Standing next to Adam Silva you would think he had decades of professional experience. He has the calm appeal of a seasoned vet, well beyond his last two whirlwind years that have taken him from Melbourne to the New York Yankees.
GOLD COAST, 3 July - The 6ft 2 outfielder carries himself with as much personal pride as I’ve encountered in an eighteen year old. When I met him at the field after an academy game, the tongue in cheek jeers from his team mates didn’t faze him as he stepped away from his stretches to be interviewed.
His fourth year at the MLB Australian Academy (MLBAAP) is somewhat different for Silva straight off the back of an extended Spring Training with the Yankees.
“It’s great to be back in Australia. I haven’t seen my family for longer than a week in months, so to be able to continue my training closer to home is valuable for me right now” said Silva.
Signed in 2010 at the age of sixteen by the Yankees was not something that Adam was expecting. He had been getting some interest from scouts at National Championships and playing for National Teams, but at that point in time he had his sights set on being an electrician.
Two years later, Tampa Bay Spring Training is a long way from an apprenticeship in Melbourne, and the dog-eat-dog nature of his profession is a lot different to a Kelpie in the back of a ute. But it is clear that this talented outfielder is up for the challenge.
Adam has been sent back to the MLBAAP on the Gold Coast by the Yankees to continue his training. The academy affords young ball players such as Adam the opportunity to train under a similar regime to the US system but at home.
“The training schedule at the academy is pretty much the same as in Tampa but the intensity is lower; I get to have a laugh with friends here” explained Silva. “The biggest difference for me is the increased game time. I will get 125 at bats instead of sixty, which means I will go back in March bigger, stronger and more experienced”.
“This is my fourth year at the academy and each year it gets better. I am still learning new things here, especially from the big league coaching line-up; I get out just as much but I get to train in Australia”.
Happy to be home and not being asked ‘how do you say hello in Australian’ by team mates, Adam is also looking forward to getting some game time with the Melbourne Aces this ABL season.
Judging by his at bat and on base stats after the first week of the academy, he shouldn’t have any trouble getting a spot on the roster.
Follow Adam’s and full MLBAAP results at www.mlbaap.baseball.com.au.