School: Slippery Rock, PA
Selected 2010 stats
Staff comments (individual rankings in parentheses)
Dustin Mattison (NR): I am beginning to wonder if I am being too hard on the big man from Slippery Rock. I was the only one not to rank Adams and the others on the panel were quite high on him. Though I do appreciate his bat and his production, I'm not sure if he is going to continue this type of production as he moves up the chain.
Adams put together a fantastic season at Quad Cities. Being a college player, he is much more polished than a lot of the guys he played against. Even so, Adams did what he had to do and produced. A fractured elbow ended his season early and I am anxious about how long that keeps him out of action. Even when he returns, it will be interesting to see how the injury affects his power.
Adams should get his chance at Palm Beach in 2011. The Florida State League is tough on hitters and is good at separating the pretenders. One of his fellow draft picks to whom I compare him, Rich Racobaldo, was released after his first go-round in the FSL. Hopefully, the same won't happen with Adams and if he continues to produce, I will gladly eat crow.
Message board community (25): Take one great minor league hitter, add one non conventional body, place in a system that has the best player at baseball manning first base at the major league level, mix it together and you've got one under-rated prospect.
Matt Adams has done nothing but hit in his two years in the Cardinals system. This past year he led the system in average and was second in home runs and RBIs. He did this - not in the hitters' mecca of the Texas League or the Pacific Coast League - but at Quad Cities, an extreme pitchers park. Just to add icing to the cake, Adams hit .341 with a 1.017 OPS in the second half of the year.
Adams has been told he will get a try in the outfield next year which should either confirm or refute the "bad body" rap against him. Regardless, look for Adam's stock to soar next off season if Albert Pujols doesn't re-sign with the Cardinals. - CariocaCardinal
Brian Walton (27): After two very good years with the bat in two professional tries, I am becoming an Adams believer. I may be most impressed that his low strikeout rate (one per six at-bats) continued for a second season. Coupling that with his use of the entire field rather than always pulling the ball made for two straight .300-plus years. That is a nice package for anyone, especially a power hitter.
I would add to that and Carioca's comments above that all of Adams' hitting accomplishments occurred during a summer in which he was just 21 years of age.
I disagree with the others in at least one area. I feel it would be artificially limiting Adams' prospect stock just because he plays the same position as Albert Pujols. Granted, that could keep him from donning the Cardinals uniform someday, especially if he can't transition to the outfield. Yet my bottom line is that if Adams proves himself to be an MLB-ready first baseman some day, he will find a job with one of 29 other organizations, even if blocked in St. Louis.
Our 2011 top 40 countdown continues: To see our entire list of 40 Cardinals prospects, click here. You can also read each of the voters' philosophies in making their selections.
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