CHARLIE ADAMS (MIN)
It was time... With Minnesota's season slipping further and further away every day, Maulers first year GM Nick Carita saw that it was time to turn a corner and plan for the future.
"Our pitching staff was not performing to the level we expected coming into the season," Carita explained. "At this point in the season, it's time to give some of our 'close-to-major-league level' prospects the chance to get some big league experience."
Enter Charlie Adams. After being drafted with the 26th overall pick in the Season 2 amateur draft by the Philadelphia Wings, Adams earned his first promotion after his first three professional starts, going from Low A up to High A ball.
After three years in High A ball in the Wings' system, Adams was the victim of not one, but two Rule 5 picks. He was chosen by the Sycamores in Season 6 and with Toronto in Season 7.
"That was a tough time," Adams recalls. "As much as I enjoyed my time with the Sycamores and Blizzard on the major league level, I knew that I needed more time in the minors. Unfortunately, Rule 5 Draft pick rules prohibited me to go back to the minors with my new team right away."
Adams struggled in his first two seasons in the majors. With Pawtucket (recently relocated to Syracuse), Adams only started five games, posting an 0-4 record. Adams pitched only 26 innings all season, posting a 6.58 ERA and a 1.92 WHIP. When chosen by the Toronto Franchise (recently relocated to Minnesota), Adams had the worst season of his professional career, going 2-9 with an 8.03 ERA and a 2.03 whip.
"Those seasons were definitely tough ones, but I was able to recover from those two seasons pretty quickly," Adams reflects. "I had a great talk with the major league franchise front office, and I'm really blessed that they had faith in me."
Adams started Season 8 with Minnesota's AAA Franchise, the Nova Scotia Scoots of the Canadian League. After posting a 4.03 ERA along with a perfect 4-0 record, it was only a matter of time before the big league ball club called Adams to give him the good news.
The call arrived on 7/28 at 12:19 pm. This time around, Adams wasn't about to stumble out of the gates as he did in Season 6 and 7.
"Mentally, I was ready."
Adams has been spectacular in his first two starts, going 2-0, giving up two runs to the Brooklynites and one run against the Red Birds. How was Charlie able to stay focused mentally?
"I attribute my success to my role models. I've followed Darryl Strawberry's carrer, and wow... what a class act he was. He was a player that, no matter the circumstances, kept moving forward in his career. Jose Canseco showed me how to be unrelenting in any pursuit. Roger Clemens showed me how to keep my game face on, no matter the circumstances. Manny Ramirez showed me that, as long as I stay focused on the game of baseball, nothing can get in my way."
With such great role models, there is no way that Adams can fail. Adams' next test will be on 8/2 AM, when he takes on the Anaheim Rangers.