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Who is Willy Adames?

The third player the Rays are receiving for David Price could be a good infielder

"We're getting what for one of the league's best pitchers?"
"We're getting what for one of the league's best pitchers?"
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

In the Rays' three team trade sending away David Price, they apparently acquired three players: infielder Nick Franklin, pitcher Drew Smyly, and infielder Willy Adames.  The first two are no longer prospects, but Adames surely is.

In Baseball America's mid-season update, he was ranked fifth in a thin Detroit farm system, and for all intents and purposes at this time, he was higher since two of the prospects ranked ahead of him were traded to Texas for Joakim Soria.

Considering he was ranked 30th entering the season, it's been a breakout season for the 18 year old.  He skipped right from the Dominican Summer League in 2013 to the Midwest League which probably should have been the first clue he was ready for a breakout year.  For West Michigan, he owns a .269/.346/.428 line with a 9.8% walk rate and 24% strikeout rate in 400 plate appearances.

This was coming off a year in the DSL where he batted .245/.419/.370 in 267 PA.  His 56 walks to 44 strikeouts probably give the Tigers a feeling he could handle an aggressive assignment.  Detroit originally signed him in 2012 for $420,000.

Prior to this season, Baseball America noted that he has a patient approach, current gap power with potential for more, good hands and a strong arm.  At a listed 6'1 and 180 pounds, it's possible he gets bigger and has to move to third base.  He's an average runner, but with 12 steals in 30 career attempts, he might want to stop trying that for a while. notes that he's the youngest everyday player in the Midwest League, so his performance is pretty impressive.  Their tool breakdown for Adames is this (50 is average for a big leaguer):

Hit: 50
Power: 45
Speed: 50
Glove: 50
Arm: 60

He could be a solid big leaguer down the road, but he runs the risk of a lot of current minor league shortstops: becoming a tweener.  He may not be quick enough for shortstop, but 45 power doesn't generally profile there.

Adames will be headed for Bowling Green where he'll team up with Kean Wong for a young, intriguing double play combo.  With Juniel Querecuto's recent promotion to Charlotte, he's going to get the bulk of the action at shortstop.