Spencer Adams

Spencer Adams prepares to deliver a pitch for the Birmingham Barons (Matt Cassidy / FutureSox)

Spencer Adams prepares to deliver a pitch for the Birmingham Barons (Matt Cassidy / FutureSox)

Position: RH SP
Born: 4/13/96
Ht: 6'3" Wt: 171
Acquired: Drafted 2nd Round in 2014 out of high school
Career Stats

FutureSox Prospect Rankings

  • #5 - 2014 Midseason
  • #4 - 2015 Preseason
  • #4 - 2015 Midseason
  • #3 - 2016 Preseason
  • #3 - 2016 Midseason
  • #13 - 2017 Preseason
  • #13 - 2017 Midseason
  • #11 - 2018 Preseason

FutureSox Media

Accolades

  • 2014 #5 Arizona League prospect (Baseball America)
  • #100 Prospect in MLB, 2015 Preseason (Baseball America)
  • 2015 South Atlantic League, Best Control (Baseball America)
  • Best control in the White Sox system, 2016 post-season (Baseball America)

Scouting report
Adams was seen as a steal on draft day, falling from late first round projections to the 44th pick and the White Sox. He posted dominating peripherals in the Arizona League and wowed scouts with his stuff. Ranked among the top 30 draft prospects by Baseball America (23) and MLB.com (27), Adams showed a fastball that ran 92-96 with good movement, a slider that at times since he was drafted has looked like a plus pitch, a curve and a change up. In 2015 he made his full season league debut with Kannapolis, and the combination of lengthening innings and games and taking on changes caused some erratic results. He was promoted to Winston-Salem where his 5 starts looked like this: 29.1 IP, 31 H, 7 ER, 7 BB, 23 K. In 2016 back in Winston-Salem, Adams again had ups and downs, throwing strikes but getting hit a little harder and missing fewer bats than you'd like to see (though he's still in just his age 19/20 season) but was promoted to AA Birmingham anyway for 9 starts. His final numbers across both levels in 2016: 3.98 ERA, 9.9 H/9, 1.7 BB/9, 5.5 K/9. In 2017, the numbers started to improve (see below for the 'why') as he still threw a lot of strikes but now he's missing a lot more bats. The last few starts in 2017 were a little rough which pushed his numbers south a bit, but in the end as a 21-year-old in AA: 4.42 ERA, 2.4 BB/9, 6.7 K/9 in 26 starts. 2018 has been an enigmatic year for Adams - after opening with Birmingham and putting up much the same so-so numbers he did in 2017, he was promoted to Charlotte anyway where he's been hit far less often but is also walking a lot of batters and not striking people out much at all.

Physically, Adams is filling out beyond his listed 171 pound weight, but is still somewhat slender. His delivery is now more north-south, with less of the cross-fire seen in his rookie ball campaign and more downward plane on his pitches. That 2015 and early 2016 period saw Adams' velocity dip, with his 4-seamer running more 90-91 typically, and he began leaning much more heavily on his upper 80's two-seamer. This caused some concerns, but now he's built up strength and endurance, and with it velocity and sharpness. His bread and butter four-seamer is now in the 92-95 range with some run, and his mid-80's slider has gotten back some of that sharp character that jumped out in his debut. He still uses the two-seamer regularly, and is mixing in his change-up more often. The complete package is looking better than it did a year ago, and a back-of-rotation starter now seems a likely outcome. His up and down 2018 make it hard to justify saying he's "ready" at this point, and he likely repeats AAA. He's still just 22 so there's no rush.

Major League Outlook: 4/5 starting pitcher
ETA: 2019

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