- Full name Ehire Enrique Adrianza
- Born 08/21/1989 in Guarenas, Venezuela
- Profile Ht.: 6'1" / Wt.: 198 / Bats: S / Throws: R
- Debut 09/08/2013
Organization Prospect Rankings
Adrianza has been one of the Giants' more intriguing prospects for the better part of a decade because of his smooth hands, quick actions and Gold Glove ability at shortstop. But it wasn't his glove that a sold-out crowd noticed at Yankee Stadium on Sept. 22. A September callup in his eighth professional season, he hit his first home run off Andy Pettitte in the lefthander's final start in the Bronx. While the longball isn't often part of Adrianza's game, its rare appearance is another hint at the he made offensive strides he took after a midseason promotion to Triple-A Fresno in 2013. He ended the year in San Francisco with a 7-for-17 stretch that included two triples. Always a decent hitter from his natural right side, Adrianza has worked with coaches to make adjustments to his lefthanded swing. Now his bat stays in the zone a little longer, improving his contact rate. He should make the Giants' Opening Day roster in a utility role, since he'll be out of minor league options.
Adrianza is one of those players who inspires coaches to rub their chins and say, "If only we could make him a .250 hitter . . ." The switch-hitter did better than that in 2011 while finishing with a .300 average in high Class A, but he couldn't compete against more advanced pitching in Double-A. Adrianza remains the Giants' most gifted defensive infielder, with soft hands, plus range and terrific playmaking ability--all-star level tools. He hasn't developed physically as hoped and has trouble keeping on weight or adding strength. He's a better hitter from his natural right side, where he has better barrel accuracy and can turn on a fastball. But from the left side, he doesn't have the bat speed to trust his hands and let the ball get deep, allowing him to use the whole field. A lot of at-bats ended with ground outs to first base. Adrianza has good instincts on the bases and is a plus runner, if not a burner. He hit better in winter ball in his native Venezuela He's a candidate to repeat Double-A for sure, but perhaps San Francisco will send him to the livelier Pacific Coast League in an effort to get him rolling at the plate.
Adrianza, the nephew of Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen, turned a tough 2011 season into a positive. He needed surgery after tearing a left thumb ligament while sliding into a base toward the end of spring training. He didn't take the field until mid-May and hit worse at low Class A Augusta than he had in 2009. He fared better once he got to San Jose, hitting .300/.375/.470 after batting .256/.333/.348 there in 2010. There never has been any doubt that Adrianza can be a star defender with his plus range, soft hands, ultraquick transfer and accurate arm. His bat continues to be the question. Adrianza needs to add strength, though he doesn't get the lumber knocked out of his hands. He can turn around a fastball from his natural right side but lengthens his swing from the left, where he tries to rotate and cheat on pitches on the inner half of the plate. He draws his share of walks but needs to make more contact considering his lack of power. He's an average runner with smarts on the basepaths and a quick first step. With another plus defender, Brandon Crawford, ahead of him in organization, Adrianza will need to progress quickly at Double-A in 2012 carve out a place as an everyday player in majors. Otherwise, he'll end up as a defense-first utilityman.
The Giants almost traded Adrianza to the Mariners in a July 31 deadline deal that would've netted David Aardsma. When talks fells through, San Francisco was happy to hold onto the premium playmaker. He barely said a word in his first big league camp last spring, but he made a statement whenever he took infield practice. Cal League managers almost unanimously rated Adrianza as the best defensive shortstop in the league last year. He has plus range to both sides, a lightning-quick transfer and an accurate arm, even while throwing on the run. He doesn't rush and makes everything look easy in the field. He made just 16 errors in 121 games last season, none after July 31. A switch-hitter, Adrianza hasn't impressed with the bat thus far. His swing gets long and he can be too pull-conscious despite his lack of power. He does have some plate discipline and should improve as a hitter as he gains strength. While not a burner, he's a smart baserunner and makes the most of his excellent first-step quickness. With Brandon Crawford in the system, the Giants don't need to rush Adrianza. Added to the 40-man roster in November, he'll move up the ranks as his bat allows, moving to Double-A this year and potentially arriving in San Francisco in 2012.
Adrianza quickly developed a following after signing as a 16-year-old. While on a rehab assignment in 2008, Omar Vizquel watched Adrianza field grounders and said his glove would get him to the big leagues. Though he was a career .224 hitter who missed most of 2008 with a broken foot, Adrianza jumped to low Class A last season and held his own as one of the youngest regulars in the South Atlantic League. Adrianza gobbles up slow rollers and makes accurate throws from every angle, and his premium range is especially impressive when he goes up the middle. His superb hands allow him to stay with bad hops even on baked surfaces. A natural righthanded hitter, he has developed a well-rounded approach from both sides and flashes gap power. An average runner, he has a quick first step and good instincts on the basepaths. Because Adrianza is so eager to please, he sometimes takes his failures at the plate into the field. He must get stronger so better pitchers won't just knock the bat out of his hands. He needs to tighten up his strike zone and avoid breaking balls off the plate. The Giants don't need to fast-track Adrianza, which is good because he'll need plenty of at-bats. He's expected to team with newly converted second baseman Charlie Culberson in the middle infield at high Class A San Jose in 2010.
