The Tampa Bay Rays do everything by script. They will coddle Willy Adames and suggest he’s blocked by a veteran shortstop. And bump him around along the way.
I get why the Tampa Bay Rays feel the need to play Adeiny Hechavarria. and, it’s obvious. Yet, this team doesn’t want him. All playing time right now is showcase time. All of it. Framing him in attempt to trade. I’d argue that this is costing Willy Adames.
Let’s make it easy. In a nutshell, without playing time, Hechavarria is one of the best fielding shortstops in the game today. If there is a team looking for defensive help in the middle infield, he’s your guy. Offensively, he’s short of a roll of the dice. He will not hit for average. He will show short of occasional pop. Boom.
Of all teams, the Tampa Bay Rays should not be a team playing around with their young talent. Willy Adames is their best prospect. Last month, the word was that he was up for good. A time later, he’s back at Durham. With the All-Star break looming, it makes sense, I guess. But, played out right from the beginning, I don’t believe it would have been necessary.
Willy Adames has gone through some struggles since joining the Rays. As a result, his average is low and he strikes out a lot. But, let’s just say he comes to the field every day knowing he’s going to start at shortstop. And, a few days out, he’s told that he’s going to get a rest based on matchups.
I get that it’s a juggling act and the Rays are on the line for a bunch of money with Hechavarria. But, the Rays show nothing by putting him on the field. Stop showcasing him. A home run tonight is not going to increase his value. His value has already been accumulated, for better or worse. No decision should be based on any single game outcome.
If the Rays were sincere about keeping Willy Adames up, they’d plant him at shortstop and clearly communicate the roadmap. Because of this, I’d argue that the offensive results we’ve seen are skewed by the uncertainty of his daily life. He’s a high quality prospect at shortstop.
In the end, the Rays are ready to turn over the keys to their youth. They should just make it easy on Adames and give him the shortstop position. I think the offensive numbers will fall into place.