KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Dreams do come true. At least that's the case for newly called up Royals pitcher Jason Adam.
His journey to the big leagues began eight years ago when he was drafted in the fifth round by the Royals. The 26-year-old Blue Valley Northwest alum had bounced around different clubs within the organization before being traded in 2014 to the Minnesota Twins for Josh Willingham.
During his time in Minnesota, he suffered injuries which required multiple surgeries to his throwing elbow which kept him out nearly three years. In 2016, he was signed by the San Diego Padres and played in their minor league organization for only two games before being released.
The Royals signed him shortly after San Diego released him. His journey through the Royals organization, with Double-A affiliate Northwest Arkansas and Triple-A affiliate Omaha before being called up today made him appreciate his journey.
"It's been the craziest thing just as far as like, we went back to pretty much everywhere that was a negative place for me," said Adam. "This year, I got traded from Colorado Springs. [I] got to play there this year. My last outing this season was terrible in Tulsa. I got to play there in Tulsa this year and kind of redeem it. So, God's been pretty good to me throughout this journey. And, I wouldn't trade it for the world."
This scene in the Royals clubhouse was of players hugging Adam and sharing in conversation with him. There was truly a sense that players really gravitated to him as one of their favorite guys.
"I haven't seen Jason yet. So, I may have to excuse himself if he walks in the next couple of seconds," said Royals second baseman Whit Merrifield who was in the same draft class as Adam in 2010.
Merrifield was truly excited to see Jason once he did walk into the clubhouse. He gave Adam a big hug and had a brief conversation with him in the clubhouse surrounded by the media. Whit was drafted in the 9th round (267th overall) in 2010. He remembers his time with Jason.
"He is the best guy I have ever met. And, I can't...I'm not just saying that cause he got called up," Whit emphatically said. "I mean, hands down, [he's] one of the nicest, most genuine people I've ever met. And, everything he's gone through, all the surgeries he's had, all the setbacks he's had, to finally get up here is just the most exciting thing."
Royals Manager Ned Yost talked about the baseball aspects of what Adam could do on the field. He discussed his interactions with General Manager Dayton Moore about whether or not to promote him to the major leagues.
"I'm like, 'Okay, good. Yeah, bring him up.' I mean, I remember this kid before we traded him and [I] always liked him. We traded him for [Josh] Willingham. And, I'm like, okay. I mean, we hated to do that. But, we needed that piece. [I] saw him in spring training this year, and I'm like, 'Man, we got him back this year. That's good right,'" Yost said. "Dayton started, you know, three weeks ago, or probably a little bit longer ago. [He said] look, we gotta keep our eye on Jason. He's really throwing the ball well."
It's currently unclear when Jason will make his major league debut. But, he's just excited to be back in Kansas City regardless of when or where he'll play.
"I mean, this is special. It's pretty indescribable right now. It's a day I've dreamed about since 2010 really, probably even before that when I was a little kid," Jason said. "To try to put it into words, I don't think I could."