Yesterday the Atlanta Braves promoted outfielder Lane Adams to the major league roster, purchasing his contract from the Triple-A Gwinnett roster. Here’s a quick summary of what Lane could offer the Braves.
Lane is a product of the Kansas City Royals system, drafted in the 13th round in 2009 from high school in Red Oak, Oklahoma (population 549). He made slow but steady progress through the KC system, reaching Double-A in 2013 and Triple-A in 2015, standing out for speed, defense, and occasional power. He reached the majors briefly with the Royals, accumulating three at-bats over six games in 2014. The New York Yankees claimed him on waivers last spring but he was released in July and signed with the Chicago Cubs in August.
The Braves picked him up as a free agent last fall and he was off to a hot start this season, hitting .333/.352/.588 with six steals, two walks, and 16 strikeouts in 51 at-bat for Gwinnett.
Lane is a 6-3, 220 pound right-handed hitter and thrower born November 13, 1989. He’s a very good athlete, notably in the speed department where some scouts rate him as high as a 70 runner. His arm is perhaps a bit short for right field but he has impressive instincts and manages center field well.
There’s power in the bat, too, but his feel for the strike zone is very inconsistent. He’s learned to handle Double-A pitching very well but his production in Triple-A has been less reliable. Even the small-sample gaudy slash line this year is yoked to a poor BB/K/PA ratio and questions about his approach.
If Lane can keep the strike zone together, his combination of speed, defense, and occasional power would make him a viable fourth outfielder.