Playing with veteran Major Leaguers has been a big part of Corban Joseph's education.(Josh Horton)
Like the majority of 6’0 180 lb. second basemen, Corban Joseph doesn’t get in the batters box expecting to hit a home run. However, the Franklin, Tennessee native strayed from the norm, crushing a solo home run in his very first at bat with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
“It was actually pretty exciting,” Joseph said of his first Triple-A home run. “I really wasn’t trying to do too much, but I got a good pitch to hit and hit it just right and I was excited for the good start.”
Joseph was selected by the New York Yankees in the first round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft and is getting his first starts at the Triple-A level. He believes the secret to his success thus far has something to do with the guys who surround him in the clubhouse each day.
“It’s pretty cool being able to talk to guys like Russell Branyan or Jack Cust, who have had several years in the big leagues,” Joseph said. “Then there is Cervelli and Pena who have had a lot of Big League time as well. It’s fun to kind of bounce ideas off of them and get some information and be able to learn from the mistakes they said they have made. It really makes me a better player and I feel fortunate to be teammates with those guys.”
Much like the key to his offensive game, Joseph also is a sponge when it comes to chatting with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre infielders that have been here a bit longer. His goal is to learn as much as he can about each of the hitters on the opposing team, since he has only been with the club for a little over a month.
“It’s tough coming up here and not really knowing a lot of hitters, so I am pretty much relying on those guys (Ramiro Pena and Doug Bernier) on where there efficient guess is,” Joseph said. “I have to trust them out there and you know they have established themselves as players, but it is definitely good to have guys like that on the team so I can be able to talk about the game and get a better sense of what we are trying to accomplish as infielders. “
Although Joseph has caught on pretty quick, he feels that the toughest part about the International League is the opposing pitchers. When with the Trenton Thunder and other organizations in the Yankee system, Joseph felt most of the pitchers had a good primary pitch and still needed to work on their secondary stuff. With the new level, came new challenges and he found out quickly there are plenty of guys at the Triple-A level with more than one good pitch.
“I think Double-A to Triple-A, the best way to describe it is the pitchers are going to be a lot more around the zone and pretty much can locate their pitches where they want to, so you really have to have a good approach and stick with it throughout every at bat,” Joseph said. “You know, where as in double-A there are still a lot of pitchers trying to work on their secondary pitches and third pitches. Maybe they cant locate their change up or slider, so you are able to eliminate one of those pitches there and here you really cant.”
Instead of coming up with a whole new philosophy, Joseph decided to stay with what has always worked for him. The approach, which has worked thus far for him includes, studying the pitchers tendencies. He feels he is best prepared if he has a good idea of what each pitcher is going to throw in each count. It may take countless hours of studying research, but it seems to be working at this level as well.
“In the first at bat, I might just try and see what the starter has, what his slider looks like, what his changeup looks like and you know maybe battle from there,” Joseph said. “Then I can take that information into my next at bat. For example, if I am down 0-2 and he hangs a slider I know where it’s going to be. I think that a player like myself, who doesn’t hit a lot of home runs needs to be on base for guys like Russell and Jack and let them use their power. The main key for me is just staying in the zone.”
Since joining the Triple-A club, Joseph has hit it off really well with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s hitting coach Butch Wynegar. The two have been able to converse on a daily basis and figure out just what he needs to do to become a big league hitter.
“I really like this kid. I think he has a good chance to be a good hitter and if he fills out a little bit and gets bigger and stronger, I think the kid is going to have some juice in his bat,” Wynegar said. “He’s got really good hands, real whippy and I like the way he uses them. I think he has a chance to be a pretty good player.”
One of the biggest things Wynegar is pushing on Joseph is, getting on top of the ball and having everything line up perfectly on a consistent basis.
“I think the biggest thing for him is, he’s got the physical ability to hit at this level and I think even at the big league level, it’s more of a mental approach,” Wynegar said. “He’s got to make sure he gets to the hitting position on time and that he gets that barrel set before he goes. Sometimes he has too much waggle and he will end up looping it by getting the bat under the ball or something.”
