Still getting time at both second and third, Adams has been heating up ever since a 2-for-3 game at the end of October. Two-and-a-half weeks ago, he was hitting just .216 with three extra-base hits in 10 games, but Adams’ Fall League batting average is up to .291 with seven doubles, three homers and a triple. He’s walked nearly as many times as he’s struck out. He’s hit third in the order all season.
These Fall League samples are small, but it’s at least somewhat significant that Adams — who spent most of the past two seasons on the DL — is tied for the team lead in at-bats and hits, and that he’s getting better as the schedule progresses. This is a guy who, as much as anything, has needed playing time. And now that he’s getting it, he’s performing.
For a Yankees team that has an aging third baseman and a last-year-of-his-contract second baseman, every step in the right direction is a good sign from Adams. I have no idea whether he can be a big league regular, but he’s hitting right now, and that has to be enough to keep the Yankees attention.
Other Arizona Fall League notes:
• Adams isn’t the only one heating up in Arizona. Slade Heathcott has stayed hot since his Player of the Week award. Today’s 4-for-5 with a home run raised his Fall average to .371 with nine extra-base hits in his past seven games. He’s still rotating between center field, right field and designated hitter.
• Austin Romine is the exception among the three Yankees in the Fall League. Romine had a couple of RBI today, but his batting average is still just .230 with four doubles and no homers. Of course, with Romine, getting at-bats and regular turns behind the plate might be as important as anything.
• Speaking of guys just trying to get playing time and stay healthy, Dan Burawa had another rough outing today. He got two outs, gave up two runs, walked two and allowed two hits. He’s really struggled down in Arizona where he has a 12.66 ERA. But he has a pretty big arm, and he’s coming off a mostly lost year after that spring oblique injury. Obviously these results aren’t what the Yankees want to see, but in Burawa’s case, it’s hard to make too much of them.
• Better news on Dellin Betances. His 6.30 ERA is mostly the product of two bad outings, including an ugly four-run, two-thirds-of-an-inning appearance last Tuesday. He allowed one run on two hits his last time out, but that outing also included four strikeouts and no walks through two innings. In his past 8.1 innings — everything since his Fall debut — Betances has walked two and struck out 14.
• The strikeouts are also really building up for reliever Mark Montgomery. The top relief prospect in the Yankees system has 19 strikeouts through 10.1 innings. He walked five and allowed just five walks for a .143 opponents batting average.
• Zach Nuding is the seventh and final Yankees prospect in Arizona. He’s pitching out of the rotation and most starts have been basically the same: Three or four innings, five or six hits, and two or three runs. The outings are predictably short — he’s basically throwing 60 pitches each time out — and the results have led to a 7.13 ERA.