Jo Adell believes success in baseball comes down to finding a good rhythm. If that is the case, he was grooving and shaking Friday night.
The top Angels prospect went yard and added a pair of base hits to set the tempo in Class A Advanced Inland Empire's 7-1 win over Rancho Cucamonga at LoanMart Field.
Gameday box score
It was Adell's first three-hit outing since being promoted to the California League on May 22. In 16 games with the 66ers, baseball's 53rd-ranked prospect is 15-for-69 with nine extra-base hits -- including four dingers -- 10 RBIs, 10 runs and four stolen bases.
"The big thing for me is to stay in rhythm," the 19-year-old said. "I understand now that I'm at the next level, there's going to be fewer pitches to drive. So it's really important that no matter who the pitcher is, whether it's BP or practice or a game, to stay in rhythm with him. It's big for me. It helps my timing, it allows me to be ready … everything comes into play when I'm in rhythm.
"I know where I want the ball, and once it gets through that tunnel, I'm ready to attack."
Batting second in the order Friday, Adell turned around the first pitch he saw from righty Isaac Anderson (1-5) in the opening frame and hit a ground ball into left field. Three batters later, he came around to score on a fielder's choice to the shortstop by Roberto Baldoquin.
In the next inning, last year's No. 10 overall pick squared up a 1-2 pitch and drilled it into center to set Inland Empire up with runners on the corners and one out. After stealing second and advancing to third on a throwing error by catcher Connor Wong, theNo. 14 Dodgers prospect, Adell scampered home on a wild pitch by Anderson.
After striking out in the fourth, the Louisville native fouled off a pair of pitches from right-hander Marshall Kasowski and then didn't miss a 2-2 fastball that he deposited over the wall in right-center for a solo shot in the sixth
"Every situation is different. You never know when your pitch is going to happen," Adell said. "In the first inning, it was the first pitch, and on the home run, I worked the count to get the pitch that I wanted in that zone. That's what it's all about, being in rhythm. You sit there and read the pitcher and read the pitch, and if I get the ball in my zone, not to miss it. You can't hit everything, so you have to simplify it to what you want."
Southpaw Logan Salow struck out Adell looking to the end the eighth, but the three-hit performance by the right fielder raised his average 29 points to .217 in the Cal League.
"Guys are a little older here and the speed of the game is a tick up now," Adell said. "Things are happening faster and I need to speed my game up. I still have to stay in my zone but bring the speed up a little.
"Pitchers are competing in the zone more. They can locate the fastball better, no one is leaving anything really over the plate here. So it's all about do what you can with what you get and that's been my goal from the moment I got here."
Right-handed reliever Blake Smith (1-0) entered the game in the fifth and allowed a run on three hits and a walk over 2 2/3 innings. Third-ranked Jahmai Jones and Baldoquin chipped in a pair of RBIs apiece for the 66ers.