White Sox prospect takes award after tossing three-hit shutout
By Danny Wild / MiLB.com | June 12, 2017 2:20 PM ET
Spencer Adams cruised through eight innings on Friday before making himself nervous on the bench.
"Sitting in the dugout, going into the ninth, I kept telling myself to focus," Adams told MiLB.com. "Michael Kopech looked at me and was like, 'Why you tensing up? You've been loose the whole game. Just keep doing what you've been doing.'"
Adams took Kopech's advice and finished what he started, throwing a three-hit shutout against Mobile, a performance worthy of the Southern League's Pitcher of the Week award.
Adams, Chicago's No. 12 prospect, is roommates with Kopech, the organization's No. 2 prospect and top arm. They've become good friends this year after Kopech was acquired from Boston last December.
"We're two totally different pitchers," said Adams. "I like it a lot. It makes me compete even more. He's doing a great job."
The right-hander struck out eight and walked one in his second career nine-inning shutout.
"It feels good -- that's what every pitcher wants to do," Adams told Barons broadcaster Curt Bloom after the game. "He wants to come out there and go as long as he can. It makes me appreciate it even more because our bullpen worked their tails off last series. They did a great job, and to give them an extra day of rest, that means a lot to our team out there."
Adams' gem was highlighted by a dazzling defensive play by shortstop Cleuluis Rondon, who fielded a grounder and flipped it to second behind his back to start a double play.
"Man, that play really kept the momentum on our side of the game," Adams said. "Honestly, I had no idea he threw it behind him like that until I came in and asked about it. A big tip of the cap to him. My defense played great tonight and made the plays when I needed them to."
Adams was Chicago's second-round pick in 2014 out of White County High School near Cleveland, Georgia. He's 4-6 with a 3.46 ERA in a dozen starts this season and has allowed two earned runs or fewer in each of his last four starts for Double-A Birmingham.
"Everything was on for me tonight," Adams said. "I started off mostly with my fastball the first few innings because my slider really wasn't there, but I got a feel for it later and it proved useful. The biggest thing for me was that I got ahead on most of the batters. Even when I fell behind, I'd get a quick groundout or popout to keep my pitch count low. It was just one of those nights."
Below is a full list of the Minor League Pitchers of the Week for June 5-11:
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 15 K
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 6 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 6 2/3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K