This afternoon the Tampa Bay Rays promoted shortstop prospect Willy Adames to the major league roster. He’s certainly one of the top infield prospects in the game and has nothing left to prove in Triple-A. Let’s do a quick review.
Originally signed by the Detroit Tigers out of the Dominican Republic in 2012, Willy Adames was in the midst of a solid season in Low-A when he was involved in the 2014 David Price deal. He moved up one level at a time once in the Tampa system, posting consistently solid lines including a .274/.372/.430 mark in Double-A in 2016 and a similar .277/.360/.415 slash in Triple-A last season.
Adames ranked as the top Rays prospect on their Top 20 Prospects list for 2018 with this commentary:
1) Willy Adames, SS, Grade B+/A-: Age 22, from the Dominican Republic, originally in Detroit Tigers system until 2014 David Price trade, hit .277/.360/.415 with 10 homers, 30 doubles, 11 steals, 65 walks, 132 strikeouts in 506 at-bats in Triple-A; the negative: K-rate is higher than ideal; the positives: he has more power than most shortstops and has the bat speed to keep that going in the majors, draws walks, can swipe a base, earns consistent praise for both his makeup and his shortstop defense; don’t expect him to hit .300 right now but he’ll do a whole bunch of other stuff; ETA 2018.
Returned to Triple-A Durham to open 2018, Adames decided that he didn’t like that remark about not hitting .300 and posted a .311/.387/.466 slash line through 148 at-bats before his promotion today along with 20 walks and 39 strikeouts.
Listed at 6-0, 200, Adames is a right-handed hitter born September 2nd, 1995. As noted he’s capable of helping his team in numerous ways: solid shortstop defense, steadily improving power, a good walk rate. His strikeout rate can be a bit high but it hasn’t hurt him yet and his overall sense for the strike zone is sound. Long-term we may see further power increases at the expense of speed.
There’s nothing more he needs to learn in the International League and it is time to let him play.