Tampa Bay Rays: The Timeline for Willy Adames
The Tampa Bay Rays top prospect, Willy Adames, is going to be in their Major League camp once Spring Training begins. When should fans expect to see him at the Trop?
At just 21 years old, Tampa Bay Rays prospect Willy Adames appears to have quite the future ahead of him. A consensus top 100 prospect in baseball since 2015, he has widely been considered the top prospect in the Rays system. It was not a surprise that he was added to their 40 man roster, and that he will be getting a look with the Rays in the Major League portion of Spring Training.
It is natural to wonder when Adames will make his debut with the Rays. His excellent season with the Montgomery Biscuits, where Adames posted a .274/.372/.430 batting line, hitting 11 home runs and stealing 13 bases. With his strong all around play, Adames was named to the Southern League All Star Game.
And yet, after that strong season and the accolades he earned, Adames is not resting on his laurels. He is already at Tropicana Field, one of 25 players taking part in the Rays Winter Development Program. The team is getting to monitor his progress, while he gets to work with the coaching staff to get ready for Spring Training and continue his development.
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Naturally, this begs the question of when will the Rays bring Adames to the Majors. He has certainly displayed tremendous progress since being acquired along with Drew Smyly from the Detroit Tigers, and has the makings of a strong all around game. His time certainly appears to be soon.
However, Adames is also only 21 years old, and has just one year of experience at AA. While he performed well, it makes sense to start the season at AAA. Also, the Rays do have Nick Franklin and Tim Beckham at the Major League level this year. While Franklin may be best served in a Ben Zobrist style utility role, he did play well when he was able to get on the field. With a .270/.328/.443 batting line and six home runs in 60 games, he deserves a chance at the starting lineup.
For Beckham, this may be his final chance to prove that he can, in fact, become a viable Major League option. The former first overall pick has been a disappointment, and that continued last season. Although his .247/.300/.434 batting line led to an exactly league average OPS+, Beckham still made far too many mental errors, leading to his banishment to the minors last year. One has to expect that he will be on a short leash.
Should Adames continue his excellent play in the minors this year, and perform well at Durham, it may not be a surprise to see him promoted to the Majors in the middle of the season. Franklin would still be able to get regular at bats, only in a variety of roles. The Rays would certainly have options with their lineup.
Next: Archer still in Astros sights
Willy Adames will be making his debut with the Tampa Bay Rays relatively soon. If he continues to progress, that could even happen this year.