Ryan Adams entered the 2006 season as one of the top draft prospects in the high school ranks before Hurricane Katrina and recurring hamstring injuries cost him some playing time in front of scouts. The Orioles were happy to get him with their third overall pick in the second round. One thing that has impressed them most about Adams is his excellent hand-eye coordination, which Adams is happy to tell you is a result of endless hours of playing ping-pong.
DOB: 04/21/87 Height: 6-0 Weight: 185 B/T: R/R
Ryan Adams' age 19 season:
At first glance, Ryan Adams professional debut was solid but not spectacular. Despite the fact that he struck out at a good clip in his first exposure to pro pitching, he should hit for high averages as he moves up. The Orioles were encouraged that Adams hit well in brief exposure to college pitching in Aberdeen at the end of the season.
Adams also projects to have at least gap power and has a discerning eye at the plate. Once a plus runner, his hamstring injuries and maturing physique have cost him a step in recent years. Adams can get anxious against southpaws and overswing, but it's not something hat should be a long-term problem. The Orioles have been impressed with his advanced approach and feel he could move quickly for a prep player. p>
A shortstop in high school, scouts were unanimous that Adams' range and arm would limit him to second base. The Orioles forced the transition right away and Adams adapted well. For a 19 year old, he has sure hands and that helps his average range play up. Adams is unlikely to be a future gold-glover, but he shouldn't have any problems staying in the middle infield as he moves up the system.
The fact that the Orioles felt comfortable exposing Adams to older competition in the New York-Penn League, plus the fact that he actually did well there, means that he will make his full-season debut in low-A Delmarva. The run environment will suppress his overall batting line, but Adams figures to be one of the many interesting players in a revamped Shorebirds lineup. The Orioles kept Adams in the 2-hole last season and he should return there this season. They'd like to groom him as the type of high on-base threat with good bat handling skills that typically thrives in that role. Although only entering his age 20 season, Adams has the ability to arrive in Baltimore sometime in 2009. He could end up as a similar player to Todd Walker.
Michael Hollman is the Senior Writer for Inside The Warehouse and can be reached via email at Publisher@InsideTheWarehouse.com