Adon struggles with control, touches 101

Preface: I imagine there are still some of you wondering, "Where is all that content Giant Potential used to put out?" I'm bummed about it, too. But I did take a Media Relations position with the Sacramento River Cats back in January and sadly had to let go of the blog until further notice. Definitely a good news/bad news situation. There just simply isn't enough to time to do both. But sometimes, the timing works and I can get away for a bit. That was last night, when I snuck down to Stockton for right-handed flamethrower Melvin Adon's 13th start of the 2018 season for the San Jose Giants. Here's what I saw:

I had Adon at exactly 100 miles per hour three times and 101 once, which came on a swinging strike-three to end the second inning. Mostly, though, the recently-turned 24-year-old sat 96-99 with his fastball, which would occasionally have some lively run on it. One particular pitch (at minute mark 2:40) got up to 99 with tail. 

Normally a swing-through machine, Adon recorded just four in 62 pitches last night — which was his lowest output of the year. In six of his 13 starts, he's coaxed nine or more whiffs, including one showcase on May 17 at home against Modesto where he struck out seven in six innings featuring a whopping 18 swinging strikes to account for 20.7% of his 87 pitches. 

The inability to throw the fastball in an area worth swinging at attributed to much of why Adon's managed just four whiffs. Ports hitters had a plethora of easy takes throughout his 2.2 innings.

He had one nice sequence starting at 3:24 where I thought he displayed his best command. In five pitches, he went:

  • Slider down and in (ball)
  • Fastball over plate (called strike)
  • Slider outside edge (called strike)
  • Slider just below zone (ball)
  • Fastball outer half (swinging strike)

Aside from this, and a handful of other outliers, Adon was missing with the heater all over the place. He walked three, hit a batter (98 in on the ribs at 4:22), and threw a few in the dirt. And in the first inning, he had a difficult time locating the slider as he missed up frequently.

(By the way, I saw zero changeups, but please let me know if you spot one while watching the clip)

Adon's violent motion and still general rawness will continue to be honed. My thought, though, is that it's only a matter of time before he is moved into the bullpen. Unlike most Dominican signings, Adon was inked at 21 and is pitching in the California League at age 24, making him almost a full year older than the average league player. I'd say if he were to have been signed at 17 or 18, and at age 21 or 22 with San Jose, they might have a few more years to continue grooming him as a starter while further developing the changeup. But why not max out his velocity and see what he can do throwing between 10-20 pitches an outing?

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