Join Jays From the Couch as we take a look back at some of Toronto’s minor league prospects and how they fared in 2018
Riley Adams, Blue Jays 2017 3rd round Draft pick, had a character building 2018 season. Riley batted .305 with 16 doubles, a triple, and 3 home runs in 52 games his rookie season with the Vancouver Canadians. This earned him a promotion to Advanced-A Dunedin, an aggressive promotion.
Adams does a good job behind the plate with a strong arm and good in-game awareness. It is Riley Adams’ raw power which makes him such an interesting Blue Jays prospect.
In an interview with Ian Hunter (full article) back in March, Riley Adams explains some offseason modifications he made to his swing which involved ‘more of a leg kick’. The hope was that Adams would ‘generate some more power’ from his 6-foot-4 frame.
Let’s take a look at how he did.
Whether it was getting comfortable with the changes to his stance/swing or adjusting to Advance-A pitching, Riley struggled out of the gate with the D-Jays. Riley Adams posted a .527 OPS and .194 batting average in April while playing 17 games.
The D-Jays catcher had a bounce back May with a .247 batting average and .754 OPS. June saw Adams post another sub-.200 batting average but posted a much better .313 OBP than the .229 OBP he posted in April which allowed him to post a decent .626 OPS.
Riley Adams hard paid off as his season started to turn around in July and August batting .254 and .319 with OPS’s of .771 and .840. Overall, Riley Adams finished with a .336 wOBA and 110 wRC+ for the season.
Before jumping in Riley Adams’ offensive numbers, I’d be doing him a huge disservice if I did highlight his ability to control the running game. Adams started 93 games behind the plate throwing out 45.7% of stolen base attempts.
Despite his early-season struggles, Adams still posted an impressive 12.2 BB%, good for a 0.54 BB/K. His 54 walks were good for 5th in the Florida State League.
The FSL is not a home run haven so let’s not read too much into Riley’s low 4 home run total. Instead, let’s turn our attention to the doubles column. Riley Adams finished with the 2nd most doubles on the D-Jays behind Joshua Palacios. Adams’ 26 doubles placed him 4th in the FSL and allowed him to post a .115 ISO.
The San Diego alumni went 4-for-4 with 2 runs scored and an RBI on August 4th. He also had four 3-hit games, three in August. In total, Riley Adams had 21 multi-hit games.
Adams drove in 4 runs twice in 2018, both games include long flyballs. On June 5th, Adams came to the plate with the bases loaded in the 4th inning, sending a 0-1 pitch from Branden McKay over the center field wall to cash in Bradley Jones (retired), Nash Knight, and Kacy Clemens to give the D-Jays a 4-1 lead. On July 9th, Adams was at it again with the bases loaded. Riley Adams sent a 3-2 pitch over the CF wall for his 4th home run, scoring Santiago Espinal, Kevin Smith, and David Jacobs (retired) for a 7-0 D-Jays lead.
Riley Adams finished with 93 strikeouts which are high for a low ISO prospect. Adams had one 4K game and three 3K games, finishing the season with 27 multi-K games.
As mentioned above, April and June were developmental months for the D-Jays catcher. He finished the first half with a .227 batting average.
Adams batted .242 when facing LHP and .249 when facing RHP. Adams batted primarily out of the 5th (52 games) spot in the order, posting a .223 batting average. He had more success batting out of the 6th spot (22 games) with a .282 batting average and 4th (22 games) with a .262 batting average.
Riley Adams didn’t present any noticeable home/away splits but did put up better numbers in 86 night games (.258 BA and .735 OPS) versus 13-day games (.154 BA and .543 OPS).
As already mentioned, Riley Adams did a great job of controlling the running game catching 43 of 94. He finished with 6 errors but did allow 11 passed balls. Adams posted an 8.35 RF and .992 FPCT according to milb.com.
What to Expect in 2019
The 22-yr-old catcher managed to fly under-the-radar in 2018 thanks to big seasons from other prospects in the Blue Jays organization. With the promotion and success of Danny Jansen, Riley Adams can take his time to develop. Adams should be joining the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats to start 2019.
Riley Adams should get the everyday at-bats with the Cats with the backup role up for grabs. Pentecost is 50/50 returning to NH or heading to Buffalo to split time with Reese McGuire. This leaves Ryan Hissey and Alberto Mineo as likely backup candidates in NH.
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Lover of all things Toronto Blue Jays. Blue Jays MiLB fanatic. I strive for average while stumbling onto above average. Rogers isn’t cheap. Baseball is a business. Your right, but I’m more right.