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Yankees Peg Chance Adams For 2018 Rotation

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Chance Adams (Icon-Sportswire/Getty Images)[/caption]

Righthander Chance Adams began the year at Double-A Trenton, but the Yankees believe the 22-year-old could be in the big league rotation next Opening Day.

Adams breezed through Double-A this season, going 4-0, 1.03 in six starts, on his way to a mid-May promotion to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. That puts him on track for a possible 2017 callup.

"Anybody who is at Double-A has a chance,’’ general manager Brian Cashman said when asked if there was a possibility Adams, a 2015 fifth-round pick from Dallas Baptist, could pitch his way to the big leagues this year.

While injuries and adjustment periods make young pitchers unpredictable, the Yankees might find themselves relying on homegrown arms like Adams because of the pending free agents they stand to lose.

Michael Pineda and C.C. Sabathia will be free agents, while ace Masahiro Tanaka can opt out of his contract and join them in the free agent pool.

If they all depart, that would leave hard-throwing righthander Luis Severino and rookie lefthander Jordan Montgomery as holdovers from this year’s rotation.

Adams made just 10 starts in college, all as a sophomore, so the Yankees would prefer to develop him slowly because starting is still somewhat new for him. He had no trouble adjusting in 2016, when he threw a mid-90s fastball and hard slider so effectively that he led all minor league starters with a .169 opponent average.

Through 210 pro innings, Adams had struck out 10.0 and walked 2.8 batters per nine innings.

Asked if Adams had supplanted righthander James Kaprielian, the 2015 first-rounder who had Tommy John surgery this spring, as the Yankees’ top pitching prospect, Cashman said, "He is one of them.’’

And one who could be looking to fill very big shoes this time next year.

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Baseball America Prospect Report -- June 6, 2019

Chance Adams keeps improving, Kyle Lewis continues his hot streak, and Brady Feigl throws a gem.

— George King covers the Yankees for the New York Post

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