22-Year-Old Shortstop – Tampa Bay Rays
2018 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
There may not be a better example in the minors of the difference between game power and raw power. Adames has never hit more than 11 home runs in a season and his career-high ISO is .159. However, he...
Adames drove in a career-high five runs in Triple-A Durham's win over Wilkes-Barre on Friday, Alex Kraft of MiLB.com reports.
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Tampa Bay Rays Roster
MajorsAlvarado, Jose (P)
AAAAdames, Willy (SS)
AALowe, Brandon (2B)
A+Ciuffo, Nick (C)
ABurke, Brock (P)
RookieBetts, Chris (C)
Willy Adames: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
The 21-year-old enjoyed a strong year at Double-A Montgomery, slashing .274/.366/.409 with career highs in homers, walks and stolen bases. His numbers were up across the board from his 2015 campaign at High-A Charlotte, and he now looks to take the next step at Triple-A Durham in the coming season. Part of his improvement was in the area of plate discipline, as he lowered his strikeout rate almost a full six percentage points to 21.3 percent. Adames was added to the Rays' 40-man roster on Nov. 18, and if he continues to thrive in Triple-A, he could potentially see the field with the big league club before the end of the 2017 campaign. Based on his body of work to date, Adames projects as an excellent multi-category fantasy producer whenever he does settle in with the Rays for good.
Adames came to Tampa Bay in the David Price deal and is a very intriguing prospect, despite what the stats have been thus far. He will open the season in Double-A Montgomery as a 20-year-old, making him one of the youngest players in the league at a critical position. With Daniel Robertson in front of him, the Rays have no reason to rush him to the majors, but of the two, it is likely Adames that will stick at shortstop while Robertson goes to second base. The offense should begin to look better as he fills out physically. The recent acquisition of Brad Miller under a few more years of player control almost ensures Adames won’t be seen until 2018.
Adames was the third piece the Rays received in the David Price deal, and unlike Drew Smyly and Nick Franklin, Adames is several years away from the big leagues. However, he has the potential to be the best player of the three, especially if he can stick up the middle. A bat-first shortstop, Adames spent his entire age-18 season at the Low-A affiliates of the Tigers and the Rays, compiling a .271/.353/.429 slash line with eight home runs and six steals in 514 plate appearances. For an 18-year-old to do that in a full season league suggests he is advanced enough with the stick to move fast if his defense does not hold him back. An optimistic ETA would be late 2016, with a more likely debut in the summer of 2017. Still, in dynasty leagues where each team gets 10 minor league keepers, Adames needs to be owned based on his potential production in power and batting average, which should play even if he gets moved to third base.