Colorado Rockies: Ranking the 40-Man Roster: 36-31
By Nolan Lees
Cristhian Adames: Infielder Points: 184 Highest Rank: 27 Lowest: 36
“Quad-A player” is a term for a player that consistently posts terrific numbers at the highest levels of the minors, but never seems to be able to replicate that success in the big leagues. The player is, as the saying implies, too good for Triple-A, but not good enough for the majors.
Adames is dangerously close to earning this label.
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In 2014, he earned a late-season promotion from Double-A to Triple-A, and spent the rest of the year crushing the ball, hitting .338 in 145 at-bats. Back in Triple-A in 2015, Adames proved it wasn’t a fluke, as he hit well over .300 with a reasonable amount of power.
If you only know Adames from his time in the big leagues, all of this may be hard to believe. After brief call-ups in 2014 and 15, he spent the entire season with the Rockies in 2016, and the results were ugly.
Adames had a .218/.304/.302 line. There’s a strong case to be made that he was the worst offensive player on the team last season. The Rockies could possibly live with that feeble production if Adames was a Gold Glove caliber defender, but “mediocre” would be a friendly review of his defensive work in 2016.
Writing Adames off entirely would probably be premature. He’s still only 25 years old, and trying to figure out the big leagues while also dealing with the unpredictable nature of the utility infielder role was a lot to ask of him. If Adames gets another chance in 2017, the numbers will likely improve.
That’s far from certain though. If the Rockies believed Adames was capable of filling the role again in 2017, they wouldn’t have signed Alexi Amarista this off-season. There just aren’t that many at-bats to go around for young hitters looking to earn a spot with the Rockies right now, and after flaming out so badly last year, Colorado may be hesitant to give Adames another chance.
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He’s still on the 40-man roster, so he’s still got a shot. But the odds of Adames becoming a long-term fixture with the Rockies have undeniably fallen dramatically over the last year.