Adames displays talent, unyielding work ethic

Infield prospect says non-stop action best way to improve

Adames displays talent, unyielding work ethic

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rockies infielder Cristhian Adames doesn't believe in taking breaks from baseball, and believes playing year-round has helped prepare him for his biggest Spring Training.

Competing for the starting shortstop job or a utility spot, and out of Minor League options, the switch-hitting Adames went into Monday's start at short against the Cubs 3-for-8 with two doubles and an RBI in Spring Training. The start is more a continuation of a season that never ends. He played 32 regular-season games and 18 in the playoffs for Toros del Este in the Dominican Winter League.

"I don't like to rest," Adames, ranked No. 28 in the organization by MLBPipeline.com, said. "I like to play. I like to work. This is my job. Every time I can learn something, I want to learn it. I'm ready for everything. I want to do what I know."

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Adames, 24, hit .311 with 11 homers, 51 RBIs and 20 doubles in 116 games last season at Triple-A Albuquerque, then showed a level of Major League ability while hitting .245 in 58 Major League plate appearances over 26 games.

Adames, who won a Dominican batting title in 2014, admitted fatigue was a factor in his .208 average and .508 OPS in the 2015 Dominican regular season. But in the postseason, Adames hit .311 with a .417 on-base percentage and a .443 slugging percentage with two home runs.

Shortstop is open because Jose Reyes is facing a domestic violence charge and possible discipline from Major League Baseball. Trevor Story, a supplemental first-round pick in 2011, has made an early case with a .333 average, two home runs and a .556 average in four games. Story also went into Monday with the most innings at short with 19, followed by veteran utility man Daniel Descalso with 10 and Adames with eight. Adames had played 12 innings at second base.

"For me it doesn't matter -- I'm competing for shortstop, but they know what they're going to do with me, and I'm happy if they put me at short or second or everywhere," Adames said.

Rockies manager Walt Weiss noted that Adames was more at home in the Majors last season than in 2014, when he went 1-for-15 in seven Major League games.

"He's not overwhelmed at all the Major League level -- that was loud and clear when we saw him at the end up here last year," Weiss said. "He's a valuable piece. He's shown that he's a Major League player."

The infield utility situation bears watching. The Rockies must carry Adames on the 25-man regular-season roster or risk losing him off waivers if they try to send him down, and they're paying Descalso $2.1 million at the end of a two-year contract.

There is flexibility with the bench. Although the Rockies often go with an eight-man bullpen, Weiss said three off-days in the first 11 days should allow for a seven-man season-opening bullpen.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.