For new Staten Island Yankees manager David Adams, he now gets to view the team as a skipper compared to being a player. The Yankees’ third-round pick back in 2008 is at Richmond County Ballpark at St. George is back to where it all started in his professional journey.
“It’s a little surreal. I know the task isn’t a daunting one, but one that is held with high regard,” said Adams about coming back to Staten Island.
With this year’s team, there are expectations in terms of that it is a mix of players that have experience in the New-York Penn League, but Adams thinks that this group is “a bunch of guys who will play the game the right way. We have a group of talented guys and a mesh of both young and old. Guys who really know how to perform when their name is called.”
Adams takes over a team where the bulk of the roster comes up from the Rookie-level Pulaski squad from last year. They have a few of the top international prospects in the farm system such as outfielder Everson Pereira and infielders Ezequiel Duran and Oswald Peraza.
“High-upside, lot of tools. You are going to see some guys who can put on a display. Not only that, they do things the right way, they respect the game, come to play day in and day out, and they are good leaders as well,” said Adams about the young talent on the roster.
Now, Adams didn’t get the chance to manage a lot of these players. Last year, only two players on this year’s team (Anderson Munoz and Mitchell Robinson) were playing for him in the Gulf Coast. So, building that player-coach relationship right out of extended spring training was a major key:
“A lot of it is just letting them do their thing and being there when they need you. Trying to create a relationship moreso as a person than a player-coach. Dig deep. Find out how the family is doing, what makes them tick on and off the field.”
For Adams, it is not just about his major league experience, but about the experience of the coaching staff at this level that can each bring a little bit to the table:
“We all bring something beneficial to the guys. We have a well-adverse staff here. Ken Joyce has been a manager and hitting coach for a number of years. Travis Phelps has a lot of big league experience and pitching expertise. Tyson Blaser and Teuris Olivares are very versatile. Top to bottom, we offer a lot to the guys and hopefully, we can teach them some things,” said Adams.
“It’s been a blessing. I’ve gone to them for a lot of things. They are probably getting tired of me asking questions, but I’m going to keep asking them because they have a lot of answers,” said Adams about his staff.
Adams did get a chance to play 43 games for the big league club in 2013 and was around veterans in spring training such as Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera. As for what he took from those players, he mentioned: “respect the game, be on time, and give everything you got.”
While Adams has played in the New-York Penn League before, this coaching staff has a lot of continuity and the manager continues to pick their brains as well. Joyce, Phelps, and Blaser were all on Lino Diaz’s staff a year ago:
As for the pitching staff, it is a mix of pitchers that come from not only Pulaski, but there are also some pitchers like left-hander Anderson Munoz (pitching Saturday behind rehabbing Nick Green) who pitched in Charleston at the beginning of the season. For these pitchers, it is about taking about what they learned at those levels and applying it to the New-York Penn League:
“I think, top-to-bottom, they are going to go out there and compete. We have a pretty young squad and college guys with expertise. It’s going to be fun to watch how much they grow and the pressure they can put on other teams,” said Adams.
Right out of the gate, the rotation will have a couple of veteran minor leaguers on rehab assignments such as Green and Brian Keller, who will pitch on Sunday when Staten Island heads to Tri-City.
The Staten Island Yankees will be in action on Friday night when they head to MCU Park to take on the Brooklyn Cyclones. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m ET and Charlie Ruegger will be making the start for the Baby Bombers.