Every year the state of Georgia supplies top talent for the draft, and 2014 isn't any different. Spencer Adams fits that bill with raw, untapped talent. He's a three-sport athlete and can dunk on the basketball court, which speaks to his size and athleticism.
He stands 6-4/6-5, but only weighs 190 and looks like it. He has a tall waist and is slender throughout his frame. His body looks a little physically immature due to his lack of muscle mass and slightly rounded shoulders. That is fairly typical with high school pitchers. There's bulk to gain with him, and I don't doubt that he'll gain it.
Mechanically, he's like most pitchers who haven't specialized yet, there are flaws. He doesn't get a great push off the rubber and tends to fall to the plate more than drive. However, due to his long legs, he still gets a fairly good stride length. He needs more elbow flexion in his wind-up and late cocking phase to protect his elbow. But, he needs to extend that elbow more in the acceleration phase of the delivery. His lack of extension could be limiting his velocity slightly by leaving some energy in his arm.
Part of his lack of elbow extension is due to his low 3/4's arm slot that he can tend to get a little too rotational with instead going more directly to the plate with.
Stuff wise, his fastball is a low-90's offering and per MLB.com, tops out at 95. I think the velocity can become more consistent with some mechanical adjustments and the obvious added bulk that he'll gain with age and training. He throws a slider which matches up with his arm slot well and flashes sharp break. It can get a little loose at times when his delivery gets too rotational. It looks to have more horizontal break and less drop action which is fine for missing bats.
He throws a change up and curve, but the slider is the out pitch and the change up is the next pitch that he'll have to focus on in pro ball.
Outside of typical HS disclaimers on not making it to the majors, his floor is as a reliever. He has mechanical work that may never be completely refined making his performance volatile in the pro ranks.
Tough for me to hang anything more than a mid-rotation ceiling on him. I'm not in love with his stuff or his mechanics and I'd be hanging a lot on more consistent improved velocity, better bite on a slider, and the development of a change up to do so.
College Commitment: University of Georgia
Projected Draft Round:
In the fall, he looked like an early second round pick, however in recent weeks he's impressed some scouts enough to improve his draft stock slightly. In recent mocks he's gone late first round to early compensation rounds.
Will he sign?
I haven't seen any indications that he's a tough sign.
Spencer Adams is a 2014 RHP/SS with a 6-5 180 lb. frame from Cleveland, GA who attends White County HS. Tall very slender build, plus physical projection. Tall delivery with quick compact arm action, low to mid 3/4's arm slot, energy to the plate, hides the ball well, has lots of deception in his delivery and hides the ball, loose out front. Fastball topped at 92 mph, ball seems to get on hitters quickly, mostly straight at present, big velocity projection with additional strength. Hard frisbee slider with tight spin and biting action, potential plus pitch. Good arm speed and life on change up but still working on consistent release point. Throws strikes and over matched some hitters. Big upside. Good student, verbal commitment to Georgia.
2013 Tournament of Stars notes from Don Olsen:
Spencer has a tall athletic frame with narrow sloped shoulders in a Kevin Brown mold. He throws from a ¾ to a low ¾ slot, has a bit of whip action in transition, but decent three piece delivery without concerns. He does tend to short up his extension. Fastball was 87-90 (92) with a bit of tail when thrown from the lower slot. 81-82 mph change was a bit hard without much action, an offering that is still developing. He had a blend of CU/SL 84-85 mph that showed some decent glove side two way actions, more cutter horizontal tilt. Intriguing arm speed and strength that could rise as the body fills out and the velocity improves.
An elite athlete, Adams is a three-sport star in high school. The same athleticism that allows him to throw down dunks on the basketball court has helped him develop into a coveted right-hander.
Adams' fastball sits in the low 90s and tops out at 95 mph with excellent life. His sharp slider is his best secondary offering and has the potential to be a swing-and-miss offering. His changeup and curveball give him two more pitches that have the chance to be average or better.
Adams, a Georgia recruit, has a loose, easy delivery and repeats it well. His long, lean build leads scouts to believe he could add more velocity as he gets stronger and focuses solely on baseball.