Getting to know your prospects: Austin Adams
JUL 20, 2013 11:08a ET
Name: Austin Adams
Position: Right-handed reliever
Team: Double-A Akron Aeros
2013 Stats: 0-1, 2.48 ERA, 29 G, 36.1 IP, 29 H, 12 R (10 ER), 2 HR, 20 BB, 50 K, .216 BAA
Facts & Info: The Indians selected Adams in the fifth round of the 2009 draft out of Faulkner University in Alabama. He was originally drafted as a shortstop in the 27th round of the 2008 draft by the Milwaukee Brewers. In 2009, he was an honorable mention NAIA All-American.
The Stuff: Adams features a very good fastball-curveball combination and also mixes in a slider and changeup. His plus-plus fastball has good movement and life and he works it well down in the zone. It sits comfortably at 93-96 MPH and has topped out at 100 MPH. His plus power curveball is his go-to secondary pitch as he commands it well and it has good shape. The slider and changeup are still developing and are used mostly to attack lefties.
The Delivery: Adams has a great feel for his natural delivery and repeats it well by using his athleticism, strong lower half and lots of arm strength to attack hitters from a small, compact position. His delivery allows for him to have power to his stuff and to throw strikes, and when his delivery is off he does a good job of making in-game adjustments to get his delivery and command back on line.
The Intangibles: Adams is a converted shortstop who has made big strides in his transition to the mound at the professional level. He is a highly competitive pitcher who is very aggressive, pitches without fear and goes right after hitters, but off the mound he is a quiet, low-key player who is disciplined in his work. He has good makeup and is a good guy in the clubhouse.
The Focus: Last season Adams was shut down early in spring training with right shoulder soreness, and ultimately he had surgery on his shoulder and missed the entire season. He has since come back completely healthy this season and had no issues, though he will need to continue to prove his health. He needs to work on improving his fastball command, developing his changeup, and getting quicker with his delivery out of the stretch to better control the running game.
The Future: The shoulder injury and subsequent surgery was a blow to both Adams and the Indians last season as there was some belief he could have helped the major league club at some point last season. Now that he is healthy, he has a great chance to make good on that opportunity. He is now viewed as a bullpen option only as his starting days are over, and he has a chance to be a good middle reliever in the big leagues, maybe even as soon as by the end of this season.
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