Chance Adams Former Yankees Top Prospect And A Career Gone Haywire

Chance Adams - Out for 2021 - What Now?

Former Yankees pitching prospect Chance Adams will not pitch in 2021 due to injury. He may not (even) ever pitch again at age 25. What now?

Chance Adams was once the top starting pitcher prospect in the Yankees farm system. Drafted by the New York Yankees in the 5th round of the 2015 amateur draft, Adams at one point had accumulated a 39-16, 3.24 ERA record while climbing gracefully up the ladder and on his way (everyone said) to the Bronx.

But sometimes, and these are the baseball stories that compel me to keep writing, there is no gold at the end of the journey, and despite all the hard work and trying, it’s just not enough.

Chance Adams: The Latest Turn…

I don’t know Chance Adams, but as a fan of baseball, I can emphasize with him when this blurb appeared on the Kansas City Royals MLB Trade Rumors website this past November:

Royals right-hander Chance Adams underwent Tommy John surgery last month,’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports (via Twitter). The report followed up with this analysis:

Adams, 26, is among the many cautionary tales for top pitching prospects. The 2015 fifth-rounder entered the 2018 season as a consensus Top 100 prospect in the game but struggled through a lackluster Triple-A showing and was walloped in a brief MLB debut that year.

It was a similar story in 2019, and last winter, he was designated for assignment then traded to the Royals when the Yankees inked Gerrit Cole to his record-setting contract.Steve Adams,

Chance Adams And The Human Side Of Baseball

These stories in major league baseball are a dime a dozen, especially at this time of the year when veteran players are hanging on for that one last paycheck and wannabees walking anywhere but the vicinity of their manager’s office where they might be spotted and summoned for “the call” telling them – “We like you, but I’m afraid you’re out.”

Chance Adams knows the feeling – he’s been there as many as six times while the Yankees squished their roster down to the required limit.

Chance Adams, Yankees Surplus (Phptp:
Chance Adams, Yankees Surplus (Photo:

Go down gracefully, and don’t cause a fuss while you burn inside. Do your job at Scranton Triple-A, stay in shape – because (you know) there will be your time.

There was never a time though for Chance Adams, and to be fair to the Yankees on the few occasions they chose to grace him with a presence in “The Show,” he underperformed with a 1-2 record with a dastardly 8.42 ERA over 22 games and three seasons.

But Don’t Miss The Real story…

But to digress a moment and to make a point, we are not talking about ballplayers like Francisco Lindor, Fernando Tatis, Mookie Betts, Mike Trout, etc., who are blessed with an athletic talent that catapults them to the heights of major league baseball, despite their treatment by their parent clubs on the way up.

Yankees Joe Girardi "likes" Jordan Montgomery (
Yankees Joe Girardi “likes” Jordan Montgomery (

No, because we know that often it’s a “break” that leads to a career in major league baseball. The kiss of life is as certain as the kiss of death, as witnessed during the Yankees 2017 Spring Training, when then Yankee’s manager Joe Girardi bestowed on Jordan Montgomery a notice that, “Oh, I like him. We like him.”

And from that moment on, Montgomery became the beneficiary of Yankees treatment and faith even in light of injury setbacks that make him a risk even as the Yankees install him in their starting rotation for the 2021 season.

Now, the comparison between Montgomery and Adams is foolhardy, and any attempt to go there is not justified in terms of performance by both pitchers.

But it can be said that there but for fortune goes Chance Adams.

And so it was the Yankees who released Adams from purgatory via a trade to the Kansas City Royals that yielded the Yankees Cristian Perez, who no identifiable record in MLB today.

A year or more of pain and rehab is in store for Chance Adams before he can even step on a major league mound to face hitters again.

By then, he’ll be 27 and supposedly in the prime years of his career. In the meantime, life intervenes, and Chance was all set to make Mackenzie his wife in January of 2020.

Over the course of his career to date, Chance Adams has earned $556,725. How much of that is left is none of our business, but we do know this.

The Kansas City Royals are not libeled to pay Chance Adams a dime, according to Spotrac.

Chance Adams: So, What Does The Future Hold?

So, where does he go from here? Suck it up, do the rehab, and hope for the best? Or, maybe it’s time to think about a new career. Perhaps it’s time to re-enroll at Dallas Baptist University, where he completed two years of study before accepting the Yankees offer.

Chance Adams, Perennial Yankees Prospect
Chance Adams, Perennial Yankees Prospect Photo Credit: The Greedy Pinstripes

Or perhaps, do the rehab, get healthy, and hope to sign on with a team willing to take a flyer on a minor league contract subject to recall at any time?

Or maybe, he’ll become one of those baseball “lifers” like Don Zimmer, or his former pitching coach with the Yankees Larry Rothschild, who never excelled as a pitcher himself but found his way as a teacher.

With no immediate access to Chase Adams, I can only surmise his feelings.

But these are the stories I find worthy of writing – with wonderment as to how the “other half” lives in baseball today.

So that when I hear of the extravagant contracts and salaries offered and accepted by the elite in baseball, it gives me, and perhaps you, pause to remember the trail of so many others who never attain those heights.

Though, if I were to take a moment to reflect, I’d take the journey Chance Adams has been on in a split second…


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Steve Contursi
– Story Teller

Author: stevecontursi

I am an amateur writer with a passion for baseball and all things Yankees and Mets.