Today’s a big day for David Adams. Not only is it his birthday, but he’s also being called up to the major leagues for the first time. Adams is 26 years old today, which indicates he’s not much of a prospect at this point. There was a time when Adams showed lots promise, however. A third round pick out of college way back in 2008, Adams was expected to move relatively quickly through the system. He has hit well while on the field– He holds a .296/.379/.450 batting line over six minor league seasons. The issue for Adams has always been staying healthy, though. He earned the nickname “Day Off Dave” due to his propensity to miss time. That nickname is certainly warranted. His games played totals for the last three seasons: 39, 29, 86. In fact, he was put on a regimen last year that prevented him from playing more than 4 consecutive games. If you recall, his injury history held up a potential deal with Seattle that would have put Cliff Lee in pinstripes.
This year, Adams has been uncharacteristically healthy aside from a back injury in spring training. And thus far, he’s done nothing but hit. His wOBA sits at a robust .408. His strong performance is backed by healthy plate discipline stats as well: 11.5 BB% and 16.8 K%. He most likely would be in the majors already if not for a rule that required him to stay in the minors until today (rule took effect when he was released in March). Most of Adams’ experience in the minors was at second base until he was moved over to third in the middle of last season. He’s also seen time at first this year. Adams has never played shortstop, but he’ll at least provide some defensive versatility. At worst, Adams should provide an offensive upgrade over right-handed bats Chris Nelson, Ben Francisco, and even Jayson Nix. Adams is no great shakes defensively due to a debilitating ankle injury from 2010 that continues to affect his play. Nonetheless, he should be able to be adequate at the hot corner.
Adams may be 26, but he’s a very young 26 in terms of games played. All told, he’s played a total of 380 minor league games. Even though those games spread out over parts of six years, that’s only two and a half years’ worth of games. It’s probably fair to say that he still has some learning to do as a hitter. So there may even be some upside there. Given the team’s roster constitution, he should receive ample playing time at least until Kevin Youkilis is ready to return. Hopefully, Adams can capitalize on this opportunity by staying healthy and continuing to hit like he has in the minors.