School: Iowa; Class: Junior
Position: 1B; B/T: R/R
Height: 6-2; Weight: 250
Previously Drafted: N/A
Background: A one-and-done player at the Division I level, Adams, who transferred to the Hawkeyes from Des Moines Area Community College before 2017, put together a historic season. The bulky, hulking first baseman spent his first two seasons with JuCo Bears, slugging an impressive .390/.504/.764 with 13 doubles, a pair of triples, and 17 homeruns during his freshman season with a 31-to-34 strikeout-to-walk ratio. And he followed that up with an even more impressive showing during his sophomore campaign: in 54 games for Des Moines Area Community College two years ago, Adams battered the opposition to the tune of .360/.437/860 with 19 doubles, three triples, and 25 long balls – though his strikeout-to-walk ratio decline down to 39-to-24. He was named as a First Team All-American as well.
It looked like he would be caught in baseball limbo after that 2016 season, however, as North Dakota, where was set to attend, decided to banish the baseball program. But he caught the eye of Iowa hitting coach Sean Moore. And the rest, as they say, is history.
After a slow start to the year, Adams, according to the school’s website batted a lowly .231 through the team’s first seven games, caught fire and never looked back. When the dust settled, the 6-foot-2, 250-pound slugger finished as one of the most prolific hitters in the university’s history. In 61 games for Head Coach Rick Heller, Adams batted .335/.417/.747 with 14 doubles and an NCAA-leading 29 homeruns. He also swiped five bags in six attempts and finished with a 57-to-29 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Projection: In terms of available data, Adams has essentially one full season of reliable production. That’s it. No additional experience against top notch competition – no summer league action, no Team USA action, nothing. But, man, it’s one helluva season though.
To put it into proper context, consider the following:
- Between 2011 and 2016, only 10 hitters have slugged 25 or more homeruns in a season at any collegiate level.
- Of those 10, only two of them – Kris Bryant and Victor Roache – played at the Division I level. Both, of course, were eventual first round selections.
So let’s take a quick comparison of the hitters during their 25+ homer season, shall we?
First thing: the aforementioned season for Roache occurred during his sophomore campaign; Bryant and Adams achieved the feat as juniors.
Anyway, in terms of comparison, Adams’ season was easily the worst of the three: he doesn’t walk nearly as much, strikes out more often, and didn’t hit for nearly as much pop.
Adams looks like a second or third round pick. Some teams will inevitably be afraid of his lack of a track record, size of his frame, and positional limitations. He’s built like a Designated Hitter playing first base.
At his peak, he looks like a .260/.310/.500-type hitter with 20+ homer potential.
Ceiling: 1.5-win player
Floor: 0.5-win player
Grade: Second/Third Round