Happy, healthy Adolfo talks breakout season

Powerful prospect takes part in MLB's Rookie Career Development Program after hitting 16 homers in Class A

January 11th, 2018

CHICAGO -- selected jersey No. 27 to honor his favorite player, Vladimir Guerrero.

As Guerrero awaits the results of Baseball's Hall of Fame voting, Adolfo -- the White Sox No. 14 prospect, per MLB Pipeline -- is reveling in a breakout 2017 season, his most successful with the White Sox. The 21-year-old discussed his breakthrough while taking part in Major League Baseball's Rookie Career Development Program.

"Being able to stay healthy this year helped me a lot [with] progressing and moving forward," Adolfo said. "I can't help but thank all the coaches in the White Sox organization, all the conditioning and strength coaches for helping me set up a nice program to keep me on the field and do my job day by day."

Rated as the White Sox top international amateur signing until the Luis Robert move this past season, Adolfo joined the team with a $1.6 million bonus on July 2, 2013, two months shy of his 17th birthday. Since then, the right-handed outfielder has transformed from a shy, skinny kid learning into a gregarious, powerfully built prospect.

Taking part in the Career Development Program will help Adolfo's growth, too.

"I heard about it from a couple of guys that I played with before," Adolfo said. "They told me it was a really good program. When the White Sox selected me to come here, I was very honored. I'm learning a lot of things that will come in handy in the future."

In 424 at-bats across 112 games, Adolfo hit .264 with 16 homers, 28 doubles and 68 RBIs for Class A Kannapolis in 2017, notching career highs in average, homers and RBIs. During the Instructional League in Arizona, Adolfo rehabbed a fractured knuckle on his left pinky -- the result of a freak accident -- that ended his season early on Aug. 22.

There also was a trip to the Dominican Instructional League in November, where Adolfo got an extremely positive first impression of Robert, the No. 23 prospect in baseball.

"His first at-bat in Dominican instructs was a home run, first pitch he saw. He cleared the trees. It was probably 430 feet," Adolfo said. "But the guy is a specimen.

"He can field, hit, run, throw and everything. He plays hard. He's a really good fit for the White Sox and I would love to be playing next to him some day in Chicago."