Ryan Adams

Mandeville's Adams, a Jesuit star, currently negotiating with Orioles

Mandeville's Adams, a Jesuit star, currently negotiating with Orioles - Ryan AdamsJesuit High graduate Ryan Adams, a Mandeville resident, was recently drafted by the American League's Baltimore Orioles in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft and is currently in negotiations with the club. Adams, 6 feet, 185 pounds, was the 58th overall selection in the draft. He was one of 32 players selected by the Orioles, and he was the club's third pick.

Adams said last week he had not signed with the Orioles yet, but his advisor is in negotiations.

Ryan Adams

"At first I just wanted to get a baseball scholarship to play in college, but things just kept building and building during my high school career. Now I have this great opportunity after getting drafted. It's a huge honor for me. Being drafted makes me feel good to know all the hard work I put into the game paid off. At this point, I'm just going to sit back and see what happens," said Adams.

Adams said Baltimore is a great organization, and it play in a great division with the Yankees and the Red Sox.

"They have a great ball park at Camden Yards. The Orioles also have a great minor league system with the single A team playing at Aberdeen, Md. They have amazing facilities," he said.

The Aberdeen IronBirds, the Orioles' Class A affiliate, compete in the New York Penn League and play home games at Ripken Stadium, named after Oriole great Cal Ripken Jr.

Adams said he had an opportunity to play at Ripken Stadium as an AFLAC All-American.

"That was an awesome experience. I played with the 32 best high school players in the nation. The pro scouts were everywhere to check out the nation's best talent," said Adams.

Adams said the players had a chance to meet and speak with Ripken.

"He's one of the greatest players to ever play the game. We took pictures with him, and it was an awesome experience," he said.

Adams favorite major league player is Miquel Tejada of the Orioles.

Adams signed a full grant-in-aid scholarship in November to attend Louisiana State University. He said he has spoken with new LSU head coach Paul Mainieri, and if things don't work out with the Orioles he will attend LSU.

Adams described himself as a contact hitter who likes to go gap-to-gap.

"I'm not the biggest guy, but I guess I play bigger than my size. I can hit for some power, but I think the long ball power will come later on down the line. I know the strike zone and I'm disciplined at the plate," he said.

The 19-year-old shortstop batted .426 for the Jesuit Blue Jays his senior year. He banged out 23 hits in 46 at bats.

He smacked four home runs and drove in 17 runs. He also scored 17 runs. He had an on base percentage of .600 along with a slugging percentage of .778.

Adams said he pulled his hamstring three times during his senior season and only suited up for about half of his team's games.

"I kept trying to get out there, and my hamstring continued to be a nagging injury. I think if I hadn't been injured and missed games in my senior year I would have been a much higher draft pick," he said.

As a junior in 2005, Adams helped lead Jesuit, a perennial Catholic League powerhouse, to the Louisiana High School Athletic Association Nokia Sugar Bowl Class 5A State Championship.

"Being part of a state championship team was absolutely amazing. The Catholic League is one of the premier leagues, if not the premier league in the state. We were always able to make it pretty far in the playoffs. I was able to face some pretty good talent during my high school career. It was a great experience playing at that level to show who you are," said Adams.

Adams hit a home run in the 2005 state championship game played at Zephyr Field in Jesuit's 8-2 victory over Destrehan. He also hit a home run in Jesuit's 2-1 semifinal victory over Southwood

This past season the Blue Jays were knocked off in the semifinals, losing to Sulphur.

Jesuit posted a 96-18 record over the past three prep seasons.

Blue Jays first-year head coach Sam Dozier described Adams as a very strong player who has developed his physical skills.

"He's the whole package. Ryan is quick and has good instincts. He hits to all fields with power and is disciplined at the plate," said Dozier.

Dozier said Adams has a great work ethic and loves playing baseball.

"Baseball is Ryan's passion, and he has worked hard to get to the position he is in today. He has a strong arm and a good glove to go with excellent hand-eye coordination," he said.

Adams said he credits his success to his personal trainer Brandt Quick, a former Tulane Green Wave linebacker, and his hitting instructor Scott Lambert.

"They have played an instrumental role in my success. I've been hitting with coach Lambert since grammar school. He definitely smoothed out my swing," he said.

Adams also credited Barry Butera as a role model when he attended Lake Castle School in Madisonville.

Adams said in his spare time he enjoys hunting and fishing.

"I haven't been able to do much with my hobbies lately because baseball takes up so much of my time," he said.

Adams, the son of Rick and Susan Adams of Mandeville, said he is extremely fortunate to have such supportive parents who have meant so much to him during his career.

"I would not be where I am today if it weren't for their total support. Them paying for me to attend a private school, driving across the lake, and to attend baseball showcases across the United States, they have been fantastic," said Adams.

St. Tammany News
By Mike Pervel
Published on Monday, July 10, 2006 9:38 AM CDT