By now it is no secret that Willy Adames is playing his best baseball as a Milwaukee Brewer. Since the transaction on May 22nd, both the Brewers and Adames have drastically turned their seasons around. The big question now as the team keeps winning and Adames keeps producing is should he be considered a 2021 NL MVP Candidate?
It is worth noting that the Brewers have not had a MVP shortstop since Robin Yount in 1982 and the National League since Jimmy Rollins in 2007. Now in 2021, Padres superstar Fernando Tatis Jr would be the next favorite shortstop to win the MVP award, but lets take a look at how Adames has faired so far.
Since the trade for Adames, the Milwaukee Brewers have gone an impressive 34-16 and Adames’ play is a major factor why.
They currently hold a seven game lead in the National League Central and are 17 games over .500. Over that stretch, Adames has increased his batting average by 68 points and only Tatis Jr and Shohei Ohtani have recorded more extra base hits than him.
As a Brewer, Adames is slashing .314/.398/.578/.976. He has 11 home runs, 16 doubles, and 37 RBIs to add to that line as well. Over the same timeframe that Adames has been a Brewer, Tatis Jr has a .298/.384/.652/1.036 slash line with 17 home runs, 11 doubles, and 44 RBIs. Tatis Jr is expected to be a MVP finalist so to see Adames put up similar number is good news!
To take the Tatis Jr comparison a step further, when season stats are compared, Tatis Jr certainly holds an advantage due to Adames slow start to the season with the Tampa Bay Rays. Adames most certainly will not catch Tatis Jr in home runs but he does trail him by just 12 RBIs on the season and his batting average is continuing to trend closer to .300.
Thankfully statistics do not account for everything when a MVP is considered. Impact on a team’s ability to win and delivering in clutch moments holds tremendous value as well. Adames has done both of those things so far.
I already noted the impressive team record so lets take a look at a few of Adames clutch moments so far. On his late game resume, Adames has two go ahead home runs in the 7th inning or later, one game tying home run in the 9th, and two other game tying hits in the 7th inning or later.
With the Brewers he has nine hits in the ninth inning that includes three home runs, three doubles, and seven RBI’s. He’s been hitting so well that he has now found a permanent home at the top of the Brewers bating order that includes consistently batting third or clean up.
All of this screams MVP candidate to me, despite the sample size of just over fifty games. If Adames can keep this level of play up for the remainder of the season his performance will be hard to ignore, but for now I think the MVP candidate talks are legit, even though it will take a lot to overcome Tatis, he will at the very least be getting some votes.
The Brewers still have 67 games remaining on their schedule so a lot can happen, but Adames has provided a much needed spark to this team.
Much like nobody predicted that Christian Yelich would win MVP in his first year as Brewer, nobody certainly could have predicted Willy Adames getting consideration for MVP at this time.