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Matt Adams

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Matthew James Adams

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[edit] Biographical Information

Matt Adams made his pro debut in 2009 and reached the majors with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2012.

Adams was All-State in high school. In 2007, he hit .421, leading the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference. He also led with 24 doubles, a school record. The National Collegiate baseball Writers Association picked him as a third-team All-American. He improved to .438 in 2008 and won second-team All-American. As a junior, Matthew batted .495/.566/.853 with 64 runs and 64 RBI in 51 games. Daktronics named him the NCAA Division II Player of the Year after leading the nation in average. He set a school record for average, tied the record for hits (91), tied his own double record, set a new slugging record, fell two shy of the homer record (16) and fell two shy of the run record. The American Baseball Coaches Association picked him second-team All-American at catcher for Division II. The St. Louis Cardinals took the big backstop in the 23rd round of the 2009 amateur draft. He was signed by scout Brian Hopkins and made his pro debut that summer.

Adams had a great pro debut. His first time at the plate as a pro, he went deep. He went on to hit .355/.400/.574 between the Johnson City Cardinals and Batavia Muckdogs, with 10 home runs and 52 RBI in 63 games while making the transition to first base. Had he qualified, he would have led both the Appalachian League and New York-Penn League in average.

In 2010, Matt was assigned to the Quad Cities River Bandits, where he was hit .310/.355/.541 with 41 doubles, 22 home runs and 88 RBI. He was 6th in the Midwest League in average (between Sean Ochinko and Scooter Gennett), doubles (tied for third with Vinnie Catricala), homers (tied for second with Khris Davis, one behind Nick Franklin), extra-base hits (63, 1st), RBI (1st by one over Justin Bour and Chris Dennis), total bases (251, 2nd to Brian Cavazos-Galvez), slugging (1st by 21 points over Cavazos-Galvez) and OPS (3rd behind Jason Hagerty and Davis). He was 5th in the St. Louis chain in runs, led in doubles (6 over Alex Castellanos), tied for second in home runs (2 behind Steven Hill), was second in RBI (4 behind Hill), led in slugging and led in total bases (18 over Matt Carpenter). He was the MWL All-Star first baseman; Mike Trout was MVP. Baseball America did not put him on their list of the league's top 20 prospects.

In 2011, he hit .300/.357/.566 with 32 dingers, 80 runs and 101 RBI for the Springfield Cardinals. He was on the Texas League leaderboard in RBI (1st, 7 over Luis Jimenez), slugging (1st, .004 over Castellanos), homers (2nd, 1 behind Tim Wheeler), total bases (262, 38 behind Wheeler, 2nd), OPS (3rd behind Trout and Castellanos), extra-base hits (57, 4th), runs (tied for 6th with Mike Bianucci) and average (6th, between Jimmy Van Ostrand and Chris Swauger). He was named the league All-Star first baseman and Player of the Year. He also led Cards minor leaguers in homers (4 over Nick Stavinoha) and slugging and was second to Stavinoha in both RBI and runs. Baseball America listed him as the TL's #19 prospect, between Joe Wieland and J.D. Martinez. He then hit .250 with 4 homers and 19 RBI in 20 games for the Peoria Javelinas of the Arizona Fall League.

He batted .329/.362/.624 with 18 homers in 67 games for the 2012 Memphis Redbirds. He also saw time in the majors. He singled off Chad Billingsley in his first MLB at-bat and took Chad Qualls deep for his first homer. He hit .244/.286/.384 with two homers in 86 at-bats for the 2012 Cardinals. He missed time with injury and needed shoulder to remove bone chips in his elbow, ending his season early.

Playing 1B for the Cardinals on September 4, 2013, Adams became the second player that season to hit two extra-inning homers in one game. He broke out of an 0-for-17 slump by taking Alfredo Simon of the Cincinnati Reds in the 14th, only to see the Reds score a run in the bottom of the inning to tie the game at 4-all. In the 16th, he homered again, off Logan Ondrusek, with what proved to be the winning run in a 5-4 game, the longest of the year for both teams who were battling each other for a wild card slot. John Mayberry of the Philadelphia Phillies had also accomplished the feat on June 4th, but before that, it had not been done since Mike Young of the Baltimore Orioles in 1987. He hit .284/.335/.503 with 17 homers, 46 runs and 51 RBI in 319 plate appearances over 108 games for the 2013 Cardinals, for a 131 OPS+. Despite not being a starter, he was third on the team in home runs behind Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday. The slugger saw extensive action when Allen Craig was out with injury; he was 6 for 19 with a walk, double and homer (off Mark Melancon) in the NLDS and 5 for 22 with a double and two walks in the NLCS with Craig still out. He struggled mightily in the 2013 World Series, though, going 3 for 22 with a double, no walks, no runs, no RBI and seven strikeouts as St. Louis fell to Boston.

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