Toronto made three selections on day one of the draft, taking high floor middle-infielder Logan Warmouth, flame throwing right-handed pitcher Nate Pearson, and former Little League World Series star Hagen Danner. On day two, the Blue Jays used their first selection of the day on 6’5, 215 lbs catcher Riley Adams 99th overall.
Adams is a junior at the University of San Diego, where he hit .312 with 13 home runs and 47 RBI in 54 games on his way to the 2017 WCC Player of the Year award. Adams ranked as the 72nd best prospect in this year’s draft class by Baseball America, 73rd by MLB Pipeline, and 89th by Keith Law
Now, to the scouting reports. Here are the grades from MLB Pipeline for Adams:
Hit: 45 | Power: 50 | Run: 30 | Arm: 50 | Field: 50 | Overall: 45
Baseball America wrote this about the Jays 99th overall selection:
“…Adams is a big-league bodied catcher at 6-foot-4, 225 pounds and uses his strength well on both sides of the ball. His raw arm strength grades as plus and earns an occasional 70 on the 20-to-80 scouting scale, while at the plate he possesses big power to all fields and enough feel to hit to get to it. He has had swing-and-miss issues to go along with his power production. Defensively Adams’ hands, receiving and blocking are well below-average and need significant work. Some evaluators believe those skills can improve to be adequate in the context of everything else Adams provides, but others think he will eventually have to move positions, either to first base or an outfield corner. …Adams’ size, power and pedigree will make him one of the top catchers off the board.”
Here is the scouting report from MLB Pipeline:
“Adams was a solid catching prospect coming out of high school, a very flexible athletic backstop who is a black belt in karate. While some worry that he’s lost some of that behind the plate, some success with his bat, coupled with the usual dearth of college catching, should help this University of San Diego backstop come June.
A Cape Cod League All-Star, Adams has shown some ability at the plate and he’s increased his power output in each of his three years as a starter at San Diego. Some of that has come because he’s a good guess hitter and pulls balls out of the park, but some scouts feel he has become too spread out at the plate with his Kris Bryant-like stance. In the past, he has shown solid defensive skills and a solid arm, though reports out of the Cape and this spring about his defense have not been overwhelmingly positive.
Adams is big and strong; the raw power is legitimate. The team that feels it can get him back to tapping into it with a better setup at the plate, not to mention helping him refine his defensive play, will take him off the board in the top three rounds.”
And Keith Law had this to say about Adams:
“Adams is a solid catch-and-throw receiver with some pop, but there are questions about his contact skills. He has been seen a ton this spring and probably goes on Day 1.”
MLB Pipeline’s scouting video featuring Adams is shown below:
More footage of him can be found here.
The slot value for the 99th pick is $542,400. The Blue Jays will pick next at 129th overall in the fourth round.