The eighth prospect in the White Sox organization is OF Micker Adolfo. He looks to be smoothing out the rough edges of his game as he seems to be the best raw player in the farm system.
The 22-year-old, eighth in the White Sox Top 30 prospects list, has arguably one of the highest ceilings amongst the organization’s plethora of outfield prospects. Unfortunately, like Basabe, Adolfo’s progress has been interrupted by a few injuries.
Ankle to hand injuries in his first two years with the organization set him back but most recently a more impactful blow was when his 2018 was cut short due to him requiring Tommy John surgery.
Though the injuries seem like it may set a player back, Adolfo’s injuries seem to only fuel him. His batting average has steadily risen since his 2014 debut in the Arizona Rookie league. In 2014, he hit .214 in 46 games. In 2015, he hit .253 in 22 games. He was set back a bit hitting only .219 in 65 games with Single-A Kannapolis (he started his 2016 with the Arizona Rookie League, but he only played four games and recorded four hits).
But his 2017 was his first full season with the organization, and he did not disappoint. Hitting a slash of .264/.331/.453 with 16 home runs, we were able to take a peek into what Adolfo brings to the table when healthy. He continued to blow people away in 2018 with Single-A Winston-Salem recording a slash of .282/.369/.436. More impressively, he walked more and cut down on his walks.
Granted Adolfo’s 2018 was cut short a few months due to his Tommy John surgery, but walking 34 times and striking out only 92, compared to 31 and 149 the year prior, shows his development in patience and plate vision.
It is more clearly shown in his strikeout and walk percentages over the years. his strikeout percentage in 2016 was 33.9 percent. It dropped to 31.5 percent in 2017. And dropped yet again to 27.4 percent in 2018. While his strikeout numbers decreased, his walk numbers have increased. In 2016, his walk percentage was 5.3 percent. In 2017, it rose to 6.6 percent. Then in 2018, it spiked up to 10.1 per.
In 137 fewer at-bats in 2018 when compared to 2017, Adolfo only had 30 less hits, five less home runs and 18 less RBIs. If he had the opportunity, he very well could have suppressed his numbers from the year before.
Defensively, Adolfo is just as dangerous. On the 20/80 prospect rating scale, Adolfo earned a 70 in the arm category. That kind of strength is hard to develop so his strong and accurate arm is definitely an advantage the primarily right-fielder has over the rest of the organization’s outfield prospects.
As mentioned before, Adolfo has earned a promotion to Double-A due to his decent spring performance. In 11 at-bats, he recorded three hits driving in one run.
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Watching how he fares against this competition after such a significant injury/surgery will be a glimpse into his persistence. If he bounces back after Tommy John with yet another stellar year could change his estimated MLB debut year, which is currently 2020.