As the New York Yankees fanbase continue to celebrate the reported acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton to their star-studded outfield, the focus of their offseason now switches to finding another starting pitcher or two.
Of course, the Yankees could always bring back CC Sabathia on a one-year deal, but it is essential to consider that New York wants to stay under the $197 million luxury tax threshold so that they can have a reset on any penalties.
This past season, New York used one of their top pitching prospects, Jordan Montgomery, in the back end of their rotation. The young left-hander went 9-7 with a 4.17 ERA in 29 starts (155.1 innings). As they head into 2018, could they look to give their top pitching prospect a “chance” to make the rotation?
Yes, we are talking about Chance Adams. This year, Adams was selected as the best right-handed pitcher in the Yankees organization by MILB.com. The 23-year-old went 15-5 with a 2.45 ERA in 27 starts across Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre. He held the opposition to a .193 batting average.
It might be tough to throw a 23-year-old in a rotation of a win-now team. However, Adams has risen through the system since being selected in the Fifth Round of the 2015 MLB Draft. He made it all the way up to High-A Tampa in his first professional season as a reliever and hasn’t looked back, so he has the mentality of someone ready for the challenge.
While Adams was with the Railriders in 2017, he didn’t allow more than three earned runs in a particular outing until August 16 against the then Gwinnett Braves. During that stretch of games, he struck out 12 and threw a one-hitter over six innings against Columbus on May 31.
If there’s one thing that Adams struggled with last year, it was his walk rate. He had 43 walks in 2017, which was the most on the Railriders. This includes having three or more walks in four of his final ten starts of the season.
Last month, our own Tommy Romanelli got the chance to talk to Adams about the pitch that he thought improved the most in 2017. Here’s what the right-hander had to say
“I felt some of my pitches improved. I felt my curveball was really good this year. My changeup was probably the biggest improvement but myself personally I just kind of maintained and stayed the same and didn’t do a whole lot of improving but I thought my curveball was really good and my changeup was.”
This spring, Adams will likely be in big league camp for the second straight year. If the Yankees don’t decide to bring in two starters this winter, he will compete for a spot in the big league rotation.
Whether he starts 2018 with the Yankees or in Triple-A, you can bet that eventually, Adams will get his “chance” to have his breakout moment in the Bronx soon.