Before the season, Yankees RHP Chance Adams was ranked among the top 100 prospects by Baseball America, MLB.com and Baseball Prospectus.
But despite a disappointing season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Adams is likely to make his MLB debut Saturday when the Yankees, whose rotation is in flux, face the Red Sox in the third game of a crucial four-game series.
So what does Adams bring to the table?
Adams, 23, worked his way up the minors rather quickly since being a fifth-round pick in the 2015 MLB draft. He flourished in 2017 with Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, going 15-5 with a 2.45 ERA and 135 strikeouts in 150 1/3 innings.
This season, however, has been a different story. Adams is just 3-5 with a 4.50 ERA in 21 starts with the RailRiders. Though his strikeout rate is up from last year, so are his H/9, HR/9 and BB/9 rates, all career highs.
"Chance has come along. He just needs to be a little bit more consistent, is all," RailRiders manager Bobby Mitchell told NJ Advance Media's Brendan Kuty in May. "He's got good stuff. Working a lot on his changeup and offspeed stuff and his location, locating his fastball. He's had some really good outings and then he kind of takes a step backward. And it's not a big step backward. It's just a step backward. And then the next one, he'll look really good again. So, it's just a matter, I think, of it getting warmer. That will help. His velocity should go up again."
Adams had a rough spring training, allowing six runs and nine hits in 4 2/3 innings over three games before he was reassigned to minor league camp.
Adams has four pitches in his arsenal: a fastball, slider, changeup and curveball. His fastball tends to be in the low-to-mid 90s range, while his slider sits in the mid-80s. Wrote Tommy Romanelli of Pinstriped Prospects: "He can throw all four of his pitches for strikes but they do all require some more development. Regardless, his ability to locate allows him to get a ton of swing and misses."
In his last outing on Monday, Adams threw 7 1/3 strong innings of one-run ball, but prior to that he had given up six runs, nine hits and four walks in 6 1/3 innings over his previous two starts.
Why is he getting a shot now? New York's rotation is in flux.
J.A. Happ, who was originally slated to start Saturday, was placed on the disabled list with hand, foot and mouth disease. The Yankees removed Sonny Gray from the rotation and replaced him with Lance Lynn, who threw 4 1/3 innings of relief on Wednesday. They intended to have Luis Cessa start Saturday, but needed to have him pitch 3 1/3 innings of relief in Thursday's 15-7 loss.
Why not No. 1 prospect Justus Sheffield? Despite his success at the Triple-A level, he pitched Thursday night as well, so he wouldn't be an option to pitch on one day of rest.
Of course, the Yankees could also call up Brian Keller from Double-A Trenton, who is also slated to pitch Saturday, according to YES Network's Lou DiPietro. And Keller wouldn't be the first Yankee to make the jump to the majors directly from Double-A this season (see also: Jonathan Loaisiga).
But Adams appears to be the most viable option to get the nod on Saturday.