Once the lockout ends and the White Sox are able to finalize their roster and break for spring training, Rick Hahn and company will eventually have some tough roster decisions to make. One of those decisions will undoubtedly involve powerful outfielder Micker Adolfo.
Adolfo, 25, is a 6’4, 230-pound giant of a man who signed as an International Free Agent at the age of 16 with the White Sox in 2013. Due to his raw power and strong arm, his $1.6M signing bonus was, at the time, the highest international signing bonus in White Sox history.
However, Adolfo has had trouble achieving much of his potential due to injury, the most significant of which required arthroscopic surgery on his throwing arm back in 2018. In 7 minor league seasons, Adolfo has a cumulative .248/.321/.433 slash line. However, 2021 was Adolfo’s strongest year since 2017, during which he posted a combined .245/.311/.520 slash line with Birmingham and Charlotte, re-discovering that power that made him such an intriguing prospect. He enters the 2022 season on the 40-man roster but out of minor league options, meaning the White Sox will need to make a decision to either put him on the major league roster or risk passing him through waivers.
Micker took some time to discuss his career with the White Sox, previous struggles, goals for his 2022 season, and much more with us!
To start, tell the readers about yourself. When did you start playing baseball, and when did you decide that you wanted to make a career out of the game? Did you always play in the outfield?
Yo empece a jugar béisbol cuando tenia 6 años y alrededor de los 13 años me vi con tremendo futuro en este deporte. Ahí en conjunto con mis padres decidimos al año siguiente enviarme acá a Dominicana para perseguir mi sueño. Y si siempre fui outfield y también jugué 3ra base y pítcher.
Translation: I started playing baseball when I was six years old, and around the age of 13, I realized that I could see myself with a tremendous future in this sport. At that point, I decided, together with my parents, to go to the Dominican Republic the following year to pursue my dream.
I have always played outfield, and I used to play 3rd base and pitcher.
You grew up in San Pedro de Macrois in the Dominican Republic. What are your favorite memories from your childhood? Do you have a lot of family and friends there that you spent time with?
Yo nací aquí en San Pedro de Macoris pero me crié en los Estados Unidos. Muchas de mis recuerdos eran cuando venía de vacaciones que me la pasaba jugando con mis amigos del barrio. Acá tengo muchos amigos y familiares si!
Translation: I was born here in San Pedro de Macoris, but I grew up in the United States. Many of my memories are from going on vacation [back home in San Pedro de Macoris] and spending time playing with my friends in the neighborhood. And yes, I have many friends and family members here!
In 2013, you signed with the White Sox as an International Free Agent when you were only 16 years old. What was that process like for you – was it exciting or stressful? Why did you decide you wanted to play for the White Sox? Who helped you make your decision?
Así es en el 2013 firme con los White Sox y empecé mi desarrollo hacía las grande ligas con ellos. El proceso fue bastante emocionante ya que eso fue súper especial para mi familia y para mi verme lograr un sueño mío a tan joven edad! Para mi fue fácil decidir ya que ellos siempre demostraron interés y hicimos amistades mi familia y yo con mi scout Marco Paddy.
Translation: So, in 2013, I signed with the White Sox and started my development toward the big leagues with them. The process was quite exciting, as it was super special for my family and for me to see me achieve a dream of mine at such a young age!
It was easy for me to decide [to sign with the White Sox], as they always showed interest, and [Special Assistant to the General Manager/International Relations] Marco Paddy took the time to become friends with my family and me.
Last season, you played at two levels (AA and AAA). As you have played more baseball in the White Sox organization, how have you learned to adjust to new challenges? Were there certain teammates or coaches that have really helped you in the minor leagues?
Para mi fue súper especial escalar hasta el último nivel de ligas menores después de tantos obstáculos y adversidades que tuve que derribar en mis años en la finca de white sox. Pero lo ultimo que se pierde es la Fe y gracias a Dios sigo firme aquí y se que Dios me tiene lo mío. Y han a visto muchos compañeros y entrenadores que han sido fundamental para mi desarrollo.
Translation: It was super special for me to climb to AAA after having to face and overcome so many obstacles and so much adversity in my years with the White Sox organization. However, the last thing I ever want to lose is Faith, and thanks to God, I remain firm here [in facing adversity], and I know God is with me. I also have many friends and coaches who have been fundamental to my development [with the White Sox].
You are currently playing for Las Estrellas Orientales in the Dominican Winter Baseball League. How is this league different from the minor leagues in the United States? Do you enjoy playing in this league during the winter, and does it help you to train and prepare for the next season?
Este liga me encuentro que me ayudado mucho en los pocos turnos que jugué porque el nivel de competencia es muy buena porque hay muchos Peloteros de todas partes y me ayudado a reencontrarme como Pelotero!
Translation: I find that this league has helped me a lot in the few times I have played here. The level of competition is very high because there are many baseball players from all over [the world] who have helped me to find myself as a baseball player!
Because you played in AAA, you are very close to the major leagues. What do you feel is the biggest thing you need to do to take to be ready for major league baseball? How do you plan to make this step? Do you think you can be in the major leagues this year?
Para mi yo soy un pelotero de 5 herramientas y lo demostraré en el 2022. Antes me cohibía y jugaba con miedo por las injuries que eh tenido pero esta pelota de invierno me ayudado reencontrarme de nuevo!
Translation: For me, I believe I am a 5 tool baseball player and I will show it in 2022. Before I was hesitant [as a player due to past injuries] and played with a fear of getting injured again. However, winter ball [in the Dominican Republic] has helped me to find myself again!
What do you like to do when you aren’t playing baseball? Do you have any hobbies that you enjoy?
Cuando no estoy jugando paso mucho tiempo en familia para la playa o en el barrio comiendo y haciendo cuentos y chiste.
Translation: When I’m not playing, I spend a lot of family time at the beach or in the neighborhood [in San Pedro de Macoris], eating and telling stories and jokes.
Lastly, do you have any advice for younger players who are hoping to be where you are one day?
Mi mayor consejo es que se enfoque no se desanimen y trabajen fuerte. No te desanimes si ves que alguien sube por arriba de ti o no te están saliendo las cosas solo enfócate, encomiéndate a Dios! Y que se recuerden que cada proceso es diferente habrán muchos que llegarán primero que tú pero no se desanimen sigan con ganas y mirando el objetivo mayor.
Translation: My best advice is to focus on never being discouraged and always working hard. Don’t be discouraged if you see someone rise before you, or if things aren’t going your way. Just focus and trust in God!
And remember that each process is different; there will be many players who advance before you, but do not be discouraged. Continue forward with a desire to succeed and focus on the bigger picture.
On behalf of the entire Sox On 35th team, I want to thank Micker for taking the time to answer our questions so our fans could get to know him a bit better! It’s always incredibly interesting to hear the player’s perspective on what they will be doing to grow in the coming season. I’d also once again like to thank the “unofficial official” translator of Sox On 35th, Fernando Rendon, for his guidance in the background.
As the White Sox make their final roster decisions come Opening Day, here’s hoping that Micker can prove himself and final way to make himself part of the White Sox future.
You can follow Micker Adolfo on Instagram @mickeradolfo11 – go show him some support!
Featured Photo: Featured Photo: Southern Intrigue Photography/Twitter