Adduci Right at Home with Cubs

Jim Adduci grew up in the Evergreen Park village in Cook County, where he attended Evergreen Park High School. Since being traded to the Cubs in late 2006, the left-handed hitting outfielder has felt right at home in Chicago's farm system.

Growing up near Chicago, Adduci took an interest in all of the city's sports teams. Baseball-wise, his family is expectedly split between Cubs and White Sox fans.

"I grew up a big Chicago follower," said Adduci, who turns 23 later this month. "My parents are split. One's a Cubs fan, one's a Sox fan. My grandma is a Cubs fan, my grandpa a Sox fan. My uncle is a Sox fan. My family is pretty split, but I grew up watching both. I'm a big Chicago fan. I support the Bulls, the Blackhawks and the Bears. I like seeing the city's sports teams do well."

A 42nd-round selection in the 2003 draft by the Florida Marlins, Adduci found a new home in September, 2006 when he was traded to the Cubs.

In his first stint of full-season ball a year ago, Adduci played in 119 games – primarily at Class-A Peoria. He batted .292 in 107 games in the Midwest League after beginning the year at Class High-A Daytona.

Adduci worked his way back to Daytona for the start of 2008 and is enjoying his best start yet. Through 28 games, he hit .337 with eight extra-base hits.

"I think he's a prospect without a doubt," Cubs Minor League Field Coordinator Dave Bialas said of Adduci. "He has a good swing and is a real hard-nosed player. He's doing well right now. He's playing well and we expect good things out of him."

The fast start is the result of more experience at the plate, Adduci said.

"Obviously I had a lot more at-bats in Peoria," said Adduci, who played in just 25 total games in 2005-06. "Last year was my first full season out of Extended and it was a different experience because I played in rookie ball for three years before that."

Injuries played a large hand in Adduci's limited at-bats with the Marlins. In 2005, he sustained a quad injury and missed two months of the season. He returned later that year, only to tear his MCL. In 2006, he suffered a broken hand.

With injuries out of the way, Adduci seems to have taken off.

"I think a lot about keeping it simple," Adduci said of his approach, which he worked on this past off-season in the Dominican Republic. "I'm not trying to do too much at the plate and am really just focusing on putting the barrel on the ball."

Adduci's work in the Dominican has aided him in being more selective. His Florida State League-high 21 walks – which have contributed to a .448 on-base percentage – are just nine short of the total he amassed all of last season with Peoria.

Adduci doesn't necessarily look for walks, he said. They just sort of happen.

"I think the walks just come," he said. "It was something that I worked on (in the Dominican). I've worked on seeing and being selective and knowing what pitches I can handle and which I can't."

In the outfield, Adduci has made all but one start this season in right field. He played both corner outfield spots a year ago, contributing four assists.

"I can play all three (outfield spots) and I work at them during batting practice," Adduci said. "As long as my name's in the lineup, that's all that matters."

Adduci shouldn't have many worries about staying in the lineup for now. He is second among Cubs minor leaguers in batting average (minimum 2.7 PA per team game) and is tied for sixth in that category in the Florida State League, one spot behind Dunedin's Brian Dopirak, a former top Cubs prospect.

He doesn't think there's any real secret to his success this season.

"I don't know if there really is," Adduci said. "If I knew, I'd try to use it to my advantage for the whole year. I've been ready to go every at-bat and am being very selective and getting a good pitch to hit. I've really been trying to attack the pitch that you can do something with instead of trying to do too much at the plate."

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