Wynegar knows Joseph is a good hitter and feels that he can be an even better hitter if he just clears his head and keep his focus in every at bat.
“I just tell him he’s got to keep his mind in the at bat and get a good pitch to hit and just let it fly,” Wynegar said. “When he does that he swings the bat good. He’s a good hitter now and he is going to continue to be a good hitter for a long time.”
Joseph plans on taking everything he has learned from all the coaches and players and applying it to his game with hopes of getting better each day. He now knows, he is just one step away from his dream of being a Major League baseball player and he plans on doing whatever it takes to get there.
“I really enjoy playing with the guys here and they have helped me out a lot,” Joseph said. “You can see a lot of talent there and its fun to be a part of this and know that every day you are a phone call away from the Big Leagues.”
Yanks right-hander uses power sinker for success at Trenton
By Andrew Pentis / Special to MLB.com
07/18/2012 10:00 AM ET
Marshall was a sixth-round draftee in 2008 out of Texas' Sterling High School. (Rudy C. Jones
Before the 1981 Yankees-Dodgers World Series returned to New York for a decisive Game 6, Yankees starter Tommy Johntold an inquisitive acquaintance about his tired-arm theory.
John, who at 38 would give up only one run in 13 Series innings, explained it like this the morning of Game 3 in Los Angeles: After undergoing his patented ligament-replacement elbow surgery seven years earlier, he had discovered that his repaired left arm was too strong to throw the sinking fastball -- his post-op, career-prolonging pitch. While employed by the Dodgers before his switch to the Yanks in '79, John described toiling in his vegetable garden the day he was due to pitch one night in Chavez Ravine. He pitched exceptionally that night.
Call it a cerebral man's science -- or just another ballplayer's silly superstition -- but John had a new routine for the remainder of his 26 seasons in the Majors. Whatever you call it, John working with his hands in the dirt did wonders for that sinker. (This writer's father was that inquisitive acquaintance, then a young law clerk assisting John's attorney, Bob Cohen.)
Which brings us, two decades later, to Brett Marshall, also a sinker-baller currently ranked as the Yankees' No. 20 prospect.
"I definitely understand that," Marshall said of John's pre-start tactic. "But I don't like to tire myself out. In the later innings my arm is kind of hanging and I know I have that sinker.
"When I slow it down a tick or two, I get a little bit more movement. The slower it is, the more it has to move from the pitcher's mound to home plate. The harder I throw it, the less time it has to move. At the beginning of the game, it's still a great pitch."
So no need for seeds and soil for this hurler. That's not all of Marshall's sinker story, however. When New York nabbed the Texas prep product with its sixth-round choice in the 2008 draft, its brass asked him to bag his best offering. The Yankees wanted the then-18-year-old to focus on developing his straight four-seam fastball, changeup and curveball. Four years later, he believes he put unnecessary stress on his elbow while learning that last offering.
"My first year, I threw a lot of curveballs. Every day, even after a start, I'd throw 100 curveballs on flat ground, just spinning 'em, trying to get a feel for it," he said. "So after Tommy John [surgery in 2009], I was like, 'Give me my sinker back. That's what I had when ya'll signed me, and that was one big thing that got me drafted.' I have been throwing it ever since."
And good luck arguing over the results. In his first run through the Eastern League with the Double-A Trenton Thunder this season, Marshall has won 10 of 13 decisions and compiled a 3.00 ERA. In one five-start stretch in May, the 22-year-old right-hander had four scoreless outings, each spanning at least six frames. Most importantly, he's stayed healthy, missing just one start in late June due to knee bursitis.
MiLB.com asked Marshall to describe and grade each of the four pitches he throws. (His grade is based on a scout's traditional 20-80 scale, 50 being the Major League average.) Here is Marshall, in his own words.
Pitch one: Two-seam fastball
Origin:I developed it back in Little League. When my dad first taught me how to pitch, he made me grab the ball two-seam style. Ever since then, I threw it. I was always a position player thought Little League and high school so I was always changing my arm slot and had a lot of movement on my ball. When I first got on the mound, it was just natural movement.
