Red Sox may have found something in Sea Dogs closer José Adames

Jul 22, 2019; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; A detail view of Boston Red Sox hat and glove laying in the dugout at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 22, 2019; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; A detail view of Boston Red Sox hat and glove laying in the dugout at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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Could Jose Adames be a diamond in the rough for the Red Sox?

We are more than a full month into the minor-league season, and it looks like the Boston Red Sox may have found something in right-hander Jose Adames.

Adames, 28, signed a minor-league deal with Boston back in January and opened the 2021 campaign with Double-A Portland.

In 11 appearances with the Sea Dogs coming into play on Thursday, the righty reliever has posted a solid 2.19 ERA, a 3.13 FIP, and a .150 batting average against to go along with 14 strikeouts to just four walks over 12 1/3 innings of work thus far.

While emerging as Portland’s closer thanks to his strong performance out of the gate, Adames has yet to blow a save this season, as he is a perfect 9-for-9 in save opportunities.

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His nine saves are the most in the Double-A Northeast as well.

Per his SoxProspects.com scouting report, Adames throws from a three-quarters arm slot and operates with a three-pitch mix that consists of a 96-99 mph fastball that tops out at 100 mph, a 10-to-4 curveball, and a changeup.

A native of the Dominican Republic, the 6-foot-2 hurler spent the first 11 years of his professional career between the Marlins and Reds after being signed by Miami as an international free agent in 2010.

Adames’ time as a pro has been mired with injuries to this point, as he underwent Tommy John surgery on two separate occasions in September 2016 and then again in June 2018 and missed the entirety of the 2017 and 2018 minor-league seasons as well as the majority of 2019 as a result.

Still, those injuries have not resulted in a loss of opportunity for Adames considering he had 130 career minor-league appearances (40 starts) under his belt before signing with the Red Sox over the winter. Not to mention the four seasons he has spent pitching for Águilas Cibaeñas of the Dominican Winter League.

None of those appearances in the states were above the High-A level though, so the fact that the fireballer has gotten off to this strong of a start with the Sea Dogs is certainly encouraging.

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If he continues to impress in Portland, one has to wonder if Adames could be in line for a promotion to Triple-A Worcester so that the Red Sox could observe and assess how he adjusts to a tougher level of competition. We will have to wait and see on that.