For Sox righty Adams, school's in session

Chicago's No. 3 prospect eager to put lessons learned at camp to use

For Sox righty Adams, school's in session

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- At the age of 19, many people are beginning their sophomore year in college. Some are working jobs. Others are hanging out with friends.

Spencer Adams, in a way, has been doing all three.

The right-handed hurler, ranked No. 3 among White Sox prospects by MLBPipeline.com, currently works with his friends on the Minor League side of Spring Training. And Adams' schooling, for now, takes place at Camelback Ranch.

"I've come a long way," said Adams during a recent interview. "In high school, you have pitching coaches. But nothing like here. I can already tell a big difference right now from where I was last Spring Training to this Spring Training.

"My command is a lot better working with coaches here. These pitching coaches -- they will see a lot of things that most people don't. They will tweak it real fast and make a huge difference for you."

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That comment from Adams about command being "a lot better" should put a little scare into opposing Carolina League hitters, as he is scheduled to start the season with Class A Advanced Winston-Salem. Remember, this young hurler has issued 18 walks over 129 1/3 innings to date in his Minor League career, including four walks and 59 strikeouts over 41 2/3 innings when he went from White County High School in Georgia to the Rookie-level Arizona League White Sox in 2014.

Maintaining that exceptional strikeout-to-walk ratio stands as one of Adams' immediate goals. He also wants to work his way up to Double-A Birmingham, with his long-term sights set on the White Sox rotation.

"I just kind of go at it day by day," Adams said. "I know I've got a long way to go to get up there. I have two or three more levels to go. I just try not to focus on that and just go out there every day and try to control what I can."

Adams lettered in baseball, basketball and football in high school, and he readily admits that he misses being on the hardwood courts. His basketball experiences now are limited to running up and down the court for exercise every now and then.

Although he turns 20 on April 13, Adams features a maturity beyond his years. That maturity comes in handy when handling the bumps and bruises coming while working up the system.

"That's a part of growing up and developing, actually getting to know yourself a little bit," said White Sox director of player development Nick Capra of Adams, who finished 12-5 with a 2.99 ERA between stops at Winston-Salem and Class A Kannapolis last year. "He's got that mentality where he doesn't show that it affects him. It might, but you know it's like he can throw it away at the end of the day if he has a rough outing."

As for being 19 among older teammates, Adams smiles and points out that youth is not an issue.

"Last year, I think I was the youngest kid on the team by like two years. Everyone else was at least 21. It's not too bad," Adams said. "I just feel really good about how things are going right now."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.