Back on May 21st, when the Brewers traded two of their trusted relief pitchers for shortstop Willy Adames, it looked like a slightly panicked move. Despite that fair first reaction to the trade, the early returns have been promising for the Brew Crew. Overall, after Monday’s action, he is hitting .324 with a .969 OPS, two home runs, and nine RBIs in a Brewers uniform.
Adames has injected some life into a Milwaukee lineup that has been searching desperately for consistent production.
Last Thursday afternoon was the best example of Adames talent and energy. In the 7th inning, with the Brewers having just surrendered their 2-0 lead, Adames stepped to the plate with runners on second and third base. He proceeded to yank a 2-0 hanging curveball way over the fence in left center, giving the Brewers a 5-3 lead and giving the Milwaukee crowd something to cheer for.
That homer capped off a 4-5, 4-RBI day for Adames. It came at a crucial point for the Brewers who were looking to split the hard-fought four-game series with the San Diego Padres.
There is reason to believe that last Thursday afternoon was not an outlier, and that Adames will continue to swing a solid bat for the Brewers.
Interestingly, he has been a far better hitter away from Tampa Bay than at home. His career road batting average at the time of the trade was .293, compared to just .217 at Tropicana Field. American Family Field’s reputation as a hitter-friendly ballpark bodes well for Adames’ continued success.
As for defense, Willy Adames has always been known for his slick glove skills at shortstop. Over the course of his career, he has finished in the top-5 of fewest errors committed at shortstop. In all of 2020 he committed just 9 errors, which was the fewest of anyone at his position in the American League. Given Luis Urias’ defensive struggles this season, this is another upside of the trade.
Adames also flexed his strong throwing arm on defense Thursday, delivering a perfect throw to home plate on a relay from Jackie Bradley Jr. to gun down what would’ve been the go-ahead run for San Diego in the eighth inning.
More important than Adames’ individual numbers is the fact that the Brewers are 8-2 with him in the lineup after he hit a big home run on Monday to give Corbin Burnes some run support. Perhaps this move was a sort of wake-up call for this ballclub that saw itself slipping in the NL Central standings during the month of May.