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Adams' self-scouting report: 'Really confident'

Toronto's No. 27 prospect expects to improve, especially in power stats
@baseballexis
March 1, 2020

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Riley Adams can’t wait for the 2020 season to start. After working his way up to Double-A New Hampshire last year, the 23-year-old catcher is confident about what comes next. The Blue Jays’ No 27 prospect spent the first month of the 2019 season at Class A

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Riley Adams can’t wait for the 2020 season to start.

After working his way up to Double-A New Hampshire last year, the 23-year-old catcher is confident about what comes next. The Blue Jays’ No 27 prospect spent the first month of the 2019 season at Class A Advanced Dunedin, where he hit .277/.434/.462 with three homers, three doubles and almost as many walks as strikeouts in 19 games before earning his promotion.

In 81 games with the Fisher Cats, Adams slashed .258/.349/.439, with 11 home runs, 15 doubles, two triples and 39 RBIs. The learning experience gave him a hint of what he is capable of, and also of the areas where he needs to improve. After an offseason of hard work, the 6-foot-4, 225-pound backstop is looking forward to keeping the train moving forward.

“This is a season I feel like, more than the others, I just feel really confident with everything going into it,” Adams said. “A lot of things are clicking really well right now and I’m excited to get out there and show everybody what I’ve got. I’m excited to get back to it.”

Evaluating himself using a Major League Scouting Bureau report and its 2-to-8 scale, with grades based on the standards set by the Bureau, Adams noted an opportunity to make significant improvements in his game as he moves forward.

Top tools
The Encinitas, Calif., native gave himself the highest future grades in his hitting ability, power, fielding, baseball instincts and arm accuracy, offering well-above-average future evaluations in half of the categories he self-graded.

“There are a lot of things to work on to improve [my] game, and it’s important to have as wide a toolbox as possible,” Adams said. “There are a lot of things I’m capable of, and that I expect of myself. I know the abilities I can show and I have high expectations for myself because I know [what] I’m capable of, and I know it’s in there.”

Room to improve
Adams jumped his power three grades, from being presently below average to being well-above-average in the future. He believes that by the time he makes it to the Majors, his biggest strides will have come in his power numbers.

“There are a lot of different ways I can do that,” he said. “On the mechanical side, working on fine-tuning a lot of the details will help, but from a pitch selection and game-mentality side, they go hand in hand. You clean up some mechanics, it helps you see the ball a little bit better, it helps you lay off some pitches. I’m a bigger, stronger guy, so there’s always that power in there. I really want to find ways to harness that as much as possible.”

Scouting the scout
Offering insight into his own game and grades, the young catcher understands there are plenty of evaluations out there to be found and read, but he doesn’t believe that poring over them will help improve his game in any significant way.

“There are a lot of reports like this and I don’t really look into that stuff because it’s not as valuable to me. It’s what everyone else says, their opinion on things, so I don’t spend too much time looking into that or analyzing those opinions because I want to do my own thing and focus on what I know I can control. That’s more important to me.”

What the scouts say
“He’s a guy with the perfect baseball body, feel for the game and more in the tank,” one scout said. “He will have to continue to develop and get the strikeouts down, but he controls the game behind the plate and he seems to take pride in what he’s doing. He can keep getting better, and if he does, he has a chance to be a regular at the big league level.”

What’s the report misses
Of what the scouting report doesn’t address about him, Adams pointed out that, “As a catcher, I try to do whatever it takes for my pitchers. I want to give them everything I’ve got, because I know that every day they go out and throw, they’re doing [all] they can. And I like to consider myself a pretty fun guy around the clubhouse who likes to enjoy myself and mess around, and have a good time on the field. We’re playing a game for a living, so we can’t complain about that.”

Alexis Brudnicki is a reporter/editor for MLB.com based in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter @baseballexis.