Purpose: I don't try to do too much with it because some days it will be moving so much that I can't really control it. Some days it will be flatter than others. Mainly, I just aim it down the middle and let it work and keep down in the zone and get a lot of ground balls off of it.
Grip: Fingers together between the two horseshoes.
Speed: Anywhere from 88 to 93 mph. I've gotten up to 94 this year.
Pitch two: Four-seam fastball
Purpose:If I am ahead in a count, 0-2, or just trying to throw a first-pitch strike, I'll throw it. Or maybe go up in the zone and make the batter chase it because it's a harder pitch and comes out firmer. It still has a little bit of run on it, but for the most part it stays straight.
Grip: Across the horseshoe.
Speed: 90 to 93, 94.
Pitch three: Changeup
Origin:I had it in high school. I didn't throw it much. My first year of pro ball, I threw it a little different, and I changed it up after Tommy John surgery to a circle-change. The one I was throwing before was like a three-finger changeup, and it was really hard -- like, I was throwing it 86 to 89 and I was like, 'I need to slow it down.' When I switched to the circle, it started coming out really well: a lot of depth on it, good fade.
Purpose: I put great arm speed on it to make it look like my fastball and get a lot of swings and misses on it.
Grip: I don't hold it tot hard, too light. I grip it two-seam style to get a little more run on it.
Speed: 80 to 83.
Grade: I would grade that one pretty high, between 70 and 80 because I've been told it's definitely a plus-plus, big-league changeup, so I'm really glad to have it.
Pitch four: Slider
Origin:I threw it in high school too. One of my select-team coaches -- he played in the big leagues for a few years -- taught me how to throw it. But after I signed, the Yankees took it away and gave me a curveball. It wasn't coming along the way we wanted to, so after Tommy John, they gave me my slider back. We were trying to take the stress off my elbow. It's gotten better in the last two years. (I'll also be developing the curveball; we're going to be bringing it back here, hopefully, in the next month or so. Being a starter, I want to have that second breaking ball as a show-me pitch. I've been throwing it on flat ground, playing catch and warming up. Some days, it comes out really well, and the next day, I can't even find how I was doing it.)
Purpose: Depends if I am trying to make them swing and miss 0-2, 1-2, throw the ball in the dirt or on a first pitch and just get it over for a strike and maybe make 'em hit it or ground it out. I am able to shorten it up a little bit, make it a little tighter, so it's coming out pretty firm right now.
Grip: I grab it just like the four-seam, but I tilt the ball more and put more pressure on my middle finger and hook my middle finger around the seam. I throw it just like a fastball and let the grip do the work.
Speed: It's been up to 86, 87 this year but usually stays 81 to 85.
Grade: It's been better more days than it is not, 60.
Andrew Pentis is a contributor to MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at AndrewMiLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
"Jay Z got him a big raise, but he also got him a 30-day vacation – it’s called October," --Pete Rose
Enjoying a breakout season and having already received a promotion, Williams isn’t one to walk a lot. However, his excellent hand-eye coordination and pitch recognition allow him to make consistent contact without registering too many strikeouts. Furthermore, he’s an aggressive basestealer who has seen his power emerge over the first half of the season
This has been a down year for the farm system for the most part, though the most notable exception is the emergence of Tyler Austin from interesting guy to high-end prospect. The Yankees signed the 20-year-old for $135k as their 13th round pick back in 2010, and he’s rewarded them by hitting .322/.404/.583 with 15 homers and 18 steals (in 20 tries) across two levels of Single-A this year. Both Baseball America and Keith Law recently ranked him as one of the 50 best prospects in the game.
