Orioles' Adams Looks To Find A Defensive Home
Ryan Adams is trying to shake his reputation as a good-hitting, poor-fielding second baseman.
It will be a little easier if he remains at second base.
Adams shifted to third base last season at Double-A Bowie after Tyler Henson was injured, and he stayed on the hot corner in the Arizona Fall League. There's been some talk of Adams taking fly balls in left field this spring.
It's apparent that the Orioles are trying to find a position for him. They like his bat. They want to become more fond of his glove.
"I'm willing to go wherever they put me," he said. "I think I'll be playing a lot of second. I was a shortstop growing up, so I've played pretty much every position."
The 5-foot-11, 185-pound Adams hit .298/.365/.464 with 15 home runs and 68 RBIs at Bowie last summer. He set a Baysox single-season record for doubles with 43 and led the club in hits with 158. He also made the Eastern League's postseason all-star team.
The Orioles left Adams, a second-round pick in 2006, unprotected in December's Rule 5 draft, but he passed through unselected. The common perception is that his defensive shortcomings are holding him back.
Adams broke Juan Samuel's record for most errors by a second baseman (46) in the low Class A South Atlantic League in 2008, causing his critics to overlook his .308 average.
"That's what has caused problems," he said. "I keep hearing, 'You can hit, but you've got to put the defense together.' So, when you do make an error out there, you're hard on yourself because you're trying to show them. But I've just got to go out there and play and work hard, and good things will happen.
"Last year, I really got comfortable out there and I started to feel the pressure come off my back a little bit, and that's really all I needed."
• The Orioles reintroduced 2005 first-round pick Brandon Snyder to the catcher position. Drafted as a backstop, he shifted to first base in 2007. The club wants him to get reacquainted with catching to increase his value as a utility-type player.
• Righthander Luis Lebron, who had Tommy John surgery in May 2010, threw two bullpen sessions before being restricted to flat-ground throwing. The Orioles don't want the righthander pushing himself early in camp while trying to keep up with the other pitchers. He'll eventually return to Bowie after most likely staying in extended spring training.