BBB 2017 Top Prospect Countdown #8: Chance Adams

After being drafted in the fifth round by the New York Yankees out of Dallas Baptist University, the Yankees may not have expected right-hander Chance Adams to develop into the pitcher he has become. Coming out of high school, Adams has always been a player that has flown under the radar. After spending two seasons at Yavapai Community College in Arizona, Adams transferred to Dallas Baptist, where he was a star out of the bullpen pitching to a 1.98 ERA. Initially drafted as that shut-down reliever, Adams has evolved his stuff into that of a starting pitcher, and his ease into this new role is what is causing him to skyrocket across prospect boards.
Photo Credit: Martin Griff

Breakdown
Drafted as an advanced prospect, the Yankees sent the 20-year-old Adams to Staten Island following the draft. After dominating hitters to a 0.93 ERA in four appearances, Adams was promoted to Charleston, where he continued shutting hitters down. Adams was eventually called up to High-A Tampa where he finished the 2015 season going 3-1 with a 1.87 ERA in 14 games, all out of the bullpen.


Adams entered 2016 as a starting pitcher for the first time since his sophomore year in community college. Starting to season in Tampa, Adams dominated hitters in 12 starts, going 5-0 with a 2.65 ERA. Even after being promoted to Double-A, he continued getting even better, going 8-1 in 13 appearances (12 starts) with a mere 2.07 ERA. He finished 2016 with a remarkable 13-1 record (leading the minors in winning percentage), with a 2.33 ERA, and he also led the minors in batting average against, holding hitters to a .169 average against him. He solidified himself not only as one of the team’s top pitching prospects, but as one of the team’s top prospects. Brian Cashman took notice, and says his rise isn’t by chance.


“It’s early in his pro career, but a lot of people who saw him last year thought he was one of the best pitching prospects in the game,” Cashman said about Adams.


Projection
Initially drafted to be a middle-inning reliever, Adams is now projecting as a solid mid-rotation starter, with a potential to become a team’s number two pitcher in the rotation. Adams’ repertoire consists of a fastball that sits in the mid-90’s, but has reached upwards of 97 MPH. At just 6’0,” 215 pounds, he has very impressive velocity. He also has a “plus” slider giving him a valuable second pitch, and has two above average pitches in his changeup and curveball. His solid command is what allows him to get hitters out at such a high rate. His scouting grades are as follows:

Fastball: 65
Slider: 60
Changeup: 55
Curveball: 50
Control: 55
Overall: 55

His size is reminiscent of Carlos Martinez from St. Louis, but his late-bloomer aspect to his game and his stuff reminds me of Corey Kluber from Cleveland. Adams may not ever become a Cy-Young winner like Kluber, but he has the stuff to excite Yankee fans as this next wave of Yankee prospects ready to make their mark.


Adams will start the season in Triple-A Scranton, on the cusp of making it to the big leagues. In the chips fall in place for him, Adams could be coming out of the Yankee bullpen by this season’s end. With Michael Pineda and CC Sabathia in contract years, and Masahiro Tanaka with an opt-out clause, Adams could very well pitch his way to the big league rotation by next spring.

MLB Comparison: Carlos Martinez

Article by: Chad Raines

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