Willy Adames: Future $150 Million Man?

Willy Adames: Future $150 Million Man?
© Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The Brewers are in a nasty approach; 3 video games beneath .500 because the get started of August, they’ve fallen out of playoff place regardless of their number one festival — the Padres and Phillies — no longer precisely lights the arena on hearth themselves. It may, subsequently, appear an ordinary time to reward Willy Adames, best there’s by no means in reality a nasty time to reward Willy Adames, and rarely any one ever turns out to do it.

Adames is red-hot nowadays, with a 148 wRC+ in September, and has been lovely just right on the plate this 12 months total. He ranks 2nd amongst shortstops in house runs with 30, and is tied for 3rd in slugging proportion at the back of Trea Turner and Bo Bichette. When the Rays went to the World Series two years in the past, Adames used to be an afterthought. He didn’t hit a lot that postseason, and all of the consideration (deservedly) went to Randy Arozarena and the Rays’ bullpen arm clock.

But the object the Rays did higher that 12 months than somebody else used to be play the matchups. It gave the look of a participant for each and every place at each and every matchup, and now and again they’d pull an NHL-style line alternate mid-game if the cases dictated it. Adames used to be the only exception. He used to be the shortstop when the Rays had been main or trailing, early and overdue, towards left-handed and right-handed batters. Apart from the final 3 innings of Game 1 of the World Series, Adames performed each and every minute of that Tampa Bay postseason run. (Only Arozarena, who used to be lifted for protection for a half-inning in 4 distinct video games, performed extra.)

Adames performed such a lot as a result of he used to be just right at the whole thing, despite the fact that possibly outstanding at not anything. That’s why the Rays, who’d obtained him seven years previous within the David Price business, despatched him to Milwaukee in May 2021 along side Trevor Richards, in change for J.P. Feyereisen and Drew Rasmussen.

Just as a result of Adames used to be just right at the whole thing didn’t imply he used to be with out weaknesses. He’s all the time struck out an excessive amount of and walked no longer sufficient; on the time of the business he used to be putting out 5 instances up to he walked, and hitting .197. With Wander Franco within the pipeline he changed into expendable. (As just right as Adames has been, I don’t assume the Rays in particular be apologetic about buying and selling him.)

Last summer season, Adames advised Tyler Kepner of The New York Times that he’d struggled for the reason that lights at Tropicana Field made it tricky to look. (In Adames’ protection, I’ve all the time discovered The Trop to be oddly vibrant and American Family Field in Milwaukee to be oddly darkish.) Since then, he’s posted a wRC+ of 123 in 224 video games, just right for 7.7 WAR. That’s 7th amongst shortstops in that point, sandwiched between Bichette and Corey Seager at the leaderboard. This 12 months, Adames’ stroll price has dropped from 10.3% to eight.5% — which is a bit of frightening, taking into consideration he’s rarely Joey Votto first of all. But he’s having a really perfect defensive season, fourth amongst shortstops in defensive Runs Above Average and 5th in Outs Above Average — this after being most commonly a league-average defender during his occupation.

So let’s return to that record of the most efficient shortstops in baseball — particularly, what they’re price:

Top Shortstops By Age and Contract Status

Player WAR Since Adames Trade Age Contract Status
Trea Turner 10.7 29 FA End 2022
Francisco Lindor 10.1 28 10 years/$341 million (signed 2021)
Carlos Correa 9.0 28 Opt-Out End 2022
Dansby Swanson 8.7 28 FA End 2022
Xander Bogaerts 8.3 29 Opt-Out End 2022
Bo Bichette 8.1 24 Arbitration-Eligible End 2022
Willy Adames 7.7 27 FA End 2024
Corey Seager 6.7 28 10 years/$325 million (signed 2022)

For the ones Carlos Correa pedants, it’s technically a participant possibility and no longer an opt-out, however the impact is identical. And technically his birthday isn’t till day after today, however since I’m a creator and no longer the bouncer at Sharky’s on All-You-Can-Drink Miller Lite Night, I gained’t begrudge him the additional day.

What those avid gamers have in commonplace is that (except Bichette) they’re preposterously well-compensated, or are about to turn into so this coming offseason. Other most sensible shortstops who not too long ago changed into rich past the goals of avarice come with Marcus Semien (8.6 WAR since May 22, 2021, seven-year, $175 million contract, could be a shortstop if no longer for enjoying with Seager and Bichette) and Fernando Tatis Jr., who’s in the middle of a 14-year, $340 million contract however recently at the sidelines due to a predilection for bikes and Clostebol. So too Javier Báez and Trevor Story, each on six-year, $140 million contracts. We haven’t observed this many wealthy power-hitting shortstops because the turn-of-the-century Giants.

The level isn’t that Adames is as just right as Turner, Correa or Tatis — he’s no longer. But is he as just right as Swanson, or Báez and Story? I’d argue he’s. And when he hits unfastened company in two years, at age 29, that needs to be masses just right sufficient to earn him a $25 million a 12 months contract. We may no longer discuss Adames like he’s in that class, however we will have to.

Leave a Comment