In the minor leagues, some of the most important player development work comes after the regular…
Adams Building Off Monster Month
Putting together a solid week of baseball at the Triple-A level is impressive. A few homeruns and maybe seven or eight RBI and MLB front office people may start checking the box scores.
Bisons utility man Russ Adams has done one better, he has put together an unbelievable month of August in which he has absolutely been tearing the cover off the baseball.
Adams is batting .359 in the month of August and in his last 20 games he has 14 extra-base hits and has posted a 1.260 OPS. Adams' 27 doubles and 43 extra-base hits on the season lead the Bisons.
Playing the best baseball he's played in years hasn't come as a surprise to Adams and he thinks that the success the team has had helped him find his game.
"A lot of it has something to do with when you're winning games as a team you start finding ways to win them," Adams said. "Then it sort of snowballs and starts affecting guys individually. Things start to go the right way and you start to get some confidence back and it's been a lot of fun here the last month or so."
The highlight of the month may have come on August 23 against the Pawtucket Red Sox. Adams went 2-for-4 in the game with two homeruns and four RBI. The second blast came off rehabbing left-handed pitcher Hideki Okajima for only his fourth hit of the season off a lefty.
In his eight-year career, Adams has never really struggled against left-handers, which makes his troubles this season puzzling. Adams is 6-for-66 off southpaws this season.
"I can't really put my finger on why lefties have got me out so easily this year," Adams said. "I never really had that much trouble with them before. I think once you get to a certain point you start pressing to prove that you can do it or just try to break out of it anyway you can and it only makes it worse."
Bisons manager Ken Oberkfell is excited to see Adams starting to heat up at the plate and thinks his difficulty against lefties this season wont matter much down the stretch.
"He is swinging the bat well," Oberkfell said. "He's been really solid and it was nice to see him get a home run off a left-handed pitcher. With the injuries we have now he is going to be in there and get an opportunity."
It's been an up-and-down season for Adams who had a solid first month, batting .302 in 12 games. In May, the production dropped a bit and June was a month to forget for Adams who hit only .190 in 27 games with 20 strikeouts. He suffered an injury and missed some time in July before starting his current hot streak.
Currently working on a great month, Adams is trying to send a message to, not only the Mets, but also scouts across the Major Leagues. He is hoping that the production he's displayed will peak the interest of a team so he can get another shot in the big leagues.
"If I didn't think I could still play in the major leagues or thought that my abilities weren't there I wouldn't be playing," Adams said. "I'd be looking to do something else. I know that I have the ability and it's all about finding the right spot and sometimes having good timing."
Taking it one game at a time is what has helped Adams in August. His approach to the game includes hard work and a veteran mind-set that could prove to be useful for a Major League team.
"You just try and ride the good times as long as you can," Adams said. "This game will throw you quick so you have to enjoy the good times but understand that each day is a different day. All I have to do is show up ready to play and try and have good at-bats and try to do what it takes to win games."
Adams turned 30-years-old yesterday and hopes to continue his assault on opposing pitchers for as long as he can and continue padding the stats in the box score.
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