Riley Adams Spends Summer Working On Catching Skills

During the down time after workouts at the Blue Jays’ alternate training site in Rochester, N.Y., catcher Riley Adams found himself closely watching the games with the day’s scouting report in hand.  

Without actual games of his own to run, he would zero in on how Toronto’s catcher deployed the information to attack hitters, using that as an opportunity to develop his own pitch-calling skills. 

The nightly ritual is one way the 24-year-old worked to ensure growth during the season he was supposed to begin at Triple-A after hitting .261/.366/.443 between High-A and Double-A in 2019.

Adams’ work earned him a 40-man roster spot, and how he leverages his work in 2021 will determine his progression up the depth chart. 

Knowing he would be spending the summer in Rochester and wouldn’t have real stats to show for it, the 2017 third-rounder from San Diego used the experience to try new things, from receiving on one knee to experimenting with different body positions and movements in the batter’s box. 

“When you don’t have to show results necessarily, you can have a few days where you can grind through a little bit and really work on a mechanical adjustment or something,” Adams said. “And you can go through a little bit more of a struggle until you get to a point that you’re really happy about.” 

Adams got there with receiving on one knee, honing it into a skill that he plans to use in advantageous counts. 

While he played with his leg kick and different hand positions with the bat, he feels “the biggest strides I took this year were offensively and understanding where my legs were, really getting into my back hip and staying behind the ball and letting the ball travel, instead of trying to go get it out front.” 

The 6-foot-4, 235-pound Adams spent the offseason in San Diego, feeling good about his winter plan and excited for baseball to resume. 

“I feel really confident that come spring training next year, that I’m going to be showing up in a really good spot,” he said.

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