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Rockies season review 2014: Cristhian Adames makes the Show, sits on the bench

Cristhian Adames made a cameo with the Rockies in 2014, but it likely wasn't enough to avoid a trip back to AAA next year.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Cristhian Adames is a prospect that has never been a truly exciting one for most prospect hounds. After all, his minor league career stat line is .275/.345/.361 with just 18 homers in over 2400 minor league plate appearances. There were a few traits that put him on the prospect radar, though.

First, Adames was putting up those numbers when he was young for the level at every stop, playing a full year at low A ball at 19 and moving up a level every year until this year, when he repeated at AA Tulsa for the first few months of the year before getting the promotion to AAA Colorado Springs in July and making his major league debut just 10 days later (more on that below) just after his 23rd birthday.

Second, and most importantly, is the fact that Adames plays superb shortstop defense. The thing that really brought him to the attention of Purple Row is his repeated ranking by Baseball America as the best defensive infielder in the system. Excellent fielding at a premium position can overcome quite a bit of poor hitting at even the major league level, so Adames was expected to be an asset at the major league level even as a super-utility player and defensive replacement who didn't hit particularly well.

What Happened

Adames was brought up to the Show for his major league debut for just one game in late July when the Rockies needed an extra infielder. That one game happened to be the longest in Rockies history, a thoroughly unsatisfying contest in which Adames entered as a defensive replacement at shortstop in the 10th inning and got three plate appearances - all three of which were grounders to second. After the game he was optioned back to AAA, where he stayed until he was sent down to AA for Tulsa's playoff run.

By the numbers
Cristhian Adames, 2014
AVG .067
OBP .067
SLG .067
OPS+ -64
HR 0
BB 0
SO 5
Rtot 1
rWAR -0.2

After Tulsa came up just short in the playoffs, Adames was recalled on September 15th to the Rockies, after which he saw action in just six games - starting two. During one of those appearances, Adames recorded his first major league hit on a line drive up the middle, the only hit he would get in his 15 plate appearances in 2014.

2014 Grade: Incomplete

It's hard to impress in a 15 plate appearance cameo spread out over seven games, but Adames didn't help his cause at the plate with his 1-15 performance. Still, Adames played well defensively as expected and showed he could play both up the middle infield positions at the major league level.

What to Expect in 2015

Adames will contend for the super-utility infield role during Spring training against players like Rafael Ynoa, Charlie Culberson, and Josh Rutledge. He's probably the best defensively of all of those players, but he'll likely have to show that his .338/.392/.441 line in 163 AAA plate appearances was not a fluke before he makes it back up to the big leagues on a regular basis.