Once, while falling into approval's tricky arms
I saw esteem's corpse
Deafened by allure's sweet, sweet song
Poor, poor Rusty Adams. Everybody's favorite whipping boy and/or reason to whip JP was DFA'd yesterday to make room for the 30th relief pitcher on the 40 man roster.
The Jays much maligned former first round pick was selected over such future studs as Cole Hamels and Scott Kazmir (who were completely unsignable anyway, given the Jays inability to go over slot) blazed through the minors just like he blazed through college. One excellent September call up later (RED HERRING ALERT!) and he was on his way. Wasn't he? How could this have happened? How could a can't miss kid be on his way to quad A purgatory already?
It's quite simple, really. Lil Rusty loves fastballs, and as soon as everybody figured this out, he was cooked. Over his three "full" big league seasons (2005-2007), Adams saw progressively fewer and fewer fastballs. From 65% down to 57% percent as the opposition offered him far more curveballs and sliders. This seemed to cause Rusty problems, one can assume he wasn't able to identify these pitches as his outside the zone swings went up, up, up. He actually swung at fewer and fewer pitches inside the strikezone, something that screams "over-thought at bats" to me. Not to mention "a complete loss of confidence manifested as scratching and floundering attempts to stay in the Bigs." His line drive rates may have been impressive, but he started striking out and never really stopped.
Perhaps, as Marc Hulet of the Batter's Box and Fangraphs suggests, he can latch on in the straighter balled National League and surprise some people. But if you can't hit a breaking ball son, you aren't likely to be employed in the game for the long. Oh well, you'll always have my favorite Spring Training moment of all time.