Last season, Willy Adames joined the Brewers lineup and immediately provided a spark and a huge boost. He hit .285/.366/.521 with 26 doubles, 20 homers, and a .886 OPS in 99 games. He did most of that damage out of the second spot in the lineup.
This year, it’s been a bit of a different story. Back in that second spot in the order, and in 92 games so far this season, Adames is hitting just .223/.286/.448 with 17 doubles, 22 homers, and a .735 OPS.
Willy Adames has been struggling more on offense and perhaps the Brewers should drop him in the batting order.
It looks like Adames is sacrificing batting average and on-base ability for more power this season. His doubles numbers have dropped, his homers have increased, while his batting average has dropped more than 60 points and his OBP has dropped 80 points from last year.
If he’s going to become more of a power bat and isn’t able to get on base at the rate like he used to, perhaps he shouldn’t be hitting in that no. 2 spot in the order ahead of the run producing power bats like Rowdy Tellez and Hunter Renfroe. It makes some sense to drop Adames down to the 5th or 6th spot behind Tellez and Renfroe where his power might be more beneficial.
In his place, Craig Counsell could put someone with more on-base ability to keep the line moving and get guys in scoring position for the middle of the order like Adames, Tellez, and Renfroe.
Kolten Wong has been hot lately and is hitting .251 on the year with a .329 OBP. He could be a strong candidate to move up into that spot with how much he’s been getting on base since the All Star Break. In the second half, Wong is hitting .339/.392/.539 with seven doubles and a pair of home runs. Put him up in that spot where he can get on base and get up to bat more often.
The Brewers need to get more production out of Adames and perhaps a change in his spot in the order is necessary to make that happen. It worked for Christian Yelich, so it can work for Adames, too. He and Wong can switch spots in the order.
This offense needs more of a spark and while Adames provided that last season, this year he hasn’t been that same kind of spark.
Another answer would be to call up speedster Esteury Ruiz, who was acquired in the Josh Hader trade and put him in that spot near the top of the order. He is a menace on the basepaths and has been dominating Triple-A competition. He’s unproven at the big league level, but he’s also deserving of an opportunity.
Unless Adames turns back into that high average hitter with a high OBP, the Brewers should drop him in the batting order.