Jason Adam is living the dream. He’s playing baseball for a living for his hometown Kansas City Royals (though he is in the minors). His high school is just 22 minutes from Kauffman Stadium.
He was a fifth round pick in 2010 and made his professional debut last season with Low-A Kane County (6-9 with a 4.23 ERA in 21 starts). Heading into this season, Baseball America ranked him as the Royals 8th best prospect (you have to be a subscriber to read about all ten).
The 20-year old made the jump to High-A Wilmington and has struggled to receive run support, thus costing him victories (1-8 with a 3.57 ERA). Yet he can usually be found praising his teammates for their defense behind him.
The Blue Rocks pitcher was kind enough to hang around after the game on Sunday to talk baseball, idols growing up, and what it would be like to reach the big leagues.
Me: You struggled controlling the running game last season. What changes have you made to do a better job this season?
Jason: “Well, I knew it was a problem last year. We talked about it, but they didn’t want to change. I had a pretty high leg kick from the stretch, which allowed them a extra second and a half to try to steal second. So this year I worked on, just in the offseason, in the mirror, lowering my leg kick and moving a little quicker. It just saved me some runs.”
Me: What is your put away pitch?
Jason: “Probably my curveball. It’s the most consistent put away pitch, but it depends on the day really.”
Me: Do you have a specific routine on the day you start?
Jason: “Not necessarily a routine, but I like to about two hours before the game, I start doing a foam roll, I stretch, I rest, eat, stretch again, and then get my arm stretched out, and pitch.”
Me: Are there any specific meals you need to eat, you know because baseball players are superstitious?
Jason: “No. I’m trying to get away from being superstitious. Last year I ate spaghetti every night before, but this year it’s whatever.”
Me: How has the higher level affected you?
Jason: “I think it’s been good for me. The hitters here are more disciplined. And it obviously gets more and more disciplined as you go up. I think as long as you execute pitches at this level, then you should be fine.”
Jason: “Just do all the shoulder maintenance. It makes your arm feel good. I do alot of weighted arm circles and stuff and my arm’s felt really good so far this year, knock on wood.”
Me: A few weeks ago, people were clamoring for your promotion. What do you think you need to do to earn a promotion?
Jason: “I think I need to be more consistent. Because my last few starts have been…well I had one terrible one and a few okay. In my opinion, I try to go out there and I want to be spectacular every start. So if I can get consistently dominant and put all three of my pitches, then I think that may be enough.”
Me: What pitcher did you look up to growing up?
Jason: “There was alot. Roger Clemens. I know he’s not a great role model. He’s fun to watch. Zack Greinke. He was more my high school age, which was when I was more into learning about baseball. So he was always really fun to watch.”
Me: You mentioned in an interview that you were a big Jermaine Dye fan. What drew you to him?
Jason: “I always wanted to be an outfielder. I don’t know and he’s big. I met him once at some event back home, so from then on I was like ‘I love him’”.
Me: What is your favorite Royals moment?
Jason: “That’s a tough one. I got to go on the field once when I was probably eight and we got to walk around. I think I thought that was the coolest thing in the world. I thought the walls were like 15 feet high and everything.”
Me: How do you pass the time on road trips?
Jason: “I sleep alot. Some people know this from last year, I lay down on the floor of the bus and just pass out. Last year I had a mattress pad, so I need to buy one of those…Everyone’s climbing over me. Kinda a hassle for everybody, but I’m comfortable.”
Me: You seem to have a bromance with Bubba Starling and Lane Adams. What do you think it will be like when the three of you end up playing together?
Jason: “Yes I do. That would be amazing. We talk about it, like what if we all make it, living in Kansas City together. It would be a show. It would be something to watch, that’s for sure.”
Me: You tweeted a picture of your off day at the beach. How long did it take you guys to dig that hole?
Jason: “That was the whole time we were at the beach. That’s the way we spent like three hours, just digging. Yeah, we had like two foot shovels that we bought at Walmart. Two of them, but one broke. It was worth it.”
Me: Any chance we’ll see you guys do a song cover on the bus?
Jason: “We’re working on trying to think of some sort of movie for the team to do. Have a little fun together.”
Me: What should Royals fans expect when you make your Major League debut?
Jason: “That’s tough. I don’t even know what to expect myself…Expect me to be as calm and collected as I can be. Hopefully throw strikes and keep the ball down. I’m sure nerves will be pretty high for me and even higher for my mom.”
Thanks again to Jason for spending some time answering my questions! Hopefully he can pick up some more wins as the season rolls on.
*If you’re not following him on Twitter, go do it now (@Jason_Adam9).