Despite missing half of the Arizona League season with a broken foot, Adrianza ranked as the circuit's best middle-infield prospect, thanks to his defensive wizardry and ability to make contact from both sides of the plate. When Triple-A Fresno was thin on infielders for a series at Tucson, he was driven over from Scottsdale and promptly collected three hits. Adrianza has excellent range and plays Gold Glove caliber defense up the middle. Even Omar Vizquel, who was in Arizona while rehabbing his knee, commented on Adrianza's soft hands and accurate arm. A natural righthanded hitter, he has a level swing and balanced approach from either side. He has gap power and doesn't try to just slap and dash his way on base. Something of a late bloomer, Adrianza only recently began adding strength to his lanky frame. He's not as fast as most shortstops, though his excellent instincts and first-step quickness make up for that shortcoming in the field. A full season in low Class A at age 19 should be a good test for Adrianza's skills and durability. Though Emmanuel Burriss had his moments as a rookie last season, Adrianza has a higher ceiling offensively and defensively. Free agent pickup Edgar Renteria figures to be gone by the time Adrianza is ready.
Minor League Top Prospects
The scouting reports on Adrianza remain the same. He has the defensive ability to be a big league shortstop--if he can hit enough. Managers rated him the best defensive shortstop in the league, and for good reason. His above-average range, quick hands and strong arm allow him to make all the plays. He committed just 16 errors in 121 games, none after July 31. Adrianza's average speed plays up on the basepaths because he has good instincts, but he needs to reach base with more consistency. A switch-hitter, he tries to makes up for his slight stature and lack of strength with a big swing that gets too long. He has good strike-zone judgment but gets a little pull-conscious, which leaves him vulnerable to breaking pitches. "He will develop into a good hitter as he matures physically," San Jose manager Brian Harper said. "Physically, he will get stronger. He has a good body to get stronger. He will be very a good hitter. He has the potential to be a star shortstop in the big leagues."
Despite missing more than half the season with a broken foot, Adrianza was one of the AZL's more impressive teenagers. Giants manager Dave Machemer says that the Venezuelan already is capable of playing defensively in the majors. He has terrific instincts, a quick first step, well above-average range and soft hands. Adrianza also impressed Omar Vizquel when Vizquel was in Arizona to rehab an injury. How quickly Adrianza reaches the big leagues depends on his development at the plate. He's a switch-hitter with a smooth stroke and good bat speed. He's an extreme contact hitter who struck out just four times in 55 AZL at-bats, and Machemer believes Adrianza can develop enough power to hit 12-15 homers per year. Adrianza works out with big leaguers in Venezuela during the offseason, so he's not intimidated by advanced competition. When the Giants' Fresno affiliate needed an extra infielder in early July, he headed south after playing in an AZL game that morning and collected three hits that evening in his Triple-A debut.
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Defensive Infielder in the San Francisco Giants in 2014
- Rated Best Defensive Infielder in the San Francisco Giants in 2013
- Rated Best Defensive Infielder in the San Francisco Giants in 2012
- Rated Best Defensive Infielder in the San Francisco Giants in 2011
- Rated Best Defensive SS in the California League in 2010
Background: Adrianza turned a tough 2011 season into a positive. He needed surgery after tearing a left thumb ligament while sliding into a base toward the end of spring training. He didn't take the field until mid-May and hit worse at low Class A Augusta than he had in 2009. He fared better once he got to San Jose, hitting .300/.375/.470 after batting .256/.333/.348 there in 2010. Scouting Report: There never has been any doubt that Adrianza can be a star defender with his plus range, superbly soft hands, ultra-quick transfer and accurate arm. His bat continues to be the question, even after his career-best performance. Adrianza needs to add strength, though he doesn't get the lumber knocked out of his hands. He can turn around a fastball from his natural right side but lengthens his swing from the left, where he tries to rotate and cheat on pitches on the inner half of the plate. He draws his share of walks but needs to make more contact considering his lack of power. He's an average runner with smarts on the basepaths and a quick first step. The Future: With another plus defender, Brandon Crawford, ahead of him in organization, Adrianza will need to progress quickly at Double-A in 2012 carve out a place as an everyday player in majors. Otherwise, he'll end up as a defense-first utilityman.