Melvin Adon, RHP
DOB: June 9, 1994
BATS: L / THROWS: R
ACQUIRED: International Signing, February 16, 2015
LAST LEVEL: Triple-A
GiantFutures Ranks: #6 Relief Pitcher
Performance: To start 2019, Melvin Adon did something he hadn’t done in the minor leagues since his first half-season back in 2015: he kept his ERA under 4 at a single level. He had a 2.60 ERA in 36 games at Richmond, and was beginning to look like the pitcher that his stuff had long promised. He was still striking out a lot of batters (59 in 45.0 innings, a 11.8 K9 rate), although he was still walking batters a lot (5.2 BB9). The Giants pushed him to Triple-A Sacramento, and in 12 appearances he got hit hard, to a tune of a 13.94 ERA and giving up 16 hits and eight walks in 10.1 innings, even though he struck out 18.
Adon was at the team’s alternate training site in 2020, but there was not a lot of news about him. He went to the Dominican to pitch in the winter league down there, where he hit 101 mph, but appeared to suffer an arm injury (which remains unconfirmed).
Strengths and Weaknesses: Adon’s fastball might be a true 80-grade pitch, regularly hitting triple digits, with movement. He matches it with a hard slider that is enough to pair well with his fastball.
The problem, of course, is that Adon’s control is poor, and while it sometimes might look like he’s putting it together just enough, it never sticks around. He had a good-looking stint in the Arizona Fall League in 2018, when he walked just three batters in 12.1 innings, but the success did not carry over to the next year.
Adon’s other frustrating side is that he is pretty hittable for someone with a fastball like his. Part of that comes off his lack of control, and batters sitting back, waiting for better pitches. However, for a pitcher who could dominate, and does get the strikeouts, a career 9.6 hits per nine innings is one of the biggest representations of the frustration.
2021 Outlook: Assuming he’s healthy, Adon will go back to Triple-A to start the year, and give it another go. Chances are running out for Adon, who has been a tantalizing prospect for a few years. His unknown health status is still there, but it should be noted that the Giants signed him a week after his apparent injury in winter ball.
Future Profile: Adon was a free agent at the end of 2020, but came back to the Giants. It’s really unclear what his future is going to be. That fastball remains one of the best in the system, and so very beautiful. But will he ever harness it? At this point, I don’t think he’ll ever be trusted as a high-leverage reliever. But heat like that may get him to the Majors one day. Will it be with the Giants? Who knows.