- Full name Melvin Adón
- Born 06/09/1994 in Santo Domingo Centro, Dominican Republic
- Profile Ht.: 6'3" / Wt.: 246 / Bats: L / Throws: R
Organization Prospect Rankings
Track Record: Considered a late-bloomer, Adon signed with the Giants as a 20-year-old out of the Dominican Republic in 2015. Adon was used as a starter in his first four years in the Giants' system, but exclusively came out of the bullpen in a successful stint in the 2018 Arizona Fall League. The Giants liked what they saw, added him to the 40-man roster this offseason and his future now resides in the bullpen.
Scouting Report: Adon has a plus fastball that touched 102 mph in the AFL. His fastball is straight and doesn't feature a ton of life, but there's no denying its premium velocity is among the best in the game. His second pitch is an above-average power slider that flashes plus and works well off his fastball. Below-average control is a concern for Adon, who walked nearly four batters per nine innings in 2018. His control out of the bullpen in the AFL was better, however, as he walked just three batters in 21 innings.
The Future: Although high Class A San Jose is the highest level Adon has pitched at in the minors, he should move quickly now that he is expected to be a full-time reliever. Adon could see time in the back of the Giants' bullpen in 2019.
The Giants have consistently searched the Dominican Republic for older prospects who were passed over. Adon is one of the prime examples of the payoffs for such scouting. He didn't sign with the Giants until he was 20 and didn't make his U.S. debut until he was 22. In 2017, he was arguably the hardest-throwing starting pitcher in the low Class A South Atlantic League. Adon had a long way to go when he signed. For one thing, he couldn't effectively pitch out of the stretch. He still is far from a finished product but he has made significant progress. He has toned down his slinging, low three-quarters delivery, but even though he can carry top-shelf velocity throughout his starts, scouts are nearly unanimous that his energetic delivery and lower release point will eventually lead him to the bullpen. Adon's fastball is a top-of-the-scale pitch. He pitches at 95-100 mph as a starter with plenty of armside run on his fastball, and he touched 102 in relief stints. His slider will flash plus as well with downward break and exceptional power (88-91 mph). His less-developed changeup even flashes average, though he only uses it sporadically against lefties. Adon's control and command improved in 2017 but it was still well below-average. More importantly, he needs to sequence pitches better. He's predictable, which means hitters can sit on his fastball early in counts. If Adon moved to the bullpen, he could move quickly as a pitcher with two potential standout pitches, but for now, there's no reason for San Francisco to give up on developing him as a starter.
The Giants have had no problem with signing late bloomers in Latin America like Adon, who didn't sign his first pro contract until he was nearly 21. He is way behind his peers when it comes to development, but he did survive an aggressive jump from the Dominican Summer League in 2015 to short-season Salem-Keizer in 2016. Adon has a special arm but has struggled to pick up the nuances of the game, such as holding runners and fielding his position. He sits 94-98 mph and touches 100 in most every outing with average life. Sometimes he sinks his fastball and other times it will run, but none of it is really by design yet. His slider has made big strides, and he flashes a plus breaking ball on occasion. Adon's hard 88-90 mph changeup improved as well, but all three pitches need refinement. He loses his release point at times, so he's not consistent with how he uses his front side. Given his power arm and late start, Adon probably fits best as a future power reliever, though he will continue to get innings in the rotation.
Minor League Top Prospects
Adon ran up a 5.48 ERA in 14 starts, but his stuff ranked among the best in the league. He has been pitching for just two years, so he's among the least experienced arms in the NWL. Adon's fastball sits in the high 90s and has touched triple digits into the fifth inning of starts. His fastball has above-average sinking life at times but will flatten out as well. He developed a slider as the season went along, and the pitch showed sharp bite at its best. He's also working with a firm changeup as well, which pushes 90 mph. Adon was almost exclusively fastball-oriented at the beginning of the season, so more experienced batters hit him hard. With size, stamina and big-time arm strength, Adon has a high ceiling.
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Fastball in the San Francisco Giants in 2020
- Rated Best Fastball in the San Francisco Giants in 2019
- Rated Best Fastball in the San Francisco Giants in 2018
Ray Black’s long-delayed ascent to the big leagues offers an excellent reminder of why the Giants will be patient with Adon. As a starter, Adon sits at 97-98 mph throughout his starts and he can sit 99-100 for innings at a time when he feels good. Adon’s control is below-average and he doesn’t yet have a secondary offering he can really rely on, but he can still overwhelm hitters with pure gas.