Down On The Farm: Chance Adams
Chance Adams is the best kept secret in the New York Yankees loaded farm system. Adams is a starting pitching prospect for the Yanks that was taken in the fifth round of the 2015 MLB draft. He has quickly ascended up the Yankees prospect rankings and is now one of their top pitching prospects.
He was originally drafted as a reliever from Dallas Baptist University, but got a chance to start in the beginning of the 2016 season. He flourished in his new role. A major key to his success is his aggressive style of pitching. Adams has a closer-like mentality, in which he attacks hitters and pounds the zone. He takes the same approach on the mound when he’s starting as he did when he was coming out of the pen. He fills the strike zone with two plus pitches, his fastball and his slider. He is also working to improve his curveball and changeup. His best pitch is definitely his fastball and he has seen a welcomed bump in his velocity this year to the high 90s. He began the season in Class A+ Tampa, but was quickly promoted to Double-A Trenton where he continued his success. He put up big numbers over his 127 innings last year. Adams finished 2016 with a sparkling 13-1 record, 2.33 ERA, 0.903 WHIP and 144 strikeouts against just 39 walks. He also led the entire Minor Leagues with a .169 opponent average, which is the second lowest by a Minor League starting pitcher since 1993. This sterling campaign led to Adams being named to Baseball America’s 2016 Minor League All-Star team.
There are concerns that his smaller stature could lead to a stronger wear and tear on his arm and body if the Yankees decide to keep him in the rotation. He is a strong young man at 6’0”, 215 lbs and one scout said he was hitting 97 in the seventh inning of a game last year. I think the lack of miles logged on his arm through college makes him a stronger candidate to be a starter in the future. He has saved his arm compared to all of the guys who started throughout their college careers. The lack of consistency from young Yankee starters like Luis Severino, Luis Cessa, Brian Mitchell and Chad Green could also give Chance Adams more support to continue his development as a starter.
I don’t see why he wouldn’t start the season in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre with the RailRiders in Triple-A. He doesn’t have much else to prove in Double-A and the Yankees have multiple contracts expiring at seasons end, along with a handful of inexperienced young pitchers. He recently was invited to Spring Training to participate in his first big league camp as a non-roster invitee, which is a big step for any young player. Yankee fans should definitely get familiar with the name Chance Adams as it looks like he will be an integral part of the clubs future success.