The numbers certainly pass the sniff test and at 6-foot-2 and 200 lbs., Austin passes the eye test as well. ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel, a former Yankees intern, scouted him during a recent High-A Tampa game and published the write-up yesterday. It’s an excellent and lengthy Insider-only read, so I can’t give away too much. Here are the most relevant points…
He’s a below-average runner with choppy steps and some thickness to a 6-foot-2, 200-pound frame. Austin’s arm is slightly above-average, so he can play right field, and he’s quick enough to stay there for now … There is a risk for barring his lead arm and/or a loopy path in how he moves his hands, but Austin has good enough feel for his swing that this hasn’t been a problem in games I’ve seen … Austin’s strength, bat speed and hips combine to create above-average to plus raw power that is most natural to the opposite gap, an encouraging sign for power showing up in games and translating at higher levels … The separator for Austin is his advanced plan, feel and plate coverage that is fueled by his quick hands and allows him to tap into his raw power in games. Austin has a tough profile and little margin for error, but he’s got a good chance to reach his ceiling of .275-.280 average with 25 homers.
Mike Newman passed along a similar report when he caught Austin a few weeks ago, saying the stolen base totals — 36-for-38 in steal attempts for his career — are not indicative of his actual speed and athleticism, and that the swing can get a little flat. Both guys agree that the (hard to find) right-handed pop and opposite field stroke are for real though, ditto the advanced approach that allows Austin to wait for his pitch and take ball four (11.3% walk rate) if he doesn’t get anything to hit.
The long-term concern here is position. Austin was drafted as a catcher and moved to third base almost immediately. He shifted to right field this season in part due to a lack of hot corner quickness, but also because of the presence of Dante Bichette Jr., last year’s first rounder. McDaniel notes that Austin may have to move to first base long-term, though hopefully he can stave off that fate for a few years ago. Either way, Austin’s carrying tool is his bat and if ever reaches the big leagues, it’ll be because he hit his way there. Don’t count on defensive value.
Scouting director Damon Oppenheimer has a bit of a spotty track record when it comes to first round/top picks, but he and his scouting staff just kill it in the late rounds, particularly on the mound. They consistently find power arms to feed the bullpen pipeline and dangle in trades, but Austin at least has the potential to be their best late-round find yet as an impact hitter from the right side of the plate. The Yankees are going to need to add some cheap bats to the lineup in the coming years, and Austin could have himself on the big league radar by 2014 if he stays healthy and progresses as hoped.
Just FYI, McDaniel also commented on outfielders Slade Heathcott (“shows big tools with above-average left-handed power and above-average speed that makes for a potentially enticing center-field package”) and Ramon Flores (“the tools are short for big league impact”). Last week he covered Mason Williams and some of those bullpen arms.
"Jay Z got him a big raise, but he also got him a 30-day vacation – it’s called October," --Pete Rose
TRENTON — The top of the order went 9-for-18 yesterday as the Trenton Thunder won their seventh straight, defeating Altoona 9-5 at steamy Waterfront Park.
And while the team has the best record in the Eastern League along with the most home runs — now 133 — catcher J.R. Murphy continued to quietly go about his business as being a key player on this team.
The youngest player on the roster (he turned 21 this spring) is hitting .302 since the All-Star break. In his past 14 games he is 13-for-43 with two home runs and eight runs scored. He was on base twice yesterday in the No. 6 slot, and also threw out a runner trying to steal second.
This is the same kid who moved from Single-A ball in Tampa early last month and got off to a 0-for-13 start at the plate.
“You move up a level and you’re anxious to prove you’re worthy,” Thunder manager Tony Franklin said. “He’s certainly proven it to me. I just think he’s a pretty good player.
“He figures things out really, really quick. He handles the game with a measure of ease that you kind of like. He doesn’t get flustered. His heart beat is kind of slow. I’m not surprised he’s doing what he’s doing.”
The youngster received praise last Sunday from Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain after he made his final rehab stop here. Murphy was the catcher that evening, and the major leaguer essentially said that the future of Yankee catchers is in good hands.
“That’s coming from a major league guy who’s had success,” Franklin said. “It doesn’t take forever to figure that out.”
The win left Trenton a season-high 23 games over .500 as it begins a three-game set today at Bowie.
The top four batters in the lineup combined for three doubles, two home runs, seven RBIs and six runs scored, leaving a crowd of 4,370 as happy as it was sweaty. Zoilo Almonte led the offense with four RBIs, a homer, a double and a sac fly, and David Adams had a home run, double and scored three runs.
