, I would have told you no,” Fontenelle said when asked if he expected to be around this long. “But I’m super grateful for every day here. I’m just trying to take advantage of it.”

    Washington said Fontenelle’s continued presence in big-league camp is because infield coach Ryan Goins wants to keep working with him.

    “He’s made tremendous strides in his game,” Washington said. “Ryan wanted to keep hitting him till he can’t keep him anymore.”

    Fontenelle, 22, was the Angels’ seventh-round draft pick out of Texas Christian University last year. A switch hitter, Fontenelle hit .261 with a .738 OPS last summer in two Class-A stops. He has played in 13 major-league games this spring, with three hits in 22 at-bats.


    Trout, third baseman Anthony Rendon and right-hander Griffin Canning remained in Tempe to get their work done while many of their teammates made the hourlong intrastate trip to Surprise for the game against the Kansas City Royals.

    Canning pitched five innings in the intrasquad game, allowing only one run on a Trout homer. Trout came to the plate five times, and he also reached on a walk.

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    Rendon had a single to right field and an infield hit in three plate appearances. He also made a nice play charging a chopper to third.

    Aaron Hicks also played in the game, after being scratched from Monday’s lineup with what the Angels described as “body soreness.”


    Infielder Michael Stefanic (quad) resumed running Wednesday after taking a couple of days off because he wasn’t feeling as good as he’d hoped. Stefanic has continued to hit and do defensive work. …

    Stefanic’s injury, and the recent demotion of Kyren Paris, has brought some clarity to the race for the final position player spot on the Opening Day roster. Infielders Livan Soto, Ehire Adrianza and Miguel Sanó are the remaining candidates for the job. Of those three, Soto is the only one on the 40-man roster. …

    Torii Hunter made his first appearance of the spring as a special instructor Wednesday.

    ​ Orange County Register