Top 50 Prospect Profile: Adam Bass

<p>The new year is here, and the <b> Top 50</b> debuts tomorrow.&nbsp; The Top 50 will feature profiles, commentary, and analysis from the staff, Diamondbacks coaches and officials, as well as experts.&nbsp; Today we take a look (up) at 6'6&quot; pitcher <b>Adam Bass</b>.</p>

Vital Statistics:

Name Adam Bass
Position Pitcher
Age 23
Height 6'6"
Weight 210
Bats Right
Throws Right
'04 Club Hi-A Lancaster JetHawks (California League)

Past and Future:  At 6'6" it was an easy decision to take him the 10th round of the 2003 draft out of the University of Alabama Huntsville.  He throw high 80s to low nineties and debuted with a smash at Rookie ball Yakima (Northwest League) giving up just three earned runs in 33.1 innings, all out of the bullpen.  He was moved up to Hi-A Lancaster in '04, and moved into the starting rotation, where he pitched in college.  The ERA was a hair over five, but not horrible in a hitter friendly park (and league).  There are questions about his arm speed which may prevent him from moving too quickly.

Adam Bass Games/ Games Started W-L ERA K/BB
'03 Short Season A Yakima Bears (Northwest League) 27/0 0-0 0.80 34/14
'04 Hi-A Lancaster JetHawks (California League) 28/27 10-8 5.03 117/49

Pitches:  In addition to the fastball that has topped at 94, but is more consistently in the high 80s Bass has a splitter, change, and slider.  All three are incredibly inconsistent.  When the slider is right it is more than an out pitch, it is devastating, but he seemed incapable of throwing two good ones in a row last season.  The splitter may be a lost cause, but with more work it might be a nice change of pace, just below the fastball, just above the change.  Though he's been a starter his whole life, he might be better suited to the bullpen, as all of his pitches drop in quality when he tires.

ETA:  A move back to the bullpen (where he flourished in Yakima) might be the ticket for Bass, who's delivery is very compact for a 6'6" guy, but fatigue will remain a problem.  He gave up more home runs per batters faced in the fourth and fifth innings (1 per 32) than he gave up in the first three innings combined (1 per 84).  If that slider becomes more consistent he could be a very good middle reliever.  With progression, expect that slider to hit the majors sometime in '07.

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