The Major League Baseball trade deadline is quickly approaching. Per usual, the New York Yankees are a team that frequently comes up in even the biggest trade rumors. They’ve been linked to the likes of Sonny Gray, Yonder Alonso, Yu Darvish and Jeff Samardzija, among others.
Their biggest need is starting pitching and while anyone of those options, aside from Alonso, would satisfy that need, they aren’t without options internally. One of the most enticing options is the top pitching and No. 3 overall Yankees prospect, Chance Adams.
Since Michael Pineda went down and underwent Tommy John surgery, the Yankees have had to mix and match in the rotation. Caleb Smith, Bryan Mitchell, and Luis Cessa have each made starts in Pineda’s absence. However, none of the three have shown that they are capable of maintaining a rotation spot throughout the rest of the season.
Chance Adams is a guy that is more than deserving of a shot at a rotation spot, or at the very least, a Major League start. The 22-year-old tore up Double-A before being promoted to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in mid-May. In 13 starts, Adams has posted a 2.37 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and an 8.8 K/9. He’s shown solid control, walking 27 compared to 67 strikeouts, and has allowed just four homers in 68.1 innings.
Before breaking out as a starter last season, Adams looked to be on the fast-track to the Bronx as a reliever. His fastball velocity has continued to tick up ever since his professional debut, currently topping out at 97 mph. His slider and changeup have both improved to above-average while his curveball still grades as average, despite being his worst pitch.
This repertoire, along with advanced knowledge of the game and pitch-ability on the mound made him a dominant reliever. He took those same skills into 2016, where he was used as a starter, and they transitioned flawlessly. Adams ranked first in the Minors in winning percentage (13-1, .929) and batting average against (.169).
He’s only improved since the beginning of 2017 and is currently closer than ever to an MLB debut. Or at least he should be. Adams has done everything in his power to show the Yankees that he’s ready for a shot. In his last start on July 21, Adams threw six innings of one-run ball against the Charlotte Knights. The outing was the eighth time Adams went at least six innings and allowed three runs or less.
In his most recent start on July 26, Adams went seven strong, allowed just one earned run and struck out seven against the Norfolk Tides. The outing was the ninth time Adams went at least six innings and allowed three runs or less. In fact, he’s only failed to make it through the fifth once and hasn’t given up more than three runs in a game all year.
As if the whole season hasn’t been enough indication that Adams is big-league ready, Wednesday’s game should only help his cause. With Pineda’s injury and Masahiro Tanaka’s inconsistency, the Yankees need any help they can get in the rotation. Smith, Mitchell, and Cessa got their shots, and now it’s Chance Adam’s turn.