Yesterday, the Royals traded shortstop Cristian Perez for RHP Chance Adams. Adams is only 25-years-old but has had some tough times in his short MLB career. However, Adams is a former top-100 prospect who possesses four pitches and perhaps a chance to start. He was brilliant as a relief pitcher early in the minors. The Yankees player development team thought he had a chance to stay that way as a starter. Adams tore up the minors and catapulted into the talks of being a future arm in the Yankees rotation. He was deemed expendable when the Yankees signed Garrett Cole to take his potential rotation spot.
In 2017, Fangraphs projected a 3.1 WAR for Adams first six years in the big leagues. Adams busted out a -0.5 WAR in his first 33.0 MLB innings. That means, in his next four years with the Royals, he’ll have to pitch at 3.6 WAR to fulfill those projections. That same 2017 Fangraphs article mentioned that Adams isn’t consistent enough in his delivery to have high command but that they thought he could still succeed as a starter with his stuff and ability. Now we’ve seen command slow him down. As most young pitchers need to do, Adams must get his delivery more consistent allowing him to control the zone better.
Adams fastball seems to play up better out of the pen than the rotation. The Royals are looking at Adams to fill a spot in their bullpen. It’s possible that they want to see what he looks like as a starter in spring training as well but his future is probably the pen where his fastball and slider should improve. Adams also throws a change up and a curve. The change up has arm side run, some sink, and is effective at getting LHHs out.
The Royals traded young shortstop Cristian Perez in the deal. Perhaps he will only end up being known as the little brother of Hernan, but Cristian is a very good defensive player with some contact skills. Here is a prospect watch Alex Duvall wrote about him in June of 2018.
This looks like a good change of scenery trade for Adams for an infielder who is at least three years away from the big leagues in his best scenario. With the Royals hoping to go into a competition window in the next two years, it is more important they find some solid arms in the pen rather than quibble about an infielder who is going to be passed by Bobby Witt, Jr. and Brady McConnell (if not already) in the next year.
Photo by Mark LoMoglio from the MiLB website.