When a friend of mine was going down the line of Johnson City Cardinals at the "Meet the Cardinals" in late June, she would break the awkward silence at each player by throwing out a brief one or two-word question. After a brief glance at Matt Adams, it took her less than a second to say, "First baseman?" At six foot three inches and a solid 230 pounds, it was pretty obvious that Matt wasn't a nimble middle infielder.
Adams, a graduate of
Adams, a left-handed swinging
gap-to-gap hitter, made an immediate impression in the Appy League. Every year, there is one player that
seems to combine a consistent, smooth, and appealing-looking swing with the
sweet sound of a wooden bat hitting a baseball. Matt Adams was that hitter in
Adams' first professional home run
Matt Adams: Ready to swing.
Matt Adams: Swing follow-through.
Matt Adams: A rare swing-and-miss.
Adams posted a very impressive
statistical line (BA/OBP/SLG/OPS) at
2009 Best Rookie Performers
There were several other players considered for the Rookie of the Year award. The table below summarizes the key statistics for eight of the Cardinal's best rookie performers in 2009. The data shown represents the combined totals for the player at all levels. The players are ordered from top to bottom by batting average (BA). Each of the eight players had excellent professional debuts with the Cardinals organization and their future is bright.
Matt Adams: BA (1st), H (1st), HR (1st).
Kyle Conley: SLG (1st), OPS (1st), 2B (1st),
Jonathan Rodriguez: GCL Player of the Year, OBP (1st).
Grabiel Hernandez: Age (Youngest), POS (SS), 3B (1st), DSL Player of the Year, DSL All-Star.
Robert Stock: Appy League All-Star, POS (C).
Matt Carpenter: Levels (Most and Highest), AB (1st).
OPS Matt Adams
0.947 Kyle Conley
1.010 Rich Racobaldo
0.871 Jonathan Rodriguez
0.858 Grabiel Hernandez
0.840 Robert Stock
0.857 Alan Ahmady
0.798 Matt Carpenter
Level(s) Matt Adams
JC/Bat Kyle Conley
Bat/QC Rich Racobaldo
JC/QC Jonathan Rodriguez
GCL/JC Grabiel Hernandez
DSL Robert Stock
JC/QC Alan Ahmady
Bat Matt Carpenter
Matt Adams Interview with Dustin Mattison
DM: First off, congratulations on being named the Scout.com Cardinals Rookie of the Year.
DM: Now that your first season is complete,
can you compare the hitter you were when you first made it to
MA: I believe that just trusting in what I
was taught was a huge factor to hitting from
DM: What was the biggest adjustment you had to make as the season progressed?
MA: The biggest adjustment as the season progressed was just being able to stay healthy and keeping your mental side of the game strong. Also I had to continue to work hard and continue to get better day in and day out!
DM: Was there anything that really surprised you?
MA: There was not really anything that surprised me.
DM: I know that you put up big numbers (.495 BA in 184 AB in 2009) during your time in college (Division II Slippery Rock University in PA). Were you surprised at all at the numbers (.355 BA in 245 AB) you put up in your professional debut?
MA: Yeah I was surprised a little bit. The pitching at the professional level is different than the college level. Just hard work and keeping my mind strong was what helped me with the numbers I put up.
DM: What are you working on this winter?
MA: I am working on all aspects of the game; defense, offense, and speed and agility. Mainly, I am working on losing weight and getting into better shape for the upcoming season.
DM: What are your goals for 2010?
MA: My goal for 2010 is to go into spring training in shape and have my body in good shape. Also, to work hard in spring training and get better and make a full season club.
Glossary (Statistical Acronyms Defined)
2B is a double.
3B is a triple.
AB is an at bat.
Age is the number of years old the batter currently is (November 2009).
BA is batting average. The higher the better. A BA of .300 or above is very good.
DH is a designated batter. All teams in the lower minor leagues use a DH so that the pitchers can concentrate solely on pitching.
H is a hit. There are four types of Hs: single, double (2B), triple (3B), home run (HR).
HR is a home run. The more the better.
OBP is on-base percentage. This is a measure of how well a batter gets on base. The higher the better. An OBP of 0.400 or better is very good. A lead-off batter should always have a high OBP.
OPS is on-base plus slugging percentage. An OPS of 0.950 or better is very good.
POS is position played in the field: pitcher (P), catcher (C), first base (1B), second base (2B), shortstop (SS), third base (3B), left field (LF), center field (CF), right field (RF). If more than one POS is listed for a fielder, the first one listed was the primary (most frequently played) position. Only positions that were played more than 10 games are listed. C and SS are considered advanced and difficult to play positions. 1B is arguably the easiest position to play.
R is a run scored.
SLG is slugging percentage. The higher the better. The more extra base hits (2B, 3B, and HR), the higher the SLG. A SLG of .550 or better is very good.
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