What are the chances? Taking a look into Chance Adams’ role in 2018
Coming into the 2018 season, the Yankees will be faced with some decisions when filling out the back end of their rotation. While the 2017 rotation turned into a cornerstone of the team, the 2018 rotation could have some holes with the potential departures of Michael Pineda, CC Sabathia and Jamie Garcia. While there is still hope that CC can sign with the Yankees and come back for another year, there is no guarantee that he will be the magical finesse pitcher he was in 2017 or that his knee will hold up. There are a couple options out there in free agency with Jake Arietta and Yu Darvish (among others), but true to the new mentality of the Yankees, there is a great young option down in their farm system. That option is Chance Adams.
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Adams was a fifth-round draft selection in 2015 as a reliever, but was converted to a starting pitcher in 2016. He started out in Class-A for the Tampa Yankees and was dominant, going 5-0 with a 2.65 ERA in 12 starts. This led to his promotion to the Double-A affiliate Trenton Thunder, where he started 13 games and went 8-1 with a 2.07 ERA. Going 13-1 with a 2.33 ERA is a hell of a way to start your full season.
In 2017, Adams started the year back in Trenton and in six starts went 4-0 with a 1.03 ERA and struck out 32. Another mid-season promotion landed him in Scranton/Wilkes on the Rail Riders. Here he started 21 games and went 11-5 with a 2.89 ERA with 103 strikeouts. These are very impressive numbers for a 23-year-old going against the highest minor league talent possible. One of the more notable stats from his season was that he never allowed more than five earned runs in a start, something not all starters can say.
While he has not tested his arsenal of pitches in the MLB, scouts praise Adams pitches. He possesses a mid-90s fastball, and a hard, sharp slider alongside a solid changeup, as well as a working curveball. The one knock that Adams has is sometimes his command can be shoddy, as shown by his average of three walks per nine innings. Even with this knock, he has limited the long ball, only allowing 11 home runs to the opposition. With some of the current Yankee starters struggling at times letting up homers, this stat bodes well in Adams favor. In the homer-friendly park that is Yankee Stadium, limiting the damage via the long ball could potentially add a couple to the win column.
Although Chance Adams may be young, he has a body of work that proves he deserves the opportunity to claim a rotation spot. For a team who is built on youth and setup for a long run of relevancy, why not get this guy some MLB experience? He has appeared to reach his ceiling in the minors, and without a call up, he would continue to sit and wait down in Scranton/Wilkes. There is proof on the Yankees roster that taking a chance (pun slightly intended) and throwing the young guys into the fire pays off: Luis Severino and Jordan Montgomery. So, for the Yankees, I believe their best shot is to bring Adams into Spring Training to fight for a rotation spot. I do not think he will disappoint.
AJ WelchFollow @AJerzy Follow @BronxBomberBall