Adams Getting Acclimated to High-A Ball

Adams has been showing some pop in Tampa

David Adams, the hard-hitting second baseman, is settling into a rhythm and producing impressive numbers with the Tampa Yankees after being promoted from Charleston Riverdogs at the end of June. After just over a month in the high-A league, he is hitting .281 with 12 doubles, 2 home runs, and 20 RBIs.

"I'm absolutely happy with the way I'm playing," Adams says. "It's been about a month in Tampa and I feel good. The team is doing really well too, so that's awesome. The team has turned around [from its previous ranking in last place] and now we are leading the league."

Adams says that ultimately he has not had to make any huge adjustments, but admits that the pitchers in this level have better and harder stuff than those in low-A ball, and you are working more individually to better yourself.

"I haven't changed my game," said Adams. "I think here it's a little more laid back and you do a little more on your own to get better, whereas in Charleston guys are a lot younger and you've got somebody looking after you.

"We always have someone there with us, but in Charleston it's more regimen and guidelines and a lot more instruction."

Adams has finally settled in with his rhythm in the batter's box and feels comfortable facing different pitchers, as opposed to the last few years when he changed his swing several times after continuous problems at the plate.

"Coming out of high school actually I had one stance," Adams remembered, "and then I went into college and my coach at UVA wanted to try some things and create a rhythm with my swings. It was completely mechanical, not mental.

"Every year we tried to get a little more rhythm, that was the whole emphasis behind it, so year by year it changed just trying to get to where it finally needed to be.

"Then I got here [with the Yankees] and it still wasn't where it needed to be, so last year was a work in progress also. I feel good this year though. I haven't played with it much and I don't think we'll change it again."

One thing that Adams says he has learned from the coaches in Tampa is to be smart at the plate and wait for your pitch. Patience is the key when it comes to selective hitting, and hitting coach Julius Matos believes that Adams has almost conquered this skill.

"He's a smart hitter," Matos said. "He's very disciplined, so he's got an idea of what he wants at the plate. He knows what his game plan should be and for the most part he executes it, he does well. So whatever he prepared for that day, he tries to make it happen."

Matos says that Adams is the type of player that takes a little more time to get into gear, but when he does, he is successful.

"I think based on who he is and what he brings to the table he's going to be a guy that takes him a little bit to get acclimated to the league wherever he is — to the pitching, to the defense— he has to get in the rhythm," Matos said.

"He has to get in a groove and he'll take off from there. He did the same thing in Charleston. He started slowly and built his momentum and did good enough to get called up. He was the same way here and is continually getting better."

He does say that Adams has to work on being able to adjust to the pitcher as the pitcher changes his stuff throughout each game.

"The one thing that he needs to do is make adjustments at bat, per at-bat," Matos added, "meaning being in a battle with the pitcher and having to make an adjustment to the pitcher right then and there.

"That's something that he's working on and because his style requires that rhythm and flow, he can make that change his second and third at-bat down the road. Having to make that adjustment right then is one thing he needs to work on.

"It only comes with experience; more at-bats, more experience, more game situations, facing different pitchers, different approaches, having more veteran pitchers pitch to him that change speeds, location, and pitches to try to get him off balance and out of his rhythm. He's going to have to learn to get himself ready for that."

Having a plan when approaching the plate is always a good thing according to Matos and Adams, but being able to perform with what you are given, even if it isn't what you were prepared for, is even more important.

And collecting over 46 percent of hits for extra bases at a new level so far, especially for a middle infielder, is proof that he's acclimating quite nicely to the high-A level.

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