Aramis Ademan Attains “A’s” All Around

At only 5-foot-11 and 160-pounds, Aramis Ademan appears almost cartoonish when among his South Bend teammates. Resembling a ballboy more than a Top Twenty prospect, Ademan even appeared dwarfed by his interpreter, the similarly sized Alberto Mineo, due to his youthful mien. The fact that he was days away from his nineteenth birthday may something to do with that.

Ademan was part of big 2015 international signing class that included fellow infielders Christopher Morel, Orian Nunez, Yonathan Perlaza; outfielders Jose Gutierrez, Fernando Kelli, Kwang-Min Kwon, Eddy Julio Martinez, Jonathan Sierra; catcher Miguel Amaya; and pitchers Jose Albertos, Javier Assad, Faustino Carrera, Brailyn Marquez, and Carlos Ocampo. However, Ademan has exceeded expectations from the beginning. Only 17 years old when the season started in 2016, the whippet-thin Ademan was able to sustain himself for 59 games of steamy Dominican Summer League. At nearly one and a half years younger than the league average, the left-handed hitter batted .254/.366/.316/.682 with five doubles, four triples, 16 RBI and had 17 stolen bases. The most impressive mark was his 34 walks compared to only 28 strikeouts.

While it was an above average debut, it seemed that at his age, Ademan would return to the DSL in 2017. The youngster was also looking at some impressive talent ahead of him at shortstop in Vimael Machin, Andruw Monasterio, Isaac Paredes, and Zack Short at the Low-A level. But the Cubs’ front office liked what they saw of Ademan in spring training. At the end of camp, Ademan was retained in extended spring training rather than returning to the Dominican Republic. It still seemed as if a place on the AZL Cubs roster in the rookie league was in the cards for Ademan, so it was a surprise when player development announced that the 18 year old would open the season with Short Season-A Eugene.

When Ademan began the year batting only .224 in 14 June games, it appeared as if the Cubs had made a mistake and put too much on the youngster. To make matters worse, 20 year old infielder Delvin Zinn, the Cubs’ twenty-third round pick in 2017, had gotten off to a .346 start in the rookie league. But the Cubs remained patient with Ademan, and he responded by going .320 with two home runs, 18 RBI, and seven stolen bases in the month of July. In speaking with Ademan a few weeks ago, he credited Minor League hitting Coordinator Any Haines and the AZL Cubs Hitting Coach Osmin Melendez with his improved approach.

Coming on the heels of his hot streak with the Emeralds, Ademan was promoted to Low-A South Bend in the beginning of August, where he impressed several observers. “He doesn’t play 18” said play-by-play man Darin Pritchett. “(Ademan) is handling this level well. He is still pretty raw, but you see flashes.” Assistant Coach and Interim Manager Jonathan Mota agreed. “(Ademan) is an awesome kid, he is eager to try and find ways to make adjustments. He works hard both in the field and at the plate.”

But the Midwest League wasn’t as charitable to Ademan as the Northwest League, with the 18 year old seeing his batting average plummet to .244, although he hit three home runs and drove in 15 in 29 games. For the season, Ademan was .267/.324/.427/.751 with 15 doubles, five triples, seven home runs, 42 RBI, and 14 stolen bases in 68 games. While the improvement in his power numbers was notable, his overall performance was probably not good enough to see a promotion to Advanced-A Myrtle Beach to begin the 2018 season.

Where Ademan seems to need more polish is in the field. While Ademan has smooth actions at shortstop, they have not translated to result as of yet. The .946 fielding average Ademan posted for Eugene along with a .944 average for South Bend are considered only adequate. Ademan himself recognized the need to step up his game. “I want to try to be more mentally tough” said Ademan through Mineo. “It will be a long season next year, and I want to be prepared and ready before anything happens.”

Whether at South Bend or some other juncture, it appears that Ademan has adopted an appropriate attitude to keep the “A’s” coming.

Comments

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  • Cool. I look forward to seeing him in Wrigley in a few years. Excellent write-up BTW Tom.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Thank you!

