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July 9, 2010 at 9:52 AM

So, is this second baseman rumored to be in the Cliff Lee trade any good?

We’re hearing rumblings of a 3 p.m. press conference at Safeco Field if all goes well
All of the focus so far in the Cliff Lee rumored trade has been about Jesus Montero, the big-raking catcher, soon-to-be-first baseman, who would be the center piece of the deal from the Yankees side.
How about the other rumored piece, coming Seattle’s way? That would be second-baseman David Adams, a third-round pick from two years ago out of the University of Virgina. He’s 23 and had been having himself quite the Class AA season, batting .309 with a .900 OPS before suffering a sprained ankle in May that landed him on the disabled list.
He’s got an impressive 12 percent walk rate in an age when anything above 10 is what good organizations strive for.
So far this season, before going down, he’d had 136 errorless chances as a second baseman.
This item out of New York mentions some hitting adjustments that quickened his bat speed and accentuated his gap power — which will be a key for any right handed hitter attempting a career at Safeco Field. Would Adams actually have a career here?
Well, he had been doing enough in Class AA to maybe get a look later on in September up with the big league club had he kept it up. Now, having missed seven weeks of action, that’s highly unlikely.

Now, we can’t forget about Dustin Ackley, having quite the season of his own down in AA right now. He could be a candidate for September promotion as well.
You’d have to think Ackley would have the nod as the team’s second baseman of the future, given his first-round draft status and ability to work a count as well.
If Adams were to keep up what he’s done, you could envision him as a major league utility player in an infield with Ackley. Or, maybe he’d be in-line for a position switch to third base. He had been slugging .500 in AA and has played at third in his brief professional career.
That said, I’d think the move to third would be unlikely. Third base is where you’d like a more traditional power guy, rather than the gap-hitter Adams projects to be. Left field perhaps? Middle infielders and left fielders have been interchangeable in the past.
The Mariners also have minor league infielder Carlos Triunfel around and he’s been talked about as a “maybe” third base candidate moving forward. But Triunfel is struggling/learning the ropes with a sub-.400 slugging percentage in AA and a .685 OPS.
Whatever happens, if Adams keeps developing quickly, it gives the big league club more flexibility and the ability to even be patient with Ackley, who, don’t forget, is still learning a new position. I’d dare say it gives the M’s some “Triunfel insurance” if the latter turns out to be a bust of a prospect rather than the god-like player some had been predicting him to be not too long ago. We’ve seen a lot of big-time prospects from the Bill Bavasi era get overhyped, only to turn out to be a whole lot of nothing. It’s worth noting that Triunfel is still only 20, with a low strikeout rate and good platoon splits. So, he’s not “done” yet.
But we’ll see. In Adams, we’re talking about a player with six weeks of experience in AA ball.
Still, he’s a little more than mere trade filler. He’s an interesting piece. And he gives the M’s some options as they move forward.

Comments | Topics: Jesus Montero


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