"Absolutely," David Adams said before the Thunder's home opener against the Erie Seawolves. "We worked on a little bit of everything. We got to do a lot of things, [including] cleanup and defense."
There was a very simple reason for Adams' limited playing time in Spring Training.
"He had a strained left elbow," said Thunder hitting Coach Frank Menechino. "He had some inflammation, so he couldn't hit off throws. He basically just did everything else."
That didn't seem to bother the 22-year old second baseman, who is honest about his progress in every aspect of his game.
"I need a lot of improvement in a lot of areas," Adams said. "I needed to clean up a little bit of everything."
Adams' versatility makes him useful to his team in many ways. He has good speed and exhibits a great deal of patience at the plate. That plate discipline helped increase his walks in 2009 to a career high 61 between Charleston and Tampa, and cut down on strikeouts.
His running game is an area he'd like to be more proficient at. In 2009 he stole just eleven bases and eight in the previous season.
"Hopefully I'll steal a couple of more bags this year and improve my range," Adams said.
His ability to make contact and drive in runs is one of biggest strengths. At Charleston he knocked in 34 and another 41 at Tampa.
"He's going to be a gap-to-gap type hitter, [with] occasional home runs," Menechino said.
Adams takes his time and has the confidence that he's going to get his pitch to hit. He knows how to slow it down. Wait. Let the pitcher show a lot of what he has in his repertoire.
"I like to see a lot of pitches," Adams said. "Patience is a huge thing. Anytime you can see what the pitcher's got, it helps you out more in the long run."
Thunder manager Tony Franklin may not have been around Adams much, but the word was that he is a player that can handle himself under pressure.
"This guy is very businesslike and I was told that. He demonstrates an ability to go out there and stay focused and play the game very solidly," Franklin said.
While it is still developmental baseball, the competitive mentality is there and Adams desire is that his team be the league's best when the season ends.
"[I want to] win a championship," he said. "The key is to be consistent."
What little the manager and his coaches have gotten to see yet, Franklin has gotten enough of a look to be pleased and hopeful.
"When you watch this guy," Franklin said, "you're happy you got him."
Adams Gets Off To Quick Start Anyway
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