  • Thanks for this Tom. Ademan is an intriguing prospect and I think trading Paredes said a lot about what the FO thinks of him. At 18 years old you sure would think his body will continue to develop and I'm really looking forward to see what this kid can do in his 19 and 20 year old seasons.

  • In reply to TC154:

    And as you can see, there should not be any urgency to push him up the chain with the players ahead of him .

  • Totally impressed with how both Parades and Ademan reacted to the situations they were in at such a young age. Wouldn't mind seeing him and Sepulveda form a nice middle infield together. My guess is Sepulveda probably will be at least a level ahead of him along the way. But given Ademan's trajectory, who knows.

  • In reply to Gator:

    It will be interesting to see what happens with these middle infielders come spring training, especially this year's draftees Balego, Romano, and Upshaw.

  • Me too Tom, thanks. I don't want to sound like a broken record, but I really appreciate the quality that all the writers are contributing to this site. They are always a good read.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Thanks! We try our best.

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    I'll echo the others. Thanks for the in-depth bios and abilities you give us, and Ademan seems to be ahead of schedule. I don't give much credence to errors in the minors, especially the lower ones--we never know the quality of the infields or even the ability of the 1st and 2nd basemen around him.
    He did so well in the DSL that shows me that Fernando Kelli, who dominated this summer, could very well come here and possibly start at Eugene next year and then see what happens.
    We might not have high profile players in the minors right now, but some of these players could be in a year or two.
    Thanks again.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I understand the concerns about the conditions in the minors. Some places are very poor. But Four Winds Field in South Bend is one of the best baseball facilities anywhere.

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    In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I agree with you on the errors. In addition to the field sometimes the best athletes--and most prospects are elite athletes--also try too hard and try to make every play. They will learn when to "put it in their pocket." Or they are able to reach a ball with their feet but not quite able to get their footwork down. I remember in the low minor leagues Javy had a TON of errors. Yet his defense came around.

    As players mature I will pay more attention to their stat lines. But in the low minor leagues I will trust a decent set of eyes that knows what to look for. There are several writers and commenters on this site that I trust. That is why I continue to read the comments of the minor league recaps.

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    As some who has owned four Whippets, I can appreciate the whippet thin comment

  • In reply to Dave Boer:

    Thank you. Just to spice things up, I broke out the thesaurus on this one.

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    Good analysis, Tom!

    Among that large 2015 class, Albertos, Assad, and EJM are clearly on our radar, plus maybe Amaya. Beyond that group, who should we be paying attention to? Who are your picks to emerge in the US next year?

  • In reply to Zonk:

    I really like Assad. He's got a ways to go with consistency, but that's to be expected at his age and the stuff is solid. I've soured a bit on EJM, but Albertos and Amaya are definitely high on my list.

    Others that I find intriguing are Christopher Morel, Brailyn Marquez, and Jonathan Sierra. In the next tier are Yonathan Perlaza, Jose Gutierrez and Fernando Kelli.

    Tom left off a few names from that list that I like. They may take a bit more time, but Henderson Perez and Yunior Perez have decent ceilings and are deserving of a follow.

  • In reply to Quedub:

    Perez blew out his arm in AZL this year unfortunately. but still plenty of time for him to make his way back. Control was a big issue (perhaps injury related) but good reports on arm strength and a developing breaking ball prior to getting hurt.

    Kwon is the big disappointment from the class so far. Big bonus, and he is a big guy guy with power and is surprisingly athletic with decent speed, but questions about bat speed and is having huge issues even making contact with the ball. Good enough athlete that you want to keep giving him opportunities in case he figures it out, but it looks pretty bad right now.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Yeah, from the entire list of 2015 IFAs, Kwon is the biggest disappointment for me, too. Of the one's Zonk mentioned, I'm just not seeing it with EJM. I mean the light can still turn on. There's just less time for it to happen.

  • In reply to Quedub:

    Agree on Assad. I'm a fan.

  • Thanks Zonk! Always good to hear from a long time follower.

  • Ademan was a favorite of John's this spring. He saw a talented ballplayer in him.

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