The Blue Jays selected catcher Riley Adams out of the University of San Diego with their third round pick at #99 overall in the 2017 MLB Draft.
Adams is the Jays’ second selection in a row that goes to a catcher. While Hagen Danner is a high-school player, Adams is coming out of his junior year in college and was ranked #72 by Baseball America and #73 by MLB.com, giving the Jays a bit of a steal here. Adams is a big boy at 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds and Baseball America likes how he “uses his strength well on both sides of the ball.” It was mentioned on MLB.com that he likes to guess hit, cheating a bit, which probably results in his high strikeout totals.
Adams hit .312/.424/.564 in his junior year with 12 doubles and 13 home runs and showed a good eye at the plate, walking 33 times with 57 strikeouts. Like first-rounder Logan Warmoth, Adams showed a significant increase in power from his sophomore to his junior year while maintaining the rest of his solid numbers following a breakout year in his sophomore season. Adams has played in the Cape Cod League, hitting a solid .333/.385/.417 in 108 at bats but the drop in power could be concerning, considering that he hasn’t hit for much power in a wood-bat league.
Defensively, Adams appears to need a lot of work. He’s still seen as quite athletic and, according to MLB.com, has a black belt in Karate, so I’d be careful about heckling him if I were you. But his makeup and intelligence score well for most scouts so he could be a guy to watch as he develops his game defensively.
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