#8 LF | 2004-2009 | Debut – | 0
WAR: 0.0 [0.00 avg in 5 seasons. Best = 0.9/2005]
Adams played college ball at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His strong season in 2002, when he batted .370 with 45 steals, led to the Toronto Blue Jays drafting him in the 1st round (14th overall) in the 2002 Major League Baseball Draft, ahead of Scott Kazmir, Nick Swisher, Cole Hamels, Jeff Francoeur, Matt Cain, and Canadian Joey Votto.
Adams was brought up to the major league club late in the 2004 season and had his official rookie season in 2005. He was used primarily in the lead-off position in the lineup. Adams finished the 2005 season with a .256 batting average, .325 OBP, 27 doubles, 5 triples, 8 home runs, and 11 stolen bases. Adams finished seventh in the AL in sacrifice flies and tenth in the American League in at bats per strikeout. Adams was named to the Topps Major League Rookie All-Star Team along with teammate Gustavo Chacín. However, he made 26 errors in the field for the Blue Jays and was often criticized for his throwing arm.
He played shortstop before being optioned to the Jays’ Triple-A affiliate, the Syracuse Chiefs on May 25, 2006 (along with Josh Towers). On June 12, 2006, he was recalled by the Blue Jays after playing 17 games for Syracuse. After having trouble with the bat since his call up, and due to teammate Aaron Hill’s struggles at short, he was removed as the second baseman, with Hill switching over to second and utility man John McDonald taking the shortstop role previously occupied by Hill. He was optioned back to Syracuse on July 30 so that he could receive more playing time.
Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi stated at the beginning of the 2007 season that Adams would begin 2007 in Triple-A, and would have to earn his way back onto the team. On August 17, 2007, Russ was recalled from Triple-A and has played with the Jays as a utility infielder. On September 19, 2007, he recorded his first-ever major league grand slam, against Jonathan Papelbon of the Boston Red Sox.
On February 5, 2009, Adams was designated for assignment by the Blue Jays to make room for T. J. Beam on the 40-man roster. On February 11, he was outrighted to the Triple-A Las Vegas 51s. While with Las Vegas, he played some games in the infield and outfield, and spent a month on the disabled list with a broken hand, but hit over .300 while active. On June 21, Adams’ contract was purchased from Triple-A by the Blue Jays, as Joe Inglett was optioned back to Las Vegas. Adams singled in a pinch-hitting appearance that day against the Washington Nationals. GM Ricciardi said Adams would be a reserve infielder, left fielder, designated hitter and pinch hitter with Toronto.