Yankees Give Adams A Chance To Start

NEW YORKWhen the Yankees selected Chance Adams in the fifth round of the 2015 draft, they projected the righthander from Dallas Baptist to the bullpen because he threw a 96 mph fastball and a wipeout slider.

After 14 relief appearances at three levels in 2015, the player-development people suggested the 6-foot, 215-pound righty try starting. After 15 starts at high Class A Tampa and Double-A Trenton this season, the conversion from bullpen to rotation has been seamless.

“He had a really good arm and a really good slider,” scouting director Damon Oppenheimer said. “We thought he was going to be a reliever, but our player development people did a nice job with him. They thought he had starter’s stuff. So far, so good.”

Danny Borrell, pitching coordinator for the Yankees’ lower-level clubs, said he saw the same characteristics.

“We saw everything they saw at Dallas Baptist,” Borrell said. “He had a good arm. His delivery was repeatable, and he was athletic. We felt he could repeat the delivery over a long time. The early reports are that he is doing OK.”

That’s an understatement.

The 21-year-old Adams cruised through Tampa, going 5-0, 2.65 with 73 strikeouts in 58 innings, to earn a mid-June promotion to Trenton.  Through 16 total starts, he went 8-0, 2.82 with rates of 10.4 strikeouts and 2.7 walks per nine innings. He allowed seven home runs.

“His velocity is 94-95 (mph), and he maintains the velocity,” Borrell said of Adams. “His slider is a good out pitch, and he has a good feel for the curveball. Like all starters, he has to develop a changeup, and he is throwing 10-15 a game. It will be a solid major league pitch.”


• The Yankees suspended Tampa shortstop and top prospect Jorge Mateo for two weeks on July 6 for berating team officials over not being promoted to Trenton. He was removed from the Futures Game as a part of the suspension, and Mets shortstop Amed Rosario took his place.

• Righthander James Kaprielian, the 2015 first-round pick from UCLA, has a date with Dr. Neal ElAttrache in mid-July. Kaprielian was seen by Yankees physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad on June 28 after experiencing recurring right elbow discomfort. An MRI revealed a strained right flexor tendon in the elbow.

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