Jason Adam

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Jason Kendall Adam

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Biographical Information[edit]

Jason Adam first pitched in the big leagues in 2018.

Adam was 4-3 with a 1.51 ERA and 79 strikeouts in 41 2/3 innings as a high school senior, winning All-State honors. Armed with a 97 mph fastball, he was taken by the Kansas City Royals in the 5th round of the 2010 amateur draft, a couple of picks ahead of outfielder Matt den Dekker. He was signed for an $800,000 bonus by scout Steve Gossett, turning down a scholarship offer to Missouri.

Jason was 6-9 with a 4.23 ERA in 21 starts for the Kane County Cougars in 2011. He tied Will Smith for 6th in the Royals chain in losses. Named the 12th best prospect in the Royals system by MLB.com and 8th best by Baseball America entering 2012, he went 7-12 with a 3.53 ERA in 27 starts for the Wilmington Blue Rocks. He was 6th in the Carolina League in ERA (between Keith Couch and Randol Rojas), tied for fourth in losses and tied Cody Martin for third in strikeouts (123). In the Royals chain, he was 4th in strikeouts (between Yordano Ventura and Kellen Moen) and tied for second in losses (with Aaron Brooks, Chris Dwyer and Mike Montgomery). Baseball America again ranked him KC's 8th-best prospect. In 2013, he was 8-11 with a 5.19 ERA in 26 starts for the Northwest Arkansas Naturals. He was 6th in the Texas League in losses, tied Tim Gustafson for the most runs allowed (98), was third with 126 strikeouts (behind Nick Tropeano and Neil Ramirez) and led with 15 hit batsmen. He tied Dwyer for 4th in the Royals chain in defeats, led in runs allowed (6 ahead of Nathan Adcock), was second in earned runs (83, one behind Adcock), ranked 7th in strikeouts and hit the most batters (one ahead of Sam Selman). Baseball America listed him the TL's 8th-best prospect, between Keyvius Sampson and Stephen Piscotty. He was 2-2 with a 4.03 ERA for the Peoria Javelinas in the Arizona Fall League.

Adam began 2014 with Northwest Arkansas, where he went 4-8, 5.03 in 19 games. Even with so-so results, he was promoted to AAA for the first time in mid-July, joining the Omaha Storm Chasers. Moved to the bullpen, he did better, putting up an ERA of 2.35 before being traded to the Minnesota Twins on August 11th in return for outfielder/designated hitter Josh Willingham. He pitched just twice for the New Britain Rock Cats after the trade. He lost all of 2015 and 2016 to an injury and became a free agent, joining the San Diego Padres in 2017. It was a year of gaining back his strength, as he pitched for both Padres affiliates in the Arizona League on rehabilitation assignments, in addition to a single game with the AA San Antonio Missions. He was released on August 14th and four days later returned to his original organization, the Royals, who sent him back to Northwest Arkansas, completing a full circle since 2014. He pitched 5 times in relief with an ERA of 7.11.

Hopes of making it back to the prospect ranks were dim when Adam began the 2018 season, given how little he had pitched in the previous three years, and his lack of success the few times he had made it to a mound. However, he did well in his first 6 outings for Northwest Arkansas, putting up an ERA of 1.59 in 11 1/3 innings. He earned a promotion to AAA for the first time since 2014, returning to Omaha where he was 1-0 with an unspoiled ERA after 4 games. He was then called up to Kansas City on May 4th as Scott Barlow was sent down. He made his debut against the Detroit Tigers the next day, giving up a hit and a walk but nonetheless pitching a scoreless 9th inning in a 3-2 loss. Overall, he made 31 appearances for Kansas City, going 0-3 with a 6.12 ERA.

On March 17, 2019, the Toronto Blue Jays purchased his contract from the Royals, mainly as a means to provide some depth at the minor league level. An injury kept him sidelined until July, and after a few rehabilitation outings he finally joined the AAA Buffalo Bisons on July 11th. He went 0-3 behind a 3.60 ERA with a save in 8 games when the pitching-starved Blue Jays called him up on August 1st after having traded away half of their bullpen at the trading deadline. He gave up a run in an inning of work in an 11-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles that day. He picked up his first career win on August 10th, against the New York Yankees. On a bullpen day, he replaced Tim Mayza with one out and runners on second and third in the 7th and the score tied at 3; he gave up a sacrifice fly to D.J. LeMahieu to give New York the lead, but in the bottom of the inning, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit his first career triple with two men on to give Toronto a 5-4 lead. He then struck out the first two batters in the top of the 8th before giving the ball to Derek Law, who recorded the last four outs to seal the win. He ended the year at 3-0 with a 2.91 ERA in 23 appearances, with just 15 hits allowed in 21 2/3 innings.

He became a free agent and signed with the Chicago Cubs before the 2020 season. During that pandemic-shortened season, he appeared in 13 games, all in relief, going 2-1, 3.29 but was not used in the postseason. However, in 2021, he only pitched 12 games, going 1-0, 5.91, but he spent much of the season injured, the result of breaking his ankle shagging fly balls during batting practice after having been sent down to the minors in early May. He managed to come back in late September. After the season, he was a free agent again and signed with the Tampa Bay Rays for the 2022 season. He had a very good season for the Rays, going 2-3, 1.56 in 67 relief appearances, with 8 saves. His 63 1/3 innings pitched and 75 strikeouts were easily the highest totals of his career. He also appeared in the postseason for the first time of his career, pitching two scoreless innings against the Cleveland Guardians in Game 2 of the Wild Card Series on October 8th. The game was still scoreless when he came in in relief of Tyler Glasnow and Pete Fairbanks in the 6th inning, after Fairbanks had put two runners on base via walks snd had to leave because of an injury before having faced the minimum of three batters. Adam got into an even deeper jam when he hit the next batter, Amed Rosario, with a pitch, but then got out of it by striking out José Ramírez and getting Josh Naylor to ground into a double play. He then induced another double play grounder to end the 7th inning after surrendering a lead-off single to Oscar Gonzalez. As a result, the game remained scoreless until the 15th inning, when Gonzalez hit a walk-off homer to end it.

Before the 2023 season, he was added to the roster of Team USA for the 2023 World Baseball Classic.


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