clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Cristhian Adames wins Dominican League batting title

New, comments

Adames, who isn't highly regarded as a prospect by most pundits, posted a similar batting line in Dominican Winter League action to a top young player a year ago.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Cristhian Adames has never made a lot of noise as a prospect, and it's easy to see why. His bat has hovered at near league average at every stop on the prospect ladder and while his glove has always received positive reviews, it isn't to the Elvis Andrus/Andrelton Simmons level it would need to be to crack the top 100 lists.

Adames was around 93 wRC+ in his time in the Texas League, posting a .267/.328/.344 line that made the early Jonathan Herrera comps (career .263/.324/.329) some made on this site look a little prescient. The thing to remember about Adames is that while he does show Li'l' Jon's aversion to striking out, he is not really cut from the same cloth. Adames is 6'0, and having just finished his age 22 season in Triple-A, has a bit more ceiling in his bat.

Adames had a very surprising debut at the highest level of the minors, hitting a BABIP- and league-aided .338/.392/.441 in his 163 plate appearances there before falling flat in very limited action at the MLB level.

Winter league stats are to be taken with a sizable grain of salt; they are from around a quarter of an MLB season worth of plate appearances, and the competition is uneven. With that caveat, Adames had a very impressive campaign, hitting .353/.426/.473 and winning the batting title while finishing fourth in OPS.

Last year, 22-year-old top prospect Gregory Polanco had a very similar .331/.428/.494 line, and while the two aren't in the same prospect universe, it is nice to see Adames' numbers line up with other similarly-aged top prospects like Jean Segura, who hit 324/.379/.426 in 2012, or the late Oscar Taveras, who mashed to the tune of a .316/.379/.507 line the same year. Another shortstop -- Erik Gonzalez, who is rated as the Indians' No. 5 prospect by Baseball America -- also put up a similar line in 2013, hitting .325/.341/.454.

Adames is still likely to peak as an MLB utility player, but he is certainly someone to keep an eye on. The floor for a major league shortstop's bat is so low (Zach Cozart put up a 56 wRC+ in 541 plate appearances in 2014) that even one like Adames' is a valuable asset to any system.

I would bet better than even money that Adames ends up with a higher career WAR than 2010 first-round draft pick Kyle Parker, who will join him in Triple-A.