Toronto Blue Jays 2018 Top Prospects: #18 Riley Adams
In June 2017, the Blue Jays selected Riley Adams in the 3rd round of the MLB draft (99th overall). This catcher, from the University of San Diego, was initially drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 2014 but choose to forgo professional baseball and play college ball instead.
Unlike many prospects that start to play baseball the moment they can hold a bat, Adams path to the sport was a bit different. Born in Encinitas, California, Riley grew up practicing the art of karate and continued to do so until he was 13. He also showcased talent in basketball and played that in high school until he stopped as a sophomore to focus solely on baseball.
Name: Riley Keaton Adams
Position: Catcher Age: 21
Height: 6’4 Weight: 225 lbs
Throws: Right Bats: Right
Acquired: Drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2017 in the 3rd round
Ironically, Adams didn’t start his baseball career as a catcher. He played shortstop in high school and only moved over to catching when his coach asked him to. While playing that position at the University of San Diego, Adams put up numbers that others can only hope to achieve. During his junior year, he had 202 ABs with 13 HRs and 33 BB and an average of .312/.424/.564.
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Once signed with Toronto, they then sent him to the Vancouver Canadians of the Class A-Short Season Northwest League. In his relatively short time with them, Adams numbers impressed fans and teammates alike. In the 34 games he played behind the plate, Adams threw out 40% of base stealers, committed 2 errors (in 295 innings) and had a fielding % of .994.
In front of the plate, Adams showed the same determination and achievement he had had when he was in San Diego. As a Canadian, he ended the season with a .303 average, 62 hits, 35 RBI and 26 runs. An area that Adams will need work on as he moves through the minor league system is his high strikeout rate (50 SO/203 AB in 2017) but that is something that can decrease with patience, resilience and a keen eye. It might not happen overnight but that’s why the minor league system exists – to allow players to grow and develop into something significant and impactful at the Major League level.
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At 21, Adams still has time to tune and harness his talents before he’s (hopefully) called up to the big leagues. In his relatively short baseball career, Adams has been blessed with no major injuries or issues to his body that would require significant downtime on the sidelines. As a result, he’s been able to concentrate on playing the game and hone in on his craft. With the 2018 season set to start in a couple months, hopefully, this future Jay will end up in AA or AAA in April and we see him in the big leagues rather sooner than later!
Top-30 Blue Jays Prospect Rankings:
#30: OF Jonathan Davis #29: OF Harold Ramirez #28: OF Joshua Palacios
#27:1B/OF Ryan Noda #26: SS Kevin Smith #25: OF Roemon Fields
#24:P Angel Perdomo #23: C Reese McGuire #22: OF Dwight Smith Jr.
#21: Jordan Romano #20- Jon Harris #19: Tim Mayza