With September first's roster expansion, David Adams has been recalled from Triple-A. Now that he's back for the stretch run, what can we expect?
The Yankees selected Adams from the University of Virginia in the third round of the 2008 draft and assigned him to Staten Island of the Short Season-A NY-Penn League. He played 67 games, all at second base, and hit .257/.350/.393. He spent the first half of 2009 at Charleston in the Single-A Sally League, batting .290/.385/.394 in 67 games, starting 51 games at second base and 14 games at third base. After a promotion to the High-A Florida State League, he played 65 games for Tampa, all at second base, and hit .281/.360/..498. He started the 2010 season at Double-A Trenton, and hit .309/.393/.507 in 39 games. Unfortunately, he suffered a horrific ankle injury in game 39, missing the rest of the season and most of the 2011 season. In 2011, he played 17 rehab games in the Gulf Coast Rookie League, and 12 games at Tampa. He spent the 2012 season back at Trenton, and started 42 games at second base, and 23 games at third base. In 383 plate appearances, he hit .306/.385/.450. He started the 2013 season at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, splitting his time between third base (30 starts), second base (28 starts) and first base (two starts), batting .268/.366/.405 in 255 PAs. In almost 1800 minor league PAs, he's hit .291/.376/.441.
While interpreting these numbers, keep in mind that every Yankees' minor league affiliate is in a pitchers league, and all those affiliates play in pitchers' parks relative to those leagues. Over the 2010-12 seasons, for example, PNC Park in Scranton had a park factor of .922, meaning the park suppressed scoring by almost eight percent relative to the rest of the league. In fact, it was the third toughest park to score in out of 120 full-season teams. What does all this mean to David Adams? In 129 plate appearances at home, he hit .217/.344/.333; in 91 PAs on the road, he hit .341/.400/.505, so I feel comfortable saying that he's probably a better hitter than his triple-slash line implies.
So you take a guy who has hit well at every minor league stop, and plays adequate defense at second base and third base, but who totally bombed his first major league audition to the tune of a .194/.257/.271 line in 141 major league plate appearances in May, June and July. What does that mean NOW, in September, in the middle of a pennant race (or second wild-card race)?
It probably doesn't mean much. First of all, this isn't the same team that Adams played on earlier in the year. He was part of a parade of fill-ins for Alex Rodriguez, but Rodriguez is back and playing very well. He made three starts at first base, but the Yankees now have righty Mark Reynolds to platoon with lefty Lyle Overbay. He also made four starts at second base, but if anyone other than Robinson Cano is playing there regularly, it's a lost cause. Secondly, quite frankly, this isn't an organization that gives opportunities to young players, so I expect him to provide in-case-of-emergency-break-glass depth at the non-shortstop infield spots, and not much else. He might get a few garbage time innings here and plate appearances there, but unless (or until) the Yankees are eliminated from wild card contention, he won't get many starts unless he's spelling Rodriguez in a day game following a night game.
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