Royals media is giving Jordyn Adams a lot of attention recently. Jeff Flanagan projected Adams as the Royals first pick in the MLB Draft this year. Clint Scoles wrote a post on how frequently Adams and Jordan Groshans are linked to the Royals. And I wrote a post in response declaring my interest in Adams over Groshans.
With all the attention Adams is getting, let’s take a closer look at how he stacks up as a prospect.
Adams is a high ceiling guy whose athleticism and ability to play a premium position make him seem like a fit for Kansas City. He’s also very raw, which means he’ll need significant development, especially as a hitter.
Right now, Adams relies on his athleticism to make him a standout prospect. He doesn’t have a particularly pretty swing or quick bat. His load path is complicated, and his leg kick gives him timing issues. His swing is too long, which isn’t great for someone who doesn’t profile as a slugger.
If he can shorten and simplify his swing, he may tap into his considerable raw strength and reach his power potential, which is probably in the neighborhood of 20-25 home runs a year at its peak.
Adams has all the speed he’ll ever need to stick in center field, and with work, he’ll refine his routes to the ball, as well. He should be able to improve his arm strength (probably his greatest weakness) and accuracy, too, once he starts focusing entirely on baseball.
And that’s a complicating factor that must be mentioned. Adams is not only a top baseball prospect; he’s a top football prospect, as well. He’s never focused entirely on baseball, which could mean he has tremendous growth potential. It could also mean he’ll take longer to develop.
As a four-star recruit at wide receiver, Adams is committed to play baseball and football at UNC where his father is the defensive line coach. His promising football career may make him a difficult sign as a compensatory pick. If the Royals want him for slot value, they’ll probably have to take him at 18, which complicates the money they can spend later in the draft.
I think everyone agrees that Adams has tremendous potential as a baseball player. The question is whether or not he’s worth the money since it’s no sure thing he’ll reach that potential. For the Royals, who need to come out of this draft with multiple high ceiling players, I don’t think he’s worth a pick at 18. I’d rather see them utilize their money in a way that allows them to draft some significant talent at 33, 34, and 40, as well.
Photo credit: Baseball America