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Pirates Minor League Profile: This McAdoo Plays Baseball and is Opening Eyes

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Homestand 11, The Bradenton Marauders face the Lakeland Flying Tigers at LECOM Park, Bradenton, Florida (Photos by Jonathan Austin)

Charles McAdoo gets asked two questions all the time.

Is he related to Basketball Hall of Famer Bob McAdoo? Yes, they are distant cousins but they have never met.

Did he play basketball before turning his attention to baseball? Yes, for one year in eighth grade, he wasn’t good at it.

This McAdoo plays baseball, and he is good at it. He has done nothing but hit since the Pittsburgh Pirates selected him in the 13th round of last year’s amateur draft from San Jose State University.

The infielder/outfielder is hitting .312/.391/.526 in 42 games at High-A Greensboro this season with six home runs and nine stolen bases. That followed a fine 28-game professional debut at Low-A Bradenton last year when he slashed .302/.412/.510 with five homers and five steals.

The 22-year-old right-handed hitter appears to be a late-round steal. MLB.com ranks McAdoo as the Pirates’ No. 30 prospect.

However, the 6-foot-1, 210-pound McAdoo is not concerned about where he ranks. He is just continuing to try to strengthen his foothold in pro ball.

“Things have been pretty positive since I was drafted,” McAdoo said. “I try to take it one day at a time. I don’t get too far ahead of myself, I’m just taking it day by day, just working through the struggles that I run into day by day and see what I can do to fix them as soon as possible.”

McAdoo has been good at self-maintenance. Though he is still a couple of levels from the big leagues, the Pirates have reason to be excited about his multiple talents.

“I think I’m well-versed and a five-tool player that can help the team win any way I can,” McAdoo said.

One knock against McAdoo is that he doesn’t have a primary position after serving as San Jose State’s second baseman during the final two seasons of his three-year career with the Spartans.

McAdoo has started at five positions during his two pro seasons – third base (27), left field (13), second base (9), right field (7) and first base (3). McAdoo’s versatility could be valuable if he reaches the major leagues in an era of larger pitching staffs and smaller benches.

“I think I swing the bat rather well,” McAdoo said. “What I think I need to get better on is defense. I play a lot of positions and I’m just trying to hone my skills at all of them. It’s a challenge but one I enjoy.”

McAdoo also played football in high school at De La Salle Academy in Concord, Calif., and one of his hobbies in college was running pass routes for some of his friends who played quarterback for San Jose State.

However, while growing up in Northern California, baseball was always McAdoo’s first love. The Oakland Athletics were his favorite team, and third baseman Josh Donaldson was his hero.

McAdoo never went to Pittsburgh until last July when he signed his contract and watched a game at PNC Park. It left quite an impression.

“The view of the city was awesome,” McAdoo said. “The park was amazing with the Allegheny (River) right behind the stadium. Even as I was sitting there, I started thinking that this makes it feel real, that I’m going to have a chance to prove I can play in the major leagues. It really motivates me to want to get there.”

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