Although the Kansas City Royals finished with a ninth consecutive losing season, the number of young prospects they have accumulated should help them end that streak in the near future. Some young players like Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas have already made their mark in the majors, and others like Wil Myers are poised to make a similar leap. There are also others still working their way up through the Kansas City system, with one of those up-and-comers being outfielder Lane Adams, who just broke out in a major way in 2012.
Adams was a basketball star for Red Oaks High School in Oklahoma. Upon graduating he had scored the fifth-most points (3,521) in the history of Oklahoma high school hoops. He was heavily recruited by mid-major schools and considered accepting a scholarship with Missouri State, but declined believing his future existed in another sport that he was also pretty good at; baseball. In 2009 he was drafted by the Royals in the 13th round of the MLB Draft and opted to sign and start his baseball career.
The right-handed Adams battled injuries and cautious handling by the Royals during his first several seasons in the low minors. Finally playing a full season this year, the outfielder broke out in a major way. In 135 combined games between Kane County (A-level) and Wilmington (High-A) he hit .269 with 11 home runs and 69 RBI. He also stole 19 bases and played excellent defense in all three outfield positions. More information about his statistics are available here.
Prior to the start of this past season I had an opportunity to ask Adams some questions. Get to know this rising Royals prospect a little better!
Lane Adams Interview:
Who were your favorite team and player when you were growing up, and why?: Growing up I was big White Sox kid. I Loved Robin Ventura. Not sure why (could be because he went to Oklahoma St.).
How did you know that the Royals were interested in you?: Royals scouts started coming to my high school games my sophomore year. The Oklahoma scout was a good friend of my high school coach and he told me that they were really interested in me. I was invited to a private workout my senior year before a game. By that time I knew they were really interested in me and I’m glad they were able to pick me in the draft.
Can you describe what your draft day experience was like?: The draft was a little hectic. I was on campus at Missouri State for summer workouts and classes. I left class and went to a hotel to listen to the draft with my scout. I wish I could’ve been with my family, but I was on the phone with my mom when they called my name. It was very exciting at the moment but then I realized that I had a decision to make.
How pleased have you been with the progress you have made during your first few professional seasons?: From where I was my first year playing in the AZL I’ve made some big strides. I still have a lot to learn. I knew when I first started I was behind everybody baseball-wise since it wasn’t my main focus growing up.
How much instruction have you received from former Royals greats like George Brett and Frank White, etc…?: George Brett and Frank White both have spoken to us a number of times. George talks to all the minor league camp at every spring training. It’s definitely one of the highlights of the spring. He comes around and watches us take batting practice and play games. The best thing I’ve taken from him is you can always control how hard you play but you can’t control the results you have at the plate. Just play hard, have fun, enjoy the game and play to win. This past spring training Aaron Guiel was in camp. I talked to him every day about the mental approach to the game. Talking to him every day really helped me out and got me prepared for this season.
If you could do anything differently about your baseball career to date, what would that be?: Definitely make baseball my number one sport growing up. I never worked on baseball just went out and played the game, went home, changed clothes and went to the gym for my basketball workouts. So, pretty much put the same time and effort into baseball as I did basketball growing up.
How much attention did you receive from scouts and colleges in high school for basketball compared to baseball?: I never received one letter for baseball in high school. The only college coaches that called me were basketball coaches, which was fine with me because that’s what I wanted at the moment. My teammate and best friend’s brother was a coach at a Junior College 10 miles up the road. He told me I could go there and play both if I wanted.
What is the best prank you have seen get pulled in the minors?: Set all the clocks forward by 3 hours in me and my roommates’ condo, went outside and called him and asked him why he wasn’t at the field. I watched him come running out of the door a few seconds later. Funny sight. His heart was racing he was so nervous. It was our second or third week in our first year of pro ball.