There’s a lot buzzing around the Ballard baseball program this season, and it’s not coming from a swarm of bees. When you have a high-profile high school senior on your roster, you can expect a lot of attention your way.
Jordon “Jo” Adell, senior outfielder for the Ballard Bruins, has signed a letter of intent to play baseball at the University of Louisville next season, but he will considerably weigh his options in the next few weeks as he has gained much attention from the pro ranks. He is currently projected for the 2017 Major League Baseball draft, and it’s safe to say that either route he chooses to take will be a win-win situation.
“Jordon has been on a lot of guys’ radar since a young age, having the ability that he does, and showing such promise at a young age,” says Ballard Head Coach David Trager. “He went out this past summer and really separated himself and did some special things to get himself in position to be considered one of the best players in the country. It is a credit to him and the hard work he has put in, the dedication he has to this sport and taking care of his body and just giving himself the opportunity to be successful on the baseball field.”
Players coming out of high school can be a part of the MLB draft. It doesn’t mean the player has to go, nor does it mean they will go, therefore Trager says Adell will “sit down with his family and make an educated decision based on what’s presented to them.”
“It is pretty special to have to make that decision in a short period of time,” says Adell, “to be in that situation to have to decide whether or not to play professionally or play in college. But I think the coolest part is that either way it is a good decision. Either way, it is a win-win. Obviously, UofL was something really special to me. I committed really early and all the guys over there were unbelievable. So it was a no-brainer. But we’ll see though and it is a decision that I have to make, and whatever feels right, I’ll know when the time comes.”
One of the strongest abilities Adell brings to the game is his overall power. His ability to explode out of a running stance, his ability to hit for power at the plate and his ability to throw the ball hard are all examples of why he is one of the top players in the nation. Coach Trager adds, “Everything that he does is on a scale that isn’t normally used for high school players. His natural ability to create such energy in those areas is extraordinary.”
Through 20 games this season, he has led Ballard to a 14-6 record. In 16 games, he has had 43 at-bats. He’s gone over the fence for 10 home runs, 25 runs batted in (RBIs) and 22 runs, while batting .512.
Adell credits much of his productivity to patience and maximizing opportunities when at the plate.
“Before the season started, I knew I wasn’t going to try and go out and be Superman. I just had to stay within what I could do. I figured that I wasn’t going to get a ton of pitches to hit during the season like years prior, so it taught me patience at the plate and when I get a pitch that I can handle, that I have to do something with it. I’m not going to get seven or eight pitches to hit every game. I’m not going to get four at-bats every game, so my biggest thing was to capitalize when I got opportunities to drive a ball or get a ball in a zone I can handle.”
Coach Trager says the key at the next level is learning how to use one’s strengths and abilities in the game.
“It has a lot to do with the mental approach as well. Obviously, possessing those abilities is a big part. A lot of people don’t have that ability. God didn’t give them the ability to throw the ball 95 miles per hour. God gave Jordon the opportunity to throw that hard and he worked to achieve that success. It’s about learning how to use those abilities and learning how to mentally prepare and getting himself in the right mind to use those tools to help him to be the most successful player on the field.”
As he prepares for the next level, whether that be collegiately or professionally, Adell says you can expect resemblances in his game to that of Curtis Granderson of the New York Mets, always playing with a smile on his face “to know it’s not only about the game.”
Not a bad comparison, as time may reveal Curtis and Jordon competing on the same field soon. VT