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What to expect from Colorado Rockies rookie Cristhian Adames

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Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story is the big story in the National League right now (sorry for the pun), but the Rockies have another young infielder worth paying attention to: shortstop Cristhian Adames. Signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2007, Adames doesn't have Story's type of offensive potential but could have a solid career of his own.

The basics, from the 2016 Baseball Prospect Book:

Cristhian Adames, SS, Colorado Rockies
Bats: S     Throws: R     HT: 6-0    WT: 160   DOB: July 26, 1991 
2011: Grade C+; 2012: Grade C; 2013: Grade C+; 2014: Grade C+; 2015: Grade C

Cristhian Adames thrives on defense: he is far more reliable on routine plays than most young shortstops and features a standout arm. He is also very effective at second and third; he runs and throws well enough that you could probably try him in the outfield, though he has no actual game innings there. Adames is a contact hitter and hasn’t shown any power outside the Pacific Coast League. He could hit .260 in the majors but it would likely be an empty .260. I think he is a utility guy with a valuable glove. Grade C.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTARY

Adames hit .245/.298/.302 in 53 at-bats for the Rockies last year, retaining rookie status for 2016. Based mainly on his minor league record, the various sabermetric projection systems provide similar results: Steamer at .279/.324/.375, ZiPS at .282/.325/.383, PECOTA at .273/.313/.379.

I think the projection systems are exactly right. Adames is a switch-hitter adept at contact from both sides of the plate, but he isn't going to draw many walks nor hit for home run power outside of Colorado. His bat-on-ball skills should provide some .250sh averages in a neutral environment and a bit higher at home. At times he'll show some wiry strength and will hit some doubles, but overall this isn't a bat that will force itself into regular action.

His glove is quite good, however, especially at second base where his range plays best. Although he doesn't have outstanding range at shortstop he is quite reliable; his arm fits well at third.

Overall, Adames presents a utility profile with minimal fantasy value but his versatile glove will keep him in the real life roster picture, in Colorado or elsewhere, for years to come.