Buffalo Bisons infielder David Adams may never top his major-league debut, but he’s showing perseverance in trying to create some more baseball career highlights.
Adams’ first major-league game came on his 26th birthday, three years ago with the New York Yankees in Yankee Stadium. He got a single off Seattle pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma in the sixth inning. He’s the only player in Yankee history to debut on his birthday.
“I remember about it, honestly,” Adams said. “I made a couple nice plays. I remember my first hit off Iwakuma. We didn’t win, unfortunately. You ask anyone that question and they remember all about their first day.”
The past couple seasons have not been as memorable. Now Adams is battling to re-establish himself as a successful Triple-A player.
Adams hit two run-scoring doubles Monday evening to key a 5-3 Bisons victory over Scranton-Wilkes Barre at Coca-Cola Field.
Both hits were screaming line drives off inside fastballs that went to the left-field corner. The second provided an insurance run in a decisive two-run eighth inning.
Adams, 28, played 43 games with the Yankees in 2013 but hit only .193.
“I got off to a hot start and took advantage of the opportunity,” he said. “Then I kind of put a little pressure on myself to do a little more.”
Adams joined the Baltimore organization in 2014 but slumped in Triple-A and got demoted to Double-A. Then he was relegated to Double-A for all of last season, with the Marlins organization. But he made the best of it. He hit .294 and had a .399 on-base percentage.
“Last year was all or nothing, honestly,” Adams said. “I wasn’t putting that pressure on myself but I knew that’s what it was. After struggling pretty bad with the Orioles, I didn’t really have the opportunities I thought I’d have. The Marlins gave me a chance. I hit almost .300. I didn’t have the power numbers I would have wanted but I was consistent. That’s all I can ask for as a rebound year.”
A strong showing in Venezuela helped land him an offer from the Blue Jays organization last November.
Adams’ bat has been cold to start this season. He’s hitting .224. But he has been on base in 14 of the last 15 games.
“Early, I thought he was taking a lot of pitches,” said Bisons manager Gary Allenson. “He was the kind of guy who’d take till he got two strikes, fight some balls off, get a hit and work the count. I think he’s doing a lot better job now of ambushing early if it’s his pitch, which is what he did tonight.”
“It’s the start of May,” Adams said. “Some of us start hot, some of us start cold. The bottom line is to continue to work hard and continue to trust the work you’ve put in.”