Jason Adam

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Jason Kendall Adam

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Biographical Information[edit]

Starting pitcher Jason Adam began playing professionally in the Kansas City Royals minor league system in 2011.

He was 4-3 with a 1.51 ERA and 79 K in 41 2/3 IP as a high school senior, winning All-State honors. He was taken by the Royals in the 5th round of the 2010 amateur draft, a couple of picks ahead of outfielder Matt den Dekker. He was signed for a $800,000 bonus by scout Steve Gossett, turning down a scholarship offer to the University of Missouri. His fastball had been timed around 97 mph.

He was 6-9 with a 4.23 ERA in 21 starts for the Kane County Cougars in 2011. He tied Will Smith for 6th in the Royals chain in losses. Named the 12th best prospect in the Royals system by MLB.com and 8th best by Baseball America entering 2012, Adam went 7-12 with a 3.53 ERA in 27 starts for the Wilmington Blue Rocks that year. He was 6th in the Carolina League in ERA (between Keith Couch and Randol Rojas), tied for fourth in losses and tied Cody Martin for third in strikeouts (123). In the Royals chain, he was 4th in K (between Yordano Ventura and Kellen Moen) and tied for second in losses (with Aaron Brooks, Chris Dwyer and Mike Montgomery). Baseball America again ranked him as KC's 8th-best prospect.

In 2013, he was 8-11 with a 5.19 ERA in 26 starts for the Northwest Arkansas Naturals. He was 6th in the Texas League in losses, tied Tim Gustafson for the most runs allowed (98), was third with 126 strikeouts (behind Nick Tropeano and Neil Ramirez) and led with 15 hit batsmen. He tied Dwyer for 4th in the Royals chain in defeats, led in runs (6 ahead of Nathan Adcock), was second in earned runs (83, one behind Adcock), ranked 7th in K and hit the most batters (one ahead of Sam Selman). Baseball America listed him as the TL's 8th-best prospect, between Keyvius Sampson and Stephen Piscotty. He was 2-2 with a 4.03 ERA for the Peoria Javelinas in the Arizona Fall League.

He began 2014 with Northwest Arkansas, where he went 4-8, 5.03 in 19 games. In spite of so-so results, he was promoted to AAA for the first time in mid-July, joining the Omaha Storm Chasers. Moved to the bullpen, he did better, putting up an ERA of 2.35 in games before being traded to the Minnesota Twins on August 11th in return for OF/DH Josh Willingham. He pitched just twice for the New Britain Rock Cats after the trade. He then lost all of 2015 and 2016 to an injury and became a free agent, joining the San Diego Padres in 2017. It was a year of gaining back his strength, as he pitched for both Padres affiliates in the Arizona League on rehabilitation assignments, in addition to a single game with the AA San Antonio Missions. He was released on August 14th and four days later, returned to his original organization, the Royals, who sent him back to Northwest Arkansas, completing a full circle since 2014. He pitched 5 times in relief with an ERA of 7.11.

Hopes of making it back to the prospect ranks were dim when Adam began the 2018 season, given how little he had pitched in the previous three years, and his lack of success the few times he had made it to a mound. However, he did well in his first 6 outings for Northwest Arkansas, putting up an ERA of 1.59 in 11 1/3 innings. He earned a promotion to AAA for the first time since 2014, returning to Omaha where he was 1-0 with an unspoiled ERA after 4 games. He was then called up to Kansas City on May 4th as Scott Barlow was sent down. He made his debut against the Detroit Tigers the next day, giving up a hit and a walk but nonetheless pitching a scoreless 9th inning in a 3-2 loss. Overall, he made 31 appearances for Kansas City, going 0-3 with a 6.12 ERA.

On March 17, 2019, the Toronto Blue Jays purchased his contract from the Royals, mainly as a means to provide some depth at the minor league level. An injury kept him sidelined until July, and after a few rehabilitation outings, he finally joined the AAA Buffalo Bisons on July 11th. He went 0-3 behind a 3.60 ERA with a save in 8 games when the pitching-starved Blue Jays called him up on August 1st after having traded away half of their bullpen at the trading deadline. He gave up a run in an inning of work in an 11-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles that day. He picked up his first career win on August 10th, against the New York Yankees. On a bullpen day, he replaced Tim Mayza with one out and runners on second and third in the 7th and the score tied at 3; he gave up a sacrifice fly to D.J. LeMahieu to give New York the lead, but in the bottom of the inning, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit his first career triple with two men on to give Toronto a 5-4 lead. He then struck out the first two batters in the top of the 8th before giving the ball to Derek Law, who recorded the last four outs to seal the win. He ended the year at 3-0 with a 2.91 ERA in 23 appearances, with just 15 hits allowed in 21 2/3 innings.


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