David Adams is one of the best bats the New York Yankees system has to offer. The 6-foot-2 second and third baseman drafted out of the University of Virginia has been one of the most consistent forces in a potent Trenton Thunder lineup this season.
Two years ago, in the middle of a dream season, he suffered an injury that would unexpectedly cost him the rest of the 2010 season, all of 2011, and a significant part of the 2012 season. One of the prizes of the system when he went down with this injury, he is now regaining that status in his return and is looking like he could be a big part of the future success of the Yankees.
He’s 25 years old, and lost significant development time with the injury, but has picked up right where he left off. He’s looking as good as ever these days. Weighing in at 210-pounds and a right handed batter, he could be grabbing some important utility at bats as soon as next season. He and Corban Joseph will play an important role in the future of second base with New York, whether Robinson Cano is retained after next season or not.
Adams has one of the most consistent swings this system has to offer. Couple this with the sweet stroke and impressive knowledge of the strike zone, and you have a dangerous hitter. He has gotten back to getting the barrel of the bat on the ball, and sprays line drives over the entire field. Adams has above average power to all fields too.
As he mentions in the interview below, Adams may have lost a step since the injury. Truth be told though, this was never a huge part of his game to begin with. He was never one to steal many bases, so the injury doesn’t seem to have hurt this aspect of his game too much. It’s also possible he could regain some of his old speed as he continues to be a tireless worker. Should that happen, he could have some basestealing potential in the future.
Adams is no slouch on defense. His arm is good enough to play third, and he can turn a double play with the best of them. He’s got average range, but with the arm strength and double play threat he is an above average to excellent defender.
Adams has the ability to be a starting second baseman in the major leagues. He is currently blocked by Robinson Cano, but a guy who can swing the bat and play defense like Adams will not be held down for long. His bat is good enough to play third as well. He will be a part of a major league team eventually, the only question is when and in what role. I wouldn’t bet against him to be a starter.
After interviewing David, it is obvious that he is a humble guy. He has been through adversity in his minor league career, and he has the right attitude and work ethic to make it. He was kind enough to lend his time and answer some of my questions in my first interview of a Trenton Thunder player. Sounds like his wife has had a major influence on his game too. Must be a great lady. Here it is.
Greg Corcoran: What was the most challenging aspect about your recovery from the broken leg/ankle you suffered?
David Adams: The length of time I was out. That’s the biggest struggle.
GC: What was the hardest part physically?
DA: Rehabbing in general is pretty difficult. The initial stages are the hardest because you’re pretty stiff and have to regain that flexibility.
GC: Did you ever think about hanging up the cleats?
DA: No. I’ts a thought that goes through anyone’s mind when you’re out so long. Am I doing the right things? It seems so minor but it lasts so long and you just want it to be over with. I’ve met great teammates who are great Christians and great people who got me closer to God. They have really helped me get through this process. If it doesn’t work out then God has bigger plans for me.
GC: What do you feel your biggest strength as a player is?
DA: A lot of people have asked me this question, and I think the answer is that I’m mentally tough and play the right way. A couple of times my wife would tell me I wasn’t hustling out there and it was like a slap in the face that brings you back to reality. You can’t talk the talk if you’re not walking the walk. To me it’s about respecting the game and honoring that commitment I’ve made.
GC: The coaches have moved you to third base. Any word on why that is? Do you think it has anything to do with A-Rod’s injury?
DA: Initially they brought it up as more opportunities for me if something were to happen. I dont think it’s the Arod thing; you know they went out and got (Casey) McGehee. Everyone talks and people say it’s for one thing or another. It opens up options for me, and allows me to play multiple positions. If that opens up an opportunity for me with the Yankees, or if another team likes that, that’s good for me.
GC: What position do you feel most comfortable at?
DA: I played second base since my freshman year of college, eight years now. I’ve only played a few games at third. I’m a little more comfortable at second. I’ve had some great help from Addison Maruszak and Kevin Mahoney. I’ve talked to my coaches a lot about it. I’ve got questions and these guys can help me out with it.
GC: What types of things are you working trying to improve right now?
DA: Everything. I’m not gonna lie. People always ask me that and I always have the same answer. I’m not perfect. No one is perfect. I’m just trying to improve every day. For me to succeed in this game I have to put my whole heart into every part of it.
GC: What types of hobbies do you have outside of baseball?
DA: A year or two ago I’d have said video game but I’ve given that up. Hanging out with my wife, my dog, my cats and my family.
GC: What kind of dog do you have?
DA: He’s a part lab part American Bulldog named Charlie.
GC: Are there any lingering effects from the injury?
DA: I still don’t think I’m 100%. I don’t think I run as well as I used to right now. There are certainly days I feel a little stiff. I’d say 90% of the time I go out there I feel pretty good. I’m not a burner. I’m not gonna steal to many bases. I feel like I have good range of motion and all. I don’t think my ankle is a hindrance at all. I’m just not fast and I know that.
GC: What has been your favorite moment as a baseball player so far?
DA: As a kid growing up you dream of hitting a walkoff. The only walkoff I’ve ever hit was against Georgia Tech in college and my whole family was there for that. That was pretty special.
GC: Who was your favorite player growing up?
DA: Ken Griffey Jr. without a doubt.
GC: How about current players?
DA: I enjoy watching great hitters play. I wouldn’t put my finger on one specific person. I enjoy watching great hitters because I admire what they can do on a daily basis.
GC: Which coaches have been the most helpful to you in your career?
DA: My dad’s been a coach growing up all my life. He’s been one. Mike Adams is another guy who’s been a big help to me (not related to me). Kevin McMullen at University of Virginia was a huge help for me. He was a big mental toughness guy and he helped me mentally prepare myself for the next level. He’s been really inspirational for me.
GC: What song would you come out to if you could come out to any song?
DA: Eli Young Band: Even if it breaks your heart.
GC: What do you do to pass the time on long bus trips?
DA: Watch movies. Don’t really sleep on busses because it’s uncomfortable. Play cards sometimes. That’s about it. Not really too much to do on bus trips.
So there you have it. Again I’d like to thank David Adams for allowing me to interview him, and Josh Maurer for facilitating the interview. Best of luck to David and I hope to see him playing in the Bronx shortly.