Today, we’ll continue the series profiling the Yankees top minor league prospects with Chance Adams, Starting Pitcher.
To begin, how would you like to be the Yankees Number 14 Top Prospect and have a name like Chance Adams. Almost made for Hollywood already, huh?
Chance Adams is a strapping 6′ 195lb right hand starting pitcher who was drafted by the Yankees in the 15th round of the 2015 draft from Dallas Baptist University. Only 22, he began the 2016 season with A+ Tampa but quickly progressed to AA Trenton, where he compiled a record of 8-1. Between the two teams, he went 13-1 with a sparkling 2.33 ERA and 144 strikeouts in 127 innings.
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According to MLB.com, Adams usually pitched at 92-94 mph and maxed out at 96 while in college, but his fastball has jumped up to 94-96 and hit 98 since he turned pro.
Summarizing his overall talent, they add:
“While Adams has a deep enough repertoire to start, he’s not a big guy and it remains to be seen how his health and stuff would hold up with a significantly bigger workload. His aggressive mentality is probably better suited for a relief role. If New York keeps him in the bullpen, he could shoot quickly through the Minors.”
Projecting him as a reliever who can throw strikes may or may not be in the Yankees plan for him. That could depend on what the need is when he is ready for the big club, as well as how the 2017 season goes with the development (or lack thereof) of starters like Luis Severino, Bryan Mitchell, and Luis Cessa.
And if the Yankees do intend on making him a reliever, you would think the time is now to begin the conversion from a starter to pitching out of the bullpen. However, Adams did work both sides while in college.
But more than anything I found researching this piece is more profound than what a National League scout said to NJ Advance Media Yankees beat reporter Randy Miller about Adams while watching him develop last season:
“He’s the best-kept secret in baseball I saw a first-round pick who got $4 million the other night and [he wasn’t very good], then I see this Adams kid who goes in the fifth round and I see a guy who can be a No. 2 starter in the big leagues. I saw him this year against the best team in the Florida State League and the best team in the Eastern League and he worked a bunch of shutout innings. In the first game, he sat at 95-96 (mph) and the other night I saw him sitting at 95, he touched 96 and he hit one 97 in the sixth inning with a high pitch count. I think he might have a plus-curveball, a plus slider, a plus changeup and he’s a hard worker who is strong as a bull.”