Chance Adams is a 6-foot-1, 210lb right-handed starting pitcher in the New York Yankees organization. He haled from Scottsdale, Arizona and was drafted by the Yankees in the 5th round of the 2015 MLB June amateur draft from Dallas Baptist University. He is 23 years old.
After being drafted Adams split his first professional season between three of the Yankees affiliates. Originally drafted as a relief pitcher, he made stops at the A+ Tampa Yankees, the A Charleston Riverdogs, and A- Staton Island Yankees. For Tampa, Adams tossed 14 innings in 5 games. He struck out 16 hitters and pitched to a 1.29 ERA.
During his time in Charleston, he pitched in 5 games and accumulated 11.2 innings pitched. He also struck out 16 batters at that level and had a 1-1 record with a 3.09 ERA.
In Staton Island, Adams had 9.2 innings of work in 4 appearances. He struck out 13 batters and had a 0.93 ERA.
2016 was a bit of a change for Adams. The decision was made to make him into a starter, and thus far it has paid dividends for the Yankees. He started the year in Tampa and continued to have success. He was 5-0 with a 2.65 ERA in 12 games (all starts). Over those games he had 57.2 innings pitched and struck out 73 hitters.
He was then promoted to the Double-A Trenton Thunder where he saw even more success. For the Thunder Adams made 12 starts in 13 appearances. He was 8-1 with a 2.07 ERA. He threw 69.2 innings and struck out 71 hitters.
The 2017 season was an important one for Adams. He was coming off pitching more innings than he ever has in his career and it was one year removed from his transition to starting pitcher. Most pitchers would regress from fatigue, but Adams stayed as consistent as always. He started the year with the Thunder and pitched in 6 games (all starts). He was dominant over 35 innings going 4-0 with a 1.03 ERA and 32 strikeouts.
He was promoted to Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre early in the season and continued his strong development for the RailRiders. Adams started 21 games going 11-5 with a 2.89 ERA. He tossed 115.1 innings and struck out 103 batters.
Adams had a down year in 2018, mostly due to undergoing minor surgery during the offseason to clean up bodies in his elbow. Throughout much of the season, he suffered from diminished velocity which caused him to struggle. In 27 games for the RailRiders, 23 starts, he went 4-5 with a 4.78 ERA and 113 strikeouts in 113 innings of work.
He made his major league debut on August 4 with a start against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park where he pitched five strong innings, allowing three runs on three hits and a walk. He pitched in two more games for the Yankees, both out of the bullpen. He ended the season with a 0-1 MLB record with a 7.04 ERA over 7 2/3 innings of work.
Adams is a more complete pitcher than most prospects at his age. He showcases four different pitches: a fastball, slider, changeup, and curveball. His fastball is more developed than the other pitches, and he locates it well. Adams’ strongest attribute is his command of the strike zone.
He has an attacking mentality on the mound and very rarely loses a batter or gives in. His fastball will sit in the low-to-mid ’90s, and his slider is in the mid-’80s. His slider is his second-best pitch, but he still has some work to go on it. He can throw all four of his pitches for strikes, but they do all require some more development. Regardless, his ability to locate allows him to get a ton of swing and misses.
Despite his struggles in 2018, Adams still has the potential to be a middle of the rotation starting pitcher in the major leagues. However with the stacked rotation the Yankees currently have, it is more than likely his role with New York would be out of the bullpen.
Adams will return to Triple-A to start the season where he will likely once again join the RailRiders starting rotation.