Vladimir Guerrero, Jr., and Jo Adell are among the top prospects in baseball, but both players are going to be on the shelf for the rest of spring training, and in the case of Adell, well into the season.
Guerrero, the Toronto Blue Jays prospect who is thought to be major league ready, and is considered by some the top prospect in the game, has suffered an oblique injury that will sideline him for the next several weeks. Adell, meanwhile, wiped out while running the bases yesterday, and an MRI has revealed a grade 2 right ankle sprain and a grade 1 left hamstring strain, his team, the Los Angeles Angels, announced today, and will be out for 10-12 weeks.
The injury to Guerrero, a third baseman, allows the Jays to avoid having to deal with the fallout of leaving him in the minors for the first couple of weeks of the season for what would be rather transparently for service time reasons, but which the team would have to spin as being for baseball-related reasons. This anticipated move has already drawn the ire of many who feel such manipulations violate the spirit of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and the legitimacy of the game, since a team is choosing not to put a player capable of being a major league regular on their roster, choosing to be weaker in the short term in order to gain an addition year of team control in 2025.
The injury means that Guerrero won’t be ready to start the season, and thus can go to the minors for a few weeks, and then get called up later in April with the Jays gaining the extra year of team control without the awkwardness of having to contrive an explanation that wouldn’t pass the smell test.
As for Adell, the Angels 1st round pick in 2017 was #6 on the Baseball America preseason top 100 and #2 on Baseball Prospectus’s list. The almost-20-year-old outfielder was likely slated to start the year in AA, and could have positioned himself for a potential major league debut at some point in 2019. Now, Adell is likely not going to be playing in game action until June, and potentially slowing his timeline to the majors.