If the Yankees are good at developing one type of prospect it is relief pitchers. There have been several recent success stories, and there are a few good relief prospects on the brink of a promotion to the major leagues. One guy who is closer than you might think is Mark Montgomery. He has only made nine appearances in Double-A so far this season, but he has mowed down batters ever since being drafted. Montgomery has already drawn comparisons to David Robertson, not so much because of his stuff but more because of his utter dominance of the minor leagues thus far in his career. Like Robertson, he also gets great extension on all of his pitches.
Montgomery was drafted in the 11th round of the 2011 draft, last year. Since being drafted he has already moved across four levels in two years, and trust me he has earned every promotion along the way. Last season he struck out a whopping 51 batters in just 28.1 innings pitched. Thats good for a 16.1 K/9 rate. It’s not just strikeouts either, as his ERA was just 1.91 for the season. He did walk 13 batters, but his K:BB ratio was about 4:1, so I think I can forgive him. He gave up 20 hits and recorded 15 saves.
This year, if you can believe it, Montgomery has actually improved his performance. He’s gone 54.1 innings and struck out 83 batters. His K/9 is a measley 13.8, a ridiculous sum. Better yet, he’s cut his walk rate from 4.16/9 innings to 3.1/9 and his ERA for the season is just 1.66. His K:BB rate this season is 4.4:1. He was named to the High-A FSL midseason all-stars for his strong work.
Usually we start the scouting report with the fastball. In Montgomery’s case, his best pitch is far and away his slider so we’ll begin with that. So far in his career, no on can touch it. Scouts feel that this will continue on into his major league career, because the slider is that good. He sits at around 85 mph with this pitch and he commands it well. He throws it different ways as well. He is actually able to control the break. If he wants to get someone to swing at a pitch outside the zone, he increases the break.
It’s funny to talk about a fastball in the secondary pitches, but that’s Montgomery for you. The fastball is a perfect complement to the slider. He throws a four-seamer at 93-95 mph with some good late movement on it. His command with the fastball isn’t as good as the slider, but he’s gotten better in just one season. He also throws a two-seamer but his control is spotty with it. He’s developing a changeup as well, but doesn’t use it in games yet.
The ceiling and floor are actually pretty easy. His ceiling is a major league caliber closer. The floor is a Mark Melancon-esque flame out. He will at the very least play in the major leagues though, and that alone is a big deal for any 11th round selection.
His estimated time of arrival with the Yankees would be next season. Some are calling for a promotion in September, but I think that would be a bit hasty. In fact it may not be until next September that he gets his chance. If he pitches as well in Triple-A next season as he has this season all bets are off though. Depending on Mariano’s leg, Soriano’s contract, and Joba’s health, he could be an integral piece of the bullpen.
Mark Montgomery has been a fantastic late round find for the Yankees. He has soared above and beyond all possible expectations, and he’s looking ready for the next level. Yankees fans can look forward to seeing him as soon as next season, and hopefully that slider will be making knees buckle and backs break all across the AL East in the near future
"Jay Z got him a big raise, but he also got him a 30-day vacation – it’s called October," --Pete Rose
College of Charleston slugger Daniel Aldrich is signed and sealed to play for the New York Yankees organization. But he won’t deliver until the 2013 season.
Aldrich flew to Tampa on Tuesday to sign as an undrafted free agent with the Yankees after passing a physical. With only two weeks remaining in the minor league season, the Yankees decided that the former Wando High School star should wait until spring training to begin his climb up the minor league ladder.
“The Yankees are my favorite team, so it is awesome,” Aldrich said. “I’m definitely excited. This is a dream come true.”
Aldrich wouldn’t divulge the amount of his signing bonus, but it was believed to be at least $150,000.
Aldrich said he doesn’t know where he will begin the 2013 season. But there’s a chance he could end up with the Charleston RiverDogs, a low Class A affiliate of the Yankees.
“I won’t know until spring training where I’m going,” he said. “But to play in Charleston would be awesome. That would be a cool experience. My friends and family could see me play.”
Aldrich still had two years of eligibility remaining with the Cougars. He finished with 33 career home runs and nine triples in two seasons at the College of Charleston.
