There are certain prospects within an organization that will either make or break a potential trade. In 2014 it was Willy Adames. The Tampa Bay Rays were looking to move their best commodity, David Price, because they knew when it came down to paying him they couldn’t. When the Detroit Tigers came calling, the Rays insisted that Adames be included in whatever package they were offering. When one team insists on the inclusion of a prospect it is expected for the other team to be reluctant. In the end the Rays won out, and in a three-team trade, Price was sent to Detroit, and Adames was one of the players going to Tampa.
The Detroit Tigers signed Adames as in International Free Agent back in 2012. The 17-year old infielder from the Dominican Republic, started his professional career in 2013 playing for the Tigers Dominican Summer League team. Before the trade in 2014, Detroit assigned him to the West Michigan Whitecaps of the Midwest League. At the time he was hitting .269 with six home runs and 50 RBI. He didn’t have to go far after the trade because the Rays sent them to their Midwest League team the Bowling Green Hot Rods. He played 27 games for the Hot Rods ending the season hitting .278.
Tampa would place Adames in Class-A Advanced Charlotte to start the 2015 season. He played 106 games for the Stone Crabs before his season was derailed by an elbow injury in August. At the time he was hitting just .258. Despite that fact, the Rays bumped him up to Double-A Montgomery in 2016 where he would start to show the organization why they wanted him so bad. He finished that season with career highs in games, plate appearances, hits, home runs, and batting average.
Continuing his ascent to the major leagues, Adames would spend all of 2017 playing for the Rays Triple-A Durham Bulls. He played in 130 games for one of the International League’s potent offensive teams, and was a part of the Governors’ Cup winning team, and the Triple-A National Championship team. Adames hit .277 with 10 home runs and a career-high RBI total of 62.
For his performance at the plate, Willy Adames has been named CNY Top Offensive Shortstop.
***Photo by Gabe Rodriguez/CNYBaseball***