Willy Adames Reached the World Series With Tampa Last Year, and He May Win It This Year with Milwaukee
Put another D on the end of the first syllable, and it will describe exactly the effect he has had on his new team. Since acquiring shortstop Willy Adames from the Tampa Bay Rays, the Milwaukee Brewers have advanced from third place to have a six game lead in the National League Central.
Adames is having a dream season since the may 21 trade from the defending American League champions, going 47-for-162 (.290) with nine home runs and 30 RBIs to become one of Milwaukee's leaders with a 2.0 WAR (Wins Above Replacement).
No single player has made such an impact on a contending club since 2015, when a similar acquisition took a team hovering around .500 all the way to the World Series. That player was Yoenis Cespedes who, after being shipped from Detroit to New York, propelled the Mets to the pennant.
It was on July 31 of '15 when the Tigers dealt Cespedes and received Luis Cessa and Michael Fulmer from the Mets, who at the time were 53-50 and two games back behind the Nationals. With his new team Cespedes immediately went on a tear, collecting three doubles with four runs batted in in juts his second start in New York.
Over the next three months he continued to put up Most Valuable Player numbers, slugging 17 home runs with 44 RBI and a .285 batting average. Such an offensive performance transformed New York's entire season, as the 90-72 Mets ended up seven games in front on their way to winning the pennant.
The Brewers are hoping to write a similar story in 2021, propelled by their acquisition of Adames. Milwaukee was in third place and four games back in the NL Central on May 21, the day they made the deal for their new shortstop.
Two days later in Cincinnati, Adames greeted Luis Castillo with a two-run single in the first inning, setting the stage for a 9-4 rout that put the Brewers at the .500 mark. Now at the All-Star break, Adames and his new team find themselves 14 games over .500, holding a four and a half game cushion in the N.L. Central.
The odds are much better for the Brewers reaching the playoffs than they had been for the '15 Mets, given the fact that Adames has signed on with a club boasting five All-Stars. Whereas Cespedes had a relatively weak lineup around him in New York, Adames merely adds to a batting order already powered by the likes of MVP Christian Yelich and Avisail Garcia.
If Cespedes had been enough to get the Mets to the World Series almost single-handedly, the addition of Adames should enable the Brewers to win the Fall Classic.