Aldrich, who was an all-state selection at Wando, had a breakout season in 2011 and was named national freshman of the year after leading all Division I freshmen in home runs (22), RBIs (73), slugging percentage (.739) and total bases (164).
But he slumped this past spring, batting .287 with 11 home runs and 46 RBIs.
He flourished in the postseason and was named to the Gainesville Regional all-tournament team after hitting .417 with two doubles and a home run in three games.
Aldrich just completed his summer season with the Cotuit Kettleers of the Cape Cod League. He batted .350 with 10 home runs and 26 RBIs.
In an Insider-only piece at ESPN, former Yankees intern Kiley McDaniel provided an extended scouting report on first rounder Ty Hensley from his first pro outing. He said the right-hander looked completely healthy despite the shoulder “abnormality” that led to a below-slot signing bonus, while also noting that he still looked “like an 19-year-old power arm learning to harness his stuff.”
McDaniel clocked Hensley at 90-93 and said he was “hitting 95 mph with two-seam life.” His mid-70s curveball “flashed plus” and the report on his changeup was surprisingly positive. “Hensley also threw an 80-82 mph changeup that has a chance to be above-average — better than many of the top prep arms from his class that I scouted this year,” wrote McDaniel. “That may be the most encouraging thing, as Hensley’s challenge will be channeling pure power into a mix of power and finesse, and feel for a changeup at this age is a good indicator that he’ll be able to accomplish that. The Yankees will work with him to clean up his delivery, as he’s a heel-lander with a little noise in his motion, but the elements are here for a frontline starter if Hensley can make the necessary adjustments.”
Also check out McDaniel’s reports on OF Tyler Austin, OF Slade Heathcott, OF Mason Williams, C Gary Sanchez, and others in case you missed them. Hensley pitched for the Rookie Level GCL Yankees this afternoon, allowing three unearned runs on one hit and two hit batsmen in 2.2 innings. He struck out a pair and got four other outs on the ground.
"Jay Z got him a big raise, but he also got him a 30-day vacation – it’s called October," --Pete Rose
David Adams is one of the best bats the New York Yankees system has to offer. The 6-foot-2 second and third baseman drafted out of the University of Virginia has been one of the most consistent forces in a potent Trenton Thunder lineup this season.
Two years ago, in the middle of a dream season, he suffered an injury that would unexpectedly cost him the rest of the 2010 season, all of 2011, and a significant part of the 2012 season. One of the prizes of the system when he went down with this injury, he is now regaining that status in his return and is looking like he could be a big part of the future success of the Yankees.
He’s 25 years old, and lost significant development time with the injury, but has picked up right where he left off. He’s looking as good as ever these days. Weighing in at 210-pounds and a right handed batter, he could be grabbing some important utility at bats as soon as next season. He and Corban Joseph will play an important role in the future of second base with New York, whether Robinson Cano is retained after next season or not.
Adams has one of the most consistent swings this system has to offer. Couple this with the sweet stroke and impressive knowledge of the strike zone, and you have a dangerous hitter. He has gotten back to getting the barrel of the bat on the ball, and sprays line drives over the entire field. Adams has above average power to all fields too.
As he mentions in the interview below, Adams may have lost a step since the injury. Truth be told though, this was never a huge part of his game to begin with. He was never one to steal many bases, so the injury doesn’t seem to have hurt this aspect of his game too much. It’s also possible he could regain some of his old speed as he continues to be a tireless worker. Should that happen, he could have some basestealing potential in the future.
Adams is no slouch on defense. His arm is good enough to play third, and he can turn a double play with the best of them. He’s got average range, but with the arm strength and double play threat he is an above average to excellent defender.
Adams has the ability to be a starting second baseman in the major leagues. He is currently blocked by Robinson Cano, but a guy who can swing the bat and play defense like Adams will not be held down for long. His bat is good enough to play third as well. He will be a part of a major league team eventually, the only question is when and in what role. I wouldn’t bet against him to be a starter.
After interviewing David, it is obvious that he is a humble guy. He has been through adversity in his minor league career, and he has the right attitude and work ethic to make it. He was kind enough to lend his time and answer some of my questions in my first interview of a Trenton Thunder player. Sounds like his wife has had a major influence on his game too. Must be a great lady. Here it is.
