On baseball’s rollercoaster


April 27, 2013

MOOSIC – Take a look at David Adams’ stats so far in 2013 and you will think he’s been one of the top players all season for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Turns out his season has gone as smoothly as his career so far to this point.

Adams’ rollercoaster journey to this season started on a day in late March when he went from one of the top prospects in New York’s organization to being out of a job.

But the Yankees think highly of Adams — which was evident in 2010 when they didn’t want to send him to Seattle in a trade that would have brought pitcher Cliff Lee to New York. Because of the admiration the club has for Adams, he wasn’t unemployed too long as the infielder re-signed a minor league deal with the club a few days after getting released. Still, there was an uncertainty in Adams’ mind.

“(It was) a whirlwind of emotions. Initially I was upset at myself, frustrated that I let it get to that,” said Adams, who is now the starting third baseman for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. “And after that, you just get to the bottom of it and I never looked back.”

The 25-year-old has used the short recess from baseball as more motivation for the 2013 season. He got off to a slow start in the team’s first seven games, but since then has been one of the best players in the entire International League. He recently concluded a team-high seven-game hitting streak in which his batting average skyrocketed from under .200 to his current mark of .333

“It’s just getting into a rhythm. I think that’s a big key,” he said. “It’s just constantly putting in the work and just trusting that the Lord has a plan and everything will play out the way it’s supposed to.”

That’s a similar road he’s happened to come across in other years as well, starting in 2010 when he got his first taste of Double-A ball. After being drafted in 2008 out of the University of Virginia, he skyrocketed through the organization before his 2010 campaign was derailed by an ankle injury only getting in 39 games. The same thing happened in 2011 as he was limited to just 29 games and didn’t advance past High-A Tampa.

“I think everyone prays that injuries aren’t part of their career and that’s one thing I try not to think about,” the 25-year-old Adams said. “I think anyone would say the same. I feel good and I do everything to keep myself healthy. I try to just go out and play.”

Once he got past the latest setback, he showed his potential last year for Trenton and then in the Arizona Fall League. First he hit .306 for the Thunder with 48 RBI and an on base percentage of .385 in 86 games. When he went to Arizona, he continued to impress batting .286 with three longballs and 15 RBI for Scottsdale to earn recognition of an AFL Rising Star.

“It’s a nice relaxing environment going up there. You don’t play every day but you know when you’re going to play every week and you just go out and have fun,” he added. “Playing against the talent out there, it’s nice but at the same time you don’t have to overdo it. You just go out and play baseball and that’s what it should be.”

One potential roadblock in Adams’ way of reaching the Majors was taken care of last year when he moved from second to third base. With Robinson Cano locked in as second baseman for New York, Adams was moved to third.

Sure, the Yankees currently have Alex Rodriguez under contract through 2017 at the hot corner, but it’s still more versatility for the youngster. Plus, Adams hasn’t mastered the position yet and he admits he still has learning to do over there.

“Reading hops is still tough. I think that’s the toughest part about playing third is the hops and angles, mastering those,” he said. “But I’d like to think I’m getting better every day.

“I think to get to the big league level at any position is the goal. Then once you get there hopefully solidify a spot.”

Until then, he’s hoping the thrilling ride has reached its peak and is ready for smooth sailing.