A strong arm took Jays’ prospect Riley Adams from short to catcher

Job includes chatting up umpires, and finding whatever ways needed to win a game

DUNEDIN — Riley Adams switched from playing shortstop to catcher in high school and never looked back.

Adams was asked to catch in high school when the position opened up and he fell in love.

“I really enjoy catching. You’re so involved in the game both physically and mentally as well,”. Adams said. “Sometimes when you go to other positions you have way too much free time on your hands.”

Adams, a consensus top 20 prospect in the Blue Jays system, really enjoys preparing for a game from scouting reports, game-plans and then all the way down to little interactions with the umpires.

“Relationships are huge from the catching standpoint, not only with the pitchers and with everything else,” the catcher said, prior to batting practice. Specifically the umpires you have to introduce yourself and shake their hand.

“I know at the beginning of the game you don’t always need to get the calls, but come crunch time and the end of the game, it’s really important. Any edge you can give the pitcher you can take advantage of that with the umpire.”

Adams’ talent behind the plate doesn’t stop with the ability to win a few extra calls. The former shortstop has an strong arm from his old playing days over there, and threw out an impressive 40 per cent of base runners attempting to steal, during last season.

Adams did more than just flash his arm last year, as he batted an impressive .305 with a .374 on base percentage last year in Short Season A-ball for the Vancouver Canadians.

He only hit three home runs, but Adams was known for his power in college, and standing at 6-foot-4, it is possible that the power will surface more into the statistics this year.

The former 3rd round pick has a lot of promise for the Jays, but his life in sports was not just spent on the diamond.

The San Diego University graduate was a star basketball player in high school, once recording an astounding 31 rebounds in a single game.

Adams emphasized the importance of having fun playing sports, which is why he chose to play basketball. He also credited basketball with helping him stay athletic.

“I really only picked up basketball in high school and I thought it was a great time to try different sports.”, Adams said. “In today’s generation every kid is trying to specialize in one sport and make it big in one sport and forget the bigger picture is going out and having fun.”

Adams end goal has always been to play baseball, and he is hopeful to build on his last season.