As I'm sure all of my readers are aware of by now, the Royals selected righty Nathan Adcock in the Major League phase of the 2010 Rule 5 draft. I've tried to get some information together on him but I really have found alot. Here's a look at Adcock's career minor league numbers:
Adcock became a Pirate as part of the trade that sent Jack Wilson and Ian Snell to Mariners after the Mariners made him the 141st overall slection of the 2006 First Year Player Draft. Judging by the Pirate fans reaction on the blogosphere many seemed to be disappointed that Adcock was left unprotected and hope that they can get him back at some point.
Adcock is 6-5, 190. He offers the Royals a projectible frame with a fastball that sits in the 88-93 mph range. With his size it would not be shocking to seem him either add some velocity as a starter, or dial up his stuff a bit in a move to the bullpen. Adcock also has a curveball that in 2009 was considered the best in the Seattle Mariner organization. However, at this point most believe that he possesses three average pitches, but no plus offerings.
The good news for Adcock is that he has a reputation as a downhill thrower and has consistently had an above average groundball rate. The bad news is that he doesn't have that plus offering and he throws from an "inverted w" which is a health concern moving forward.
Like they did with Osuna the Royals claim that they view Adcock as a rotation candidate and I agree. At this point the Royals rotation features five guys that I think the organization will give a very realistic opportunity (Greinke,Hochevar, Mazzaro, Davies, O'Sullivan), plus two guys that will get an on the surface opportunity(Teaford and Duffy), and one other guy that they will say gets an opportunity but really has no chance (Crow).
I think it is a safe assumption that Greinke, Hochevar, and Mazzaro are locks. I also believe that Davies will be granted one more shot, which means that the Royals currently are stuck with O'Sullivan in that fifth spot. I am in no way an O'Sullivan fan and it sounds to me as though Adcock's stuff is very comparable. For this reason I believe that with the current roster it will be a battle between Adcock and O'Sullivan for the fifth spot.
Since O'Sullivan has options remaining and Adcock is a Rule 5 selection, I think that Adcock will be given the slight edge early on and with a successful spring could be handed the fifth starter spot. If he doesn't win a spot in the rotation it would probably be due to poor performance and if that is the case the only way he wins a bullpen role is if his stuff impresses the Royals staff and he is able to dial it up in short stints. If he can't do that then he probably won't be a Royal much longer.
In conclusion, he is an intriguing player and I think he will provide good real competition for O'Sullivan in the fifth starter spot. Even if he gets returned to the Pirates and the Royals spend 25K he still provides competition in Spring and a realistic alternative to O'Sullivan should he stink up the place. If Adcock doesn't make the roster and the Royals get to keep him then they just paid 50K to add another pitching prospect with back end potential. Either way it seems like a good investment of that chunk of money.