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Austin Adams could be an interesting part of the Indians bullpen next season

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Austin Adams is another right handed reliever who made good strides in 2014.

Austin Adams in July
Austin Adams in July
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Austin Adams

  • Position: Relief Pitcher
  • Age: 27
  • Acquired: fifth round pick, 2009 draft

Austin Adams was drafted in the fifth round in 2009, the season Alex White and Jason Kipnis in the first two rounds. He is the fourth draftee from that class to play for the Indians (Preston Guilmet), while three others have made the majors with other organizations (Cory Burns, Vidal Nuno and Burch Smith-never signed for Cleveland). Adams is also the fifth draftee from that round to crack the majors.

He reported to Mahoning Valley as a 22 year old and pitched 37 innings in relief. He struck out 29, but walked a5 and gave up four long balls, resulting in a 4.86 ERA. Still, the front office moved him up to Lake County in 2010. He pitched well enough to earn a midseason promotion after 13 appearances, including eight starts. He had a 1.133 WHIP and 10.3 K/9 with a decent 2.9 K/BB ratio. But he really picked it up when he landed in Kinston. He made twelve more starts and pitched 58.2 innings, with a 1.108 WHIP, 1.53 ERA and 3.4 K/BB ratio.

He began 2011 in Akron, and had a very up and down season. For every really good start, he seemed to sprinkle a bad one as well. He made 26 starts and had a 3.77 ERA, but an alarming 1.544 WHIP and a 8.7 K/9.

Even with those poor numbers, Adams got an invite to spring training in 2012, but was shut down very early with impingement of his right shoulder, which ended up costing him the entire season after surgery. He repeated Akron in 2013, this time, shifted to the pen. His plus fastball shined in the pen. In 55 innings, he struck out 76, walked 29 and had a 2.62 ERA.

As good as he was in AA in 2013, he turned it up another notch as a Clipper in 2014. He finished with a 2.50 ERA, 1.111 WHIP and 3.25 K/BB ration and 8.7 K/9. He got his first taste of the majors in July against the White Sox (it didn't go very well). He made two more shuttle trips before being called up for the September expansion.

In his six appearances in Cleveland he gave up seven runs in seven innings, but only walked one and struck out four.

2014 Grade: B+

Adams improvement in AAA was very encouraging. Hopefully the rocky lines in the majors was him getting his feet wet. He had two outings with three runs each, but the other four went pretty well.

2015 Outlook

Adams is definitely an option to make the bullpen out of spring training. He could be the #4 right-hander after Allen, Shaw and Atchison. I do believe he has a better shot than CC Lee. But he could just as easily spend all of next season shuttling back and forth depending on the offseason moves Antonetti makes.

Year Age Tm Lg W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB IBB SO HBP BK WP BF ERA+ FIP WHIP H9 HR9 BB9 SO9 SO/W Awards
2009 22 CLE-min A- 3 1 .750 4.86 17 0 3 0 0 1 37.0 39 22 20 4 15 1 29 4 0 0 167 1.459 9.5 1.0 3.6 7.1 1.93 MHV · NYPL
2010 23 CLE-min A+,A 8 5 .615 2.49 26 20 5 0 0 1 112.0 90 36 31 12 36 0 112 10 0 4 465 1.125 7.2 1.0 2.9 9.0 3.11 KIN,LCO · CARL,MIDW
2011 24 CLE-min AA 11 10 .524 3.77 26 26 0 0 0 0 136.0 147 68 57 6 63 0 131 5 1 11 599 1.544 9.7 0.4 4.2 8.7 2.08 AKR · EL
2013 26 CLE-min AA 3 2 .600 2.62 45 0 13 0 0 4 55.0 44 19 16 3 29 1 76 2 0 7 237 1.327 7.2 0.5 4.7 12.4 2.62 AKR · EL
2014 27 CLE-min AAA 3 2 .600 2.50 42 0 18 0 0 5 54.0 44 16 15 4 16 0 52 0 0 5 214 1.111 7.3 0.7 2.7 8.7 3.25 CLB · IL
2014 27 CLE AL 0 0 9.00 6 0 1 0 0 0 7.0 9 7 7 1 1 0 4 0 0 0 30 44 4.27 1.429 11.6 1.3 1.3 5.1 4.00
1 Yr 0 0 9.00 6 0 1 0 0 0 7.0 9 7 7 1 1 0 4 0 0 0 30 44 4.27 1.429 11.6 1.3 1.3 5.1 4.00
162 Game Avg. 0 0 9.00 68 0 11 0 0 0 79 102 79 79 11 11 0 45 0 0 0 340 44 4.27 1.429 11.6 1.3 1.3 5.1 4.00
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/21/2014.