When Willy Adames earned his promotion to the big leagues, Tropicana Field was the place that everyone envisioned his future success to take place.
This season, however, Adames has been a much better hitter when he isn’t under the friendly confines of the catwalks and roof, performing significantly better on the road than at home. But it’s not the indoors that’s killing him:
The Rays have played 54 games at home and 56 on the road, with Adames playing in 47 of those home games and 53 of those road games.
At home, Adames has had 180 plate appearances, while on the road, he’s had 219. Adames’ slash line of .171/.217/.229 at home leaves a lot to be desired, but on the road, he’s been one of the best hitters in the American League, slashing .297/.369/.544 — good for an OPS of .912 and a 140 wRC+.
Adames ranks 9th in the AL in road wRC+ among players with at least 150 road PA, where Mike Trout leads the AL in this category with a road wRC+ of 177. How’s that for context?Not reasonable? How about this: Adames ranks ahead of some notable players such as JD Martinez (137 wRC+), Mookie Betts (125) and Francisco Lindor (123) on the road.
Adames’ 24 extra-base hits on the road blow away his home figure of seven XBH, as do his 12 home runs on the road, compared to one at home. Adames is even striking out 11% less on the road than he is at home while walking 3.5% more, good enough to double his Walks to Strikeout ratio.
Even more impressive is Adames’ ISO difference, crushing his .059 at home with an ISO of .246 on the road. Additionally, Adames’ wOBA of .381 on the road is the 9th best in the AL.
Where Adames’ splits become even more intriguing is when they’re broken down another level, and that is pitcher handedness splits in addition to home/road splits.
It is important to note that the sample sizes are much smaller with these splits, so there is a lot of volatility in the numbers. Here are Adames’ stats, with each split separated:
When Adames is on the road and facing right-handed pitching, he is nearly unstoppable with a 160 wRC+, a number that good puts Adames as the 7th best hitter in the AL among hitters with this specific split and at least 120 PA, not too far behind the leader Mike Trout at 190 wRC+. Austin Meadows interestingly enough has a 189 wRC+ with this split, good for second-best in the entire MLB.
Adames clearly sees the ball much better coming out of a righty pitcher’s hand while on the road, and another stat that proves this is his walk percentage. Walking at a 10.4% clip, Adames is one of only 12 right-handed batters in the AL to walk at least 10% of the time against righties on the road.
Of course, with numbers this good, there are a couple of flags that pop up. The first flag is Adames’ .348 BABIP on the road, which is not extreme, but certainly a high number for him. His BABIP is even higher against righties on the road, at .384. Additionally, Adames is over-performing his road xwOBA by .022 points and his road xBA by .025 points, however, it is not extreme enough to be a cause for alarm yet.
The numbers that Willy Adames are putting up when the Rays are on the road are nothing short of impressive, and if he can find a way to carry that momentum into his performances at home for this final stretch of the season, the Rays will have another right-handed offensive weapon that they can trust in the lineup.
As Brian Anderson of Fox Sports Sun frequently says, put Willy in a hotel room when the Rays play at home!
Just maybe not the haunted one.