Jun 15, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; General view of a Chicago White Sox cap and equipment in the dugout before a game against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
At 17 years old, Chicago White Sox prospect Micker Adolfo roamed right field for the Arizona Rookie League White Sox for 46 games in his first season of professional baseball in 2014.
A right-handed batter, Adolfo turned 18 years old in September, so he’s still a very raw talent hidden in the White Sox farm system, with nothing but potential in front of him.
In those aforementioned 46 games in the rookie league, Adolfo batted .218 with 39 hits. Of those hits, 10 were doubles, two were triples and five were home runs. Those hits (along with 14 walks) led to 21 RBIs, with an on-base percentage of .279.
Sure, those aren’t great numbers, but again, he’s the age of a high school junior or senior and playing professional baseball, so it isn’t time to start sweating yet.
The 6-3, 200-pound Dominican Republic native (who received a $1.6 million signing bonus in ’13) is the sixth-rated prospect by Baseball America but didn’t reach the Top 10 by Baseball Prospectus.
Though he’s just 18 years old, in those 46 games, Adolfo struck out 85 times (179 at-bats), and at any level that is tough to overlook, even if he is still a teenager.
In his final 10 games of the season, Adolfo didn’t fare so well with six hits in 37 at-bats with three RBIs and two home runs. Defensively, he committed four errors for a .937 fielding percentage.
Against RHP, Adolfo batted .231 (143 at-bats), and against lefties, his average was .167 (36 at-bats). Adolfo’s average was a tick better in the second half of the season (final 25 games) at .227 (22 hits in 97 at-bats), compared to the first 21 games of the season where he batted .207 with 17 hits (82 at-bats).
In his White Sox prospects article, ESPN Insider Keith Law has Adolfo listed as his sleeper in the organization.
Law wrote about Adolfo:
"“He can look like a fawn still growing into its legs, very gangly and wiry but clearly going to be very strong when he hits his 20s. He has a long way to go as a baseball player — especially in his relationship with the strike zone — but if he can keep his strikeouts in check, he has 30-homer potential.”"
One plus for Adolfo from ’14 was his jump from June to July, where he went from batting .091 in June (six games/22 at-bats) to .257 in July (18 games/74 at-bats). In August, his numbers dropped to a .217 average in 22 games/83 at-bats.
Maybe the hope for the White Sox with Adolfo is by the time Melky Cabrera‘s contract is finished, Adolfo will be MLB-ready, as they have a million-dollar investment in him.
Future Sox wrote this on Adoldo:
"“He is a good athlete with the ability to play a solid right field with a good arm, but his best tool is his power. He has big time power potential, but the question is whether he can make enough contact to make it matter.”"
The end of Cabrera’s contract will still be a few years down the road, so it is easy to see Adolfo won’t need to be rushed and will have time to develop into a solid professional player. Patience and repetition will be key with Adolfo, and his progression will most definitely be worth keeping tabs on in ’15 and for the next few seasons to come.