Willie Adams: A $150 Million Future?

© Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Brewers are in poor condition; Three games under 0.500 since the start of August, they have been knocked out of the playoffs despite the primary contenders – Padres and Phillies – not quite lighting the world themselves. Therefore, it may seem like a strange time to praise Willie AdamsThere just isn’t a really bad time to praise Willie Adams, and hardly anyone seems to do.

Adames is super hot right now, with 148 wRC+ in September, and has been pretty good on the board this year overall. He ranks second among short-stops in the home run with a score of 30, and tied for third in the slowest percentage behind him. Tria Turner And the Bo Bechet. When Rays went to the World Championships two years ago, Adames was an afterthought. He didn’t hit much of this post-season, and all the attention (well deservedly) is gone. Randy Arosarina And the Bullpen Rays arm watch.

But the thing the Rays did better that year than anyone else was play games. It looked like a player for every position in every game, sometimes pulling an NHL-style streak change mid-game if circumstances dictated. Adames was the only exception. It served as a stopping point when the Rays were either ahead or behind, early and late, against left and right hand hitters. Aside from the last three Game 1 rounds of the World Series, Adames has played every minute of the Tampa Bay postseason tour. (Only Arozarena, who was raised to defense in the first half in four featured games, played more.)

Adames played a lot because he was good at everything, although perhaps he was exceptional at nothing. This is why Rays, who acquired it seven years ago in David Price Trade, sent to Milwaukee in May 2021 with Trevor Richardsvs JP Feyereisen And the Drew Rasmussen.

Just because Adames was good at everything doesn’t mean he was without weaknesses. He always hits too much and doesn’t walk enough; At the time of the trade he hits five times as much as he walks, hitting .197. with Franco’s walk In the pipeline it became a consumable. (And as good as Adames was, I don’t think Rays particularly regrets trading it.)

Last summer, Adames Tyler Kepner said New York times He struggled because the lighting at Tropicana Field made it hard to see. (In Adames’ defense, I’ve always found The Trop to be oddly bright and American Family Field in Milwaukee oddly dark.) Since then, WRC+123 has posted 224 games, good for 7.7 WAR. This was the seventh among the short stops at the time, sandwiched between Bichette and Cory Seeger on the leaderboard. This year, Adames’ walking rate has dropped from 10.3% to 8.5% – which is a little scary, considering he’s barely even. joy photo Let’s start with. But he has a great defensive season, fourth among the short stops in above-average defenses and fifth in above-average Outs – that’s after he’s been a mostly mid-level defender throughout his career.

So let’s go back to our list of the best shortstops in baseball—specifically, what they’re worth:

Highest breakpoints by age and contract status

player War since Adames Trade age Contract status
Tria Turner 10.7 29 end of 2022
Francis Lindor 10.1 28 10 years / $341 million (signed 2021)
Carlos Correa 9.0 28 End of withdrawal 2022
Dansby Swanson 8.7 28 end of 2022
Xander Bogarts 8.3 29 End of withdrawal 2022
Bo Bechet 8.1 24 Arbitration – end of 2022
Willie Adams 7.7 27 end of 2024
Cory Seeger 6.7 28 10 years / $325 million (Signed 2022)

For those of Carlos Correa’s pedant, it’s technically a player option and not an opt-out, but the effect is the same. Technically, it won’t be his birthday until tomorrow, but since I’m a writer and not the bouncer at Sharky’s on All-You-Can-Drink Miller Lite, I wouldn’t envy him the extra day.

What these players have in common (apart from Bichette) is that they’re getting unreasonably good payouts, or about to be like that out of the season. Among the other best short stations that have recently become rich beyond greedy dreams Marcus Simin (8.6 WAR since May 22, 2021, seven-year contract, $175 million, would have been a short hiatus if not for playing with Seager and Bichette) and Fernando Tates Jr., who is in the midst of a 14-year contract worth $340 million but is currently on the sidelines thanks to his penchant for motorcycles and Clostebol. Moreover Javier Baez And the Trevor’s storyBoth are on six-year contracts worth $140 million. We haven’t seen so many strong strong stopping points Since the beginning of the last century giants.

The point is not that Adames is as good as Turner, Correa or Tatis – he is not. But is he as good as Swanson or Bayes and Story? I would argue that it is. And when he hits free agency in two years, at age 29, that should be good enough to earn $25 million a year. We may not talk about Adames like he’s in this category, but we should.