Player Spotlight: Matt Adams
In the darkest hour of the Cardinals season, a possible white knight could emerge in the name of Matt Adams. The Cardinals minor league organizational player of the year just a year ago, and a prospect on the rise, is about to get his shot at the major leagues. Unfortunately his chance comes with the news that Lance Berkman will be on the DL, and could very well miss the remainder of the season. It is a shame that the club will be without Berkman but at the same time, we get to look into the crystal ball and see if Matt Adams is ready to be the next Cardinals first baseman.
Matt Adams, 23, is a big boy, standing 6’3 and weighing in at 230 pounds. He was drafted from the Cardinals in the 23rd round of the 2009 draft (showing once again that scouting is imperfect.) He is a solid first baseman with a decent glove, a career fielding percentage of .991 with only one error for Memphis so far this year. But Adams is known for his mighty bat, one that has caused many fans to jump on the bandwagon and hope for a chance to see him play first base. No one however wanted him to make his debut this way, with the very unfortunate injury to star player Lance Berkman. However now appears to be the time for Adams as he is expected to get the call before tonight’s 7 PM start in Los Angeles.
If you are to look at Adams numbers in the minors you will see, that Adams is a consistent hitter, and he can hit and hit hard at any level. In his first minor league season in 2009, Adams split time with Johnson City and Bativia both low A ball teams, he had 10 homers and 52 RBI in just 63 games while also sporting a nice .355 AVG. In 2010 with high A ball Quad Cities, Adams had 22 homers, 88 RBI, and a .310 AVG. Last season in Springfield, Adams earned his organizational player of the year award with his 32 homers, 101 RBI, and an even .300 AVG.
After a hot spring training, Adams quickly became a household name in St. Louis and he earned his spot on the Memphis Roster. In just 37 games with the AAA team, Adams has 9 homers, 27 RBI, and a .340 AVG. For his minor league career Adams has hit 91 doubles, 73 homers, driven in 268, and has a .318/.366/.558 line. The only downside Adams has shown is his high strikeout rate, he has 236 career strikeouts to 102 walks.
In four years in the minors Adams has hit at each level and has shown that he can adjust to each level of tougher pitching, so can he do it in the majors? I think he can and he will, the question will be however if he is ready to play everyday for the big league team with the media and fans being all over him.