Adams finding confidence in second stint with Cardinals -

Adams finding confidence in second stint with Cardinals

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By Scott Bierman By Scott Bierman
By John Bailey By John Bailey
By Scott Bierman By Scott Bierman

(BaseballStL) -- It doesn’t matter which level Matt Adams is playing at, he can hit and he is now proving he can do it at the major league level. It’s only a matter of finding him time to play.

“This is really what he’s done his entire pro career,” manager Mike Matheny said. “The part that has surprised me the most is how sharp he’s been able to stay when not getting the consistent at-bats. It’s been pretty impressive to watch all the way around.”

With the help of video scouting and hitting instructors John Mabry and Bengie Molina, Adams is putting in the work to better prepare himself than in his first stint with the St. Louis Cardinals last June.

“The video definitely helps with the relievers that you’ll be facing that night and throughout the whole series,” Adams said. “Just the work in the cage is going to pay off in the long run.”

In his first 86 at-bats with the Cardinals, Adams batted .244 (21 hits) with two home runs and 13 runs batted in.

“He wasn’t in a real good spot when he came up last year,” Matheny said. “You know sometimes you get these guys who need some help and they’re really swinging the bat well; there’s other times you’re fighting and feeling a little bit, and he was more the latter.”

A more confident Adams has re-emerged this season for St. Louis with the proof coming after he slammed his second two-run home run in as many days on Wednesday afternoon which garnered the attention of the fans and his teammates.

“The guy just hits everywhere he’s gone,” Matt Carpenter said. “You heard Mike say it in spring (training), there’s really nothing left for him to prove in the minor leagues and it’s obvious he can hit up here.”

It has been a problem to find the 6-foot-3, 260-pound first baseman more playing time with a healthy Allen Craig and Carlos Beltran in the lineup on most nights. Soon the team may not have an option other than to play him if he keeps hitting the way he has this season.

In four games played, Adams posted a .643 batting average (9-for-14) with two home runs and seven runs batted in. The average isn’t likely to remain that high through the season, but a large average isn’t anything new to him.

Last year with the Cardinals marked the first time he batted below .300 for a single team in his professional career. He posted a .329 batting average through 258 at-bats in his first season with Memphis.

“It’s something I pride myself on,” Adams said of his high batting averages. “I want to give myself and the team the best at-bats I possibly can and I want to have a good average to do that.”

For Matheny, watching Adams this year is a little different than the last time.

“He’s in a good spot. I think it’s fun to just see a guy early in his career have a little success and just that confidence knowing that he can do it at this level as well,” Matheny said.

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