Baylee Adams was a consistent threat at the plate for North
Montgomery in the 2015-16 season. His plate appearances produced 42 hits total
this year along with a .438 batting average. This, along with his catching
leadership, has boosted Adams to The Paper’s 2016 Baseball Player of the Year.
Two of Adams’ big moments this season were during the
Sectional games. The first was a homerun against the Lebanon Tigers in North’s
first Sectional match up. With two runners on, Adams connected with a
first-pitch fastball and sent it over the left-center fence.
“When I first found out that it landed over the fence it was
more excitement,” Adams reminisced. “When I got in the dugout, it was more
humbling because it could have been my last game at my home field and it could
have been my last chance to get that big hit and it happened.”
The second moment was more of a culmination of his powerful
hitting season. In North’s second and final Sectional game against Frankfort,
Adams connected for his 17th double. This put him atop the
stat-leaders in Indiana (according to MaxPreps) and also set the record for
A power-hitter doesn’t just show up. Adams put around 7-8
hours per week in the cage and his work paid off.
“Cage time is my biggest amount of time I’ve put into
baseball,” he said.
As a senior whose reputation preceded him, Adams said he
focused on off-speed and curveballs during practice.
“This year, I had the approach that I wasn’t going to see a
lot of fastballs,” he stated. “That’s what I did all year, sat on a curve ball
or change up and took it where it came from.”
Sitting on between 25-30 hits in previous years, Adams
collected 14 more hits this season than his junior year.
“Baylee has been a major contribution to the baseball
program since his freshman year,” Charger coach Matt Merica said. “He is a
leader on the team, works hard and takes pride in the game.”
Another change from junior year, was his role behind the
plate. Adams called the game, something he hadn’t done in previous years.
“Being able to call this year, the game was more fluid and
there wasn’t so much break time,” Adams said. “It was get it and go and I feel
like that helped our defense a lot this year . . . Everybody was ready and
focused on the game.”
Adams caught for four of his fellow seniors, along with a
few other pitching staff members.
“It’s good to have good pitchers like Mitch, Jordan, Devon,
JC cause you know every time you go out there, you can call a pitch and they
have the same mindset as you do,” he said. “You know they can throw any pitch
and hit that spot.”
Between calling pitches and pick-off throws, Adams helped
lead the team from both sides of the plate. Adams and five other seniors led North
to a 24-6 record this season with a second place in the Sagamore Athletic Conference.
“Baseball is obviously my favorite sport and being able to
be with those guys every day in the spring was super exciting,” he said.
Adams also played football and basketball in high school,
being named The Paper’s 2016 Co-Football Player of the Year.
He signed with Marian University to continue his baseball
career in February of this year.
“I have a shot at being able to play for the next four
years,” he said. “I think I have a good home and a lot of surrounding people
with me going. It should be fun and should be a lot of good baseball.”