For all the big names who changed uniforms before the deadline to make changes, the move that could end up having the biggest impact in the postseason fight is one that was made more than two months earlier.
On May 21, the Brewers sent relievers JP Feyereisen and Drew Rasmussen to the Rays and received the Dominican shortstop Willy Adames (plus pitcher Trevor Richards, who would later be traded to Toronto in a deal for Rowdy Tellez).
Adames was running a .197 / .254 / .371 line at the time of the transaction, but he has become the Brewers’ most productive hitter and has helped make the team the favorite to win the NL Central. National League. And even if he is not a strong candidate for the award to Most valuable Player In the old circuit, the numbers of the Dominican since he landed in Milwaukee support him to fight.
In 71 games with the Brewers, Adames has hit .297 / .378 / .551 with 16 homers, 22 doubles and 48 RBIs. After striking out 35.9% of his plate appearances and walking just 7.0% of the time before the trade, he cut that strikeout rate to 24.7% and raised walking percentage to 11.5% in Milwaukee.
Adames has not only propped up a position that had been problematic for the Brewers in 2021. He has significantly improved a position that had been a persistent problem for the team for more than a decade. Between 2009 and 2020, Milwaukee shortstops combined for the worst OPS (.663) in the National League and the third worst in the majors.
Obviously, the Brewers’ trio of aces of Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burnes and Freddy Peralta have played an immense role in Milwaukee’s success this season, but you can’t win without scoring runs. Manager Craig Counsell’s club probably wouldn’t be where it is without Adames.
The 25-year-old is not a favorite to win the National League Most Valuable Player award, especially considering that no player has been MVP in a year in which he played with more than one team. But Adames’s arguments for fighting for MVP are better than many might believe.
Thomas Harrigan / MLB.com