Adam Engel

Engel AFL close-up
Position: OF
Born: 12/9/91
Ht: 6'1" Wt: 215 B-T: R-R
Acquired: Drafted 19th Round in 2013 from Louisville
Career Stats

FutureSox Prospect Rankings

  • #22 - 2014 Preseason
  • #22 - 2014 Midseason
  • #24 - 2015 Preseason
  • #22 - 2015 Midseason
  • #8 - 2016 Preseason
  • #10 - 2016 Midseason
  • #16 - 2017 Preseason

FutureSox Media

Accolades

  • 2015 Carolina League Best Baserunner, and Fastest Baserunner, Baseball America
  • 2015 14th best prospect in the Carolina League, per Baseball America
  • 2015 Arizona Fall League "Fall Star"
  • 2015 Arizona Fall League MVP
  • Best defensive outfielder in the White Sox system, 2016 post-season (Baseball America)

Scouting report

Engel is a speedster that signed for over-slot money in the 19th round 2013. His $100,000 bonus isn't big money, but it's notable for a 19th rounder and closer to a 10th or 11th round level. After a strong showing in Great Falls his draft year, Engel posted less than stellar numbers at both levels of A ball in 2014, striking out 23.6% of the time but stealing a lot of bases (37/49 SB/ATT) and hitting 11 home runs. In 2015 he posted a .251/.335/.369 line with a whopping 65 steals in 76 attempts, and lowered his whiff rate a bit to 21.7%. The numbers did improve notably late in the year, which may have hinted at what was next. Engel did so well in the Arizona Fall League that year (.403/.523/.642, 10 SB in 19 games) that he won the league's MVP award. Engel opened 2016 with AA Birmingham, but struggled mightily and seemed to be hesitant to swing the bat (.170/.314/.310, 19 BB, 28 K in 124 PA). He was demoted back to Winston-Salem, did well there, came back up to AA and did much better (.296/.372/.461, 20 BB, 42 K in 233 PA as of July 17th) before being promoted to AAA on July 18th. In Charlotte he struggled to a .242/.298/.369 line and struck out 50 times in 161 PA. In 2017, after posting an oddly stilted .218/.312/.461 line in 46 games, he was promoted to the White Sox where he surpassed rookie eligibility.

Normally a 19th-rounder with Engel's performance per level and age wouldn't get much attention. And one (very) strong AFL performance shouldn't move the needle much. The reason he's been a Top 30 prospect for a couple years now is almost entirely about his tools. Engel has true plus-plus speed, a strong arm and elite athleticism. He's gotten body comps to Mike Trout, and he's got enough strength that some scouts see latent power potential he's yet to tap into. Defensively, he's a true center fielder who tracks well, has the speed to cover a lot of ground and a very good arm, so that's already a foundation to work from. The question is, can he hit and/or get on base enough to make his speed provide value? He shows some patience at the plate, so it's really about the hit tool. His bat speed sometimes seems slow for someone with his strength, and his swing gets long at times, but when he's more compact he can make loud contact. Consistency has been a battle for Engel. K-rates above 20% can be indicative of an issue, but his rates have been going down consistently (until his time in AAA in 2016).

Major League Outlook: Speedy center fielder or 4th OF
ETA: 2017-2018

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