Kansas City Native Jason Adam Makes Good
Righthander Jason Adam’s path from suburban Kansas City high school to pitching for his hometown team was anything but linear.
The Royals drafted Adam in the fifth round in 2010 out of Blue Valley Northwest High and signed him for $800,000. By 2013 he had advanced to Double-A Northwest Arkansas, pitched in the Arizona Fall League and was a non-roster invitee to big league camp.
“When the Royals drafted me, it was unbelievable,” said Adam, 26.
That feeling lasted until 2014, when the Royals traded Adam to the Twins for Josh Willingham as they (successfully) chased their first postseason appearance since 1985.
“I was bummed,” Adam said, “especially seeing that team I knew about to make a playoff run.”
He took solace when Willingham delivered a big hit in the Wild Card Game for a Royals team taking its first step to the 2014 World Series.
Adam had never missed a start in the Royals’ system, but he developed issues almost immediately after the trade. He had four elbow surgeries and missed the entire 2015 and 2016 seasons.
Adam signed a minor league with the Padres in 2017 but was released in August after one appearance at Double-A San Antonio.
The Royals promptly signed Adam. At the end of spring training this year, general manager Dayton Moore told manager Ned Yost to keep an eye on Adam, that he was throwing the ball well.
“I didn’t know what he had really gone through with the other organizations,” Yost said. “I was just glad to have him back. I remembered I liked him back then, but (after the trade) he was off the radar for me.”
Adam recorded a 1.00 ERA in 10 relief appearances at Triple-A Omaha and Northwest Arkansas and was called up to the Royals on May 4.
Adam’s fastball velocity had returned. He was throwing 95 mph became a valuable addition to Yost’s bullpen, striking out 11 and walking one through eight innings.
“You have to get your health back, No. 1, but your stuff has got to come back with it,” Yost said. “A lot of times, the stuff packs up and leaves when that happens. He was lucky when he came back. His stuff was every bit as good or maybe even better.”
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>> Lexington catcher M.J. Melendez, the 2017 second-rounder out of high school, went 9-for-16 with four home runs, 8 RBIs and six runs in a four-game stretch from May 14-18.