Law Talks Adames
On Thursday, Keith Law revealed his top-100 prospects list. On Saturday, he explained why certain prospects missed the cut, including Tampa Bay’s Willy Adames.
Because Law’s article is behind the paywall, we can’t reproduce most or all of his explanation. Nonetheless, Law wonders whether Rays fans are overvaluing Adames to justify the David Price trade. He writes that the Rays are sweeter on Adames’ defense than the consensus, and concludes that, “[Adames is] a solid prospect, but I think the reasons Rays fans wanted him in the top 100 weren’t directly connected to his skill set.”
*It’s worth pondering if this is true for Steven Souza, too. Here’s a fun test: Imagine the local reaction if Law (or PECOTA) had deemed Souza superior to Wil Myers back in November.
Law has been mocked and derided and had his acts ascribed various motives since snubbing Adames—because trolling one of the league’s smaller fanbases from behind a paywall is a surefire way to get hits. But the truth is, Law more or less agrees with everyone else on Adames.
To wit, take a look at the grades Adames has received from various sources this winter:
Law didn’t publish grades of his own, but he seems closer than not based on what he’s written about Adames in the past. (For instance, Law suggested a Jhonny Peralta-like future would be the ideal outcome.) If that’s the case, then everyone sees Adames as a well-rounded prospect whose maturity and feel for the game allow him to play beyond his age and physical means, albeit not to an all-star or elite level. The projection in each case is for Adames to become a starting-caliber player at a position yet to be determined.
It’s not as though Law’s (or anyone else’s) reservations about Adames’ defense are unexpected—if anything, positional questions are a given whenever a teenager doesn’t have the archetypical shortstop’s body or skill set. Likewise, it’s not a stretch for Law (or anyone else) to suggest the Rays (and/or their fans) are sweeter than the consensus on players already in the Tampa Bay system. You could say that about the other 29 teams just as easily.
Of course, the outrage directed toward Law is by and large a product of nothing else going on. Whether Adames is the no. 100 prospect or the no. 110 prospect is meaningless. What matters is that Adames fulfills his promise; if he does, he’ll contribute to the Rays someday soon—a reality that Law seems to agree with.