Playing at the Triple-A for the first time this year at just 21 years old, Adames is more than holding his own at shortstop, slashing .246/.324/.367, and showing a strong, projectable body with average actions in the field, with soft, quick sure hands.
Adames has a good defensive clock who shows an idea how to play hitters. I have some concern with his first-step quickness as it’s just average, as is his range into the 5/6 hole, and that quickness could conceivably slow if gets any bigger physically. He does have an above-average arm with good carry and average accuracy, but the accuracy suffers on occasion when he’ll hold onto the ball to long to load up his arm on occasion. He’ll need to work on throwing more when on the run and from angles, but the raw arm strength is there.
At the plate, Adames has quick hands with loose wrists, with a quick bat, and he gets bat head out with plus bat speed. He has above average barrel control keep his hands inside the ball, and can manipulate the barrel with a gap-to-gap, line-drive oriented stroke. Adames uses the entire field, and has shown his extra-base hitting ability steadily, with 16 this season after 48 in 2016 at Double-A and 41 at 2015 in Class A ball. He gets some occasional loft and leverage in his swing and shows projectable average-or-better in-game power potential.
Adames has a plan at the plate. Though he is struggling early in the year, he does show the feel and instincts for hitting, and also has a solid two-strike approach. While he can work a walk when it comes around, his strikeout rates, which have floated between 21 and 27% for the past three seasons, will need to settle down as he matures, through he is on quite a learning curve in Triple-A this year. He’s below-average runner out of the box (4.39 seconds home-to-first) who looks better underway, but speed won’t be a part of his overall game.
Adames has the tools and projection to be a solid, offensive-minded shortstop, with a plus hit tool, average power, and average, non-flashy defensive ability. His lack of plus defensive ability makes him more of a role 55, above-average major league regular.