The New York Yankees have done a great job at adding outside minor league talent through trades in recent years. One guy they actually drafted who is off to a phenomenal start in 2017 is pitching prospect Chance Adams. After five starts, the fifth round draft pick looks like a future star and someone who deserves a promotion.
Adams is currently playing in Double-A for the Trenton Thunder. His 4-0 record is great, but even better is the 0.64 ERA that goes along with it. Adams has allowed just two earned runs all season and is giving up less than five hits per nine innings. Surely, this amazing performance takes away any questions as to why he is one of their best pitching prospects.
The 22-year-old righty is different from many other notable Yankees prospects. Unlike Gleyber Torres, Clint Frazier, or Justus Sheffield he was actually drafted by the Yankees. Since debuting in 2015, it has looked like a great decision.
Adams has an amazing 20-2 record in professional baseball to go with a stellar 1.98 ERA. Last season, he combined to go 13-1 between High Single-A and Double-A. It’s a little odd for him to remain in Double-A this season as he delivered a 2.07 ERA in almost 70 innings last year with Trenton. A call-up to Triple-A should be imminent at this point as Adams clearly deserves to face tougher hitters.
Not everything in Adams’ game is perfect. He does have a surprisingly high walk ratio this season at 4.2 per nine. His strikeout numbers are also down. However, he’s still fanning batters at a rate of 8.7 per nine. This is only slightly below the career total of 10.2 per nine he has averaged over the last three seasons.
No matter how well he pitches, the Yankees’ Triple-A squad may have trouble making room for Adams. They have several starting pitchers posting good numbers. Many are guys the Yankees would likely want to call-up should they require an emergency start. Adams is not currently on the 40-man roster so for him to leapfrog Triple-A is highly unlikely.
If Adams continues to pitch like this, the Yankees will have to see how far he can take this hot streak. His worst ERA at any level is 3.09. He has been consistently terrific at all levels. Now it’s just a matter of the Yankees allowing him to get to the next step.
Since the Yankees are having such an amazing year and actually competing, it will be tougher for younger players to get a chance. Even so, Adams does not need a call-up to the big leagues yet. All he requires is a much-needed promotion to Triple-A. Clearly, he has graduated beyond facing Double-A hitters.