Four years ago, Jo Adell was just a freshman at Ballard High School in Louisville, Kentucky trying to make a name for himself and his city on the baseball field.
Now fast-forward to the present and Adell has taken his name to new heights after being drafted 10th overall in the 2017 MLB draft. A feat not many can accomplish without playing college ball.
But Adell was confident in his God-given talents from the get-go.
“I first recognized I had a shot to play professionally during my sophomore year of high school,” he said. “After I got that first year under my belt playing at the varsity level I just took it and ran with it. I wanted to be the best I could possibly be. I took my role on the field and just knew that if I kept focusing, anything was possible for me.”
Some days, this focus meant dedicating three to four hours outside of school and practice to working on his hitting, strength, and speed.
Learning From The Best
Adell grew up alongside a number of athletes. His sister is a former high school softball player and track and field athlete at the University of Louisville while his father is a retired professional football player.
“The biggest influence in my life growing up was definitely my father,” Adell said. “He played college and professional football, and just his mindset, what he instilled in me, just to go after it — I definitely took that and ran with it.”
Along with his family, the city of Louisville also played a big role in Adell’s life as a kid.
He said the city had his back from the beginning, whether it was in baseball or his personal life. Not only did the community recognize his talents early on, but the locals supported him along his journey through high school by showing up to his games and giving him the extra push he needed.
This push was necessary as Adell worked his way through high school and travel baseball, playing in front of a number of collegiate and pro scouts. Adell credits his travel team coach for helping him get all that recognition.
“My travel ball coach Jeff Petty really allowed me to put my face on a national stage. He always had a top-of-the-line, best travel ball team in the country,” He said. “And you know pro scouts are going to show up for that and draw a lot of attention.”
But Adell’s relationship with his coach ran deeper than just on the baseball diamond. Petty not only thought highly of Adell as a five-tool outfielder, but he also believed who Adell was off the diamond played a role into getting him where he is today.
“My favorite aspect of Jo’s game is how great of a human being he is,” Petty said. “He is a standout on the baseball field in every way, but one thing that stands out for me is how good of person Jo is to the core. He is the type of person that is going to be a great member of society and help others for a long time.”