Greg Corcoran: What was the most challenging aspect about your recovery from the broken leg/ankle you suffered?
David Adams: The length of time I was out. That’s the biggest struggle.
GC: What was the hardest part physically?
DA: Rehabbing in general is pretty difficult. The initial stages are the hardest because you’re pretty stiff and have to regain that flexibility.
GC: Did you ever think about hanging up the cleats?
DA: No. I’ts a thought that goes through anyone’s mind when you’re out so long. Am I doing the right things? It seems so minor but it lasts so long and you just want it to be over with. I’ve met great teammates who are great Christians and great people who got me closer to God. They have really helped me get through this process. If it doesn’t work out then God has bigger plans for me.
GC: What do you feel your biggest strength as a player is?
DA: A lot of people have asked me this question, and I think the answer is that I’m mentally tough and play the right way. A couple of times my wife would tell me I wasn’t hustling out there and it was like a slap in the face that brings you back to reality. You can’t talk the talk if you’re not walking the walk. To me it’s about respecting the game and honoring that commitment I’ve made.
GC: The coaches have moved you to third base. Any word on why that is? Do you think it has anything to do with A-Rod’s injury?
DA: Initially they brought it up as more opportunities for me if something were to happen. I dont think it’s the Arod thing; you know they went out and got (Casey) McGehee. Everyone talks and people say it’s for one thing or another. It opens up options for me, and allows me to play multiple positions. If that opens up an opportunity for me with the Yankees, or if another team likes that, that’s good for me.
GC: What position do you feel most comfortable at?
DA: I played second base since my freshman year of college, eight years now. I’ve only played a few games at third. I’m a little more comfortable at second. I’ve had some great help from Addison Maruszak and Kevin Mahoney. I’ve talked to my coaches a lot about it. I’ve got questions and these guys can help me out with it.
GC: What types of things are you working trying to improve right now?
DA: Everything. I’m not gonna lie. People always ask me that and I always have the same answer. I’m not perfect. No one is perfect. I’m just trying to improve every day. For me to succeed in this game I have to put my whole heart into every part of it.
GC: What types of hobbies do you have outside of baseball?
DA: A year or two ago I’d have said video game but I’ve given that up. Hanging out with my wife, my dog, my cats and my family.
GC: What kind of dog do you have?
DA: He’s a part lab part American Bulldog named Charlie.
GC: Are there any lingering effects from the injury?
DA: I still don’t think I’m 100%. I don’t think I run as well as I used to right now. There are certainly days I feel a little stiff. I’d say 90% of the time I go out there I feel pretty good. I’m not a burner. I’m not gonna steal to many bases. I feel like I have good range of motion and all. I don’t think my ankle is a hindrance at all. I’m just not fast and I know that.
GC: What has been your favorite moment as a baseball player so far?
DA: As a kid growing up you dream of hitting a walkoff. The only walkoff I’ve ever hit was against Georgia Tech in college and my whole family was there for that. That was pretty special.
DA: I enjoy watching great hitters play. I wouldn’t put my finger on one specific person. I enjoy watching great hitters because I admire what they can do on a daily basis.
GC: Which coaches have been the most helpful to you in your career?
DA: My dad’s been a coach growing up all my life. He’s been one. Mike Adams is another guy who’s been a big help to me (not related to me). Kevin McMullen at University of Virginia was a huge help for me. He was a big mental toughness guy and he helped me mentally prepare myself for the next level. He’s been really inspirational for me.
GC: What song would you come out to if you could come out to any song?
DA: Eli Young Band: Even if it breaks your heart.
GC: What do you do to pass the time on long bus trips?
DA: Watch movies. Don’t really sleep on busses because it’s uncomfortable. Play cards sometimes. That’s about it. Not really too much to do on bus trips.
So there you have it. Again I’d like to thank David Adams for allowing me to interview him, and Josh Maurer for facilitating the interview. Best of luck to David and I hope to see him playing in the Bronx shortly.