Willy trained with 12-time All-Star shortstop Barry Larkin in Orlando during each of the last two offseasons, as well as Dee Gordon, Carlos González and Edwin Ríos this past winter…Willy credits Larkin with helping him find consistency in his game, especially with his glove…he also attributes his defensive strides to his work with Rays third base coach Rodney Linares and a rigorous series of drills they do together ... He visited Puerto Rico this offseason with former teammate Carlos Gómez to attend Yadier Molina's Home Run Derby and celebrity softball game…the event benefited the island's continuing recovery from Hurricane Maria... When Blake Snell entered in relief to close out the Rays' Game 4 win during the 2019 Division Series at Tropicana Field, Willy put his arms around him on the mound and said, "I love you man, you got this. We have your back, so do your thing and make your pitches."...Willy likes to spend time during the offseason in the Dominican Republic visiting the mountains and experiencing nature, especially its rivers and beaches...As a kid, Willy and his friends loved to play down by the river…he would occasionally sneak out of the house at night to go there despite being caught multiple times by his parents.
In his age-23 season, became the youngest Ray to hit 20 HR since Evan Longoria (33) in 2009…all 20 HR came as a shortstop, passing Brad Miller (19) in 2016 for the club record…only two other players as young as Adames hit at least 20 HR while playing shortstop: NYY Gleyber Torres (25) and SD Fernando Tatís Jr. (22)...His 152 games led the team and his 145 starts at shortstop were 4th-most in the AL behind OAK Marcus Semien (161), BOS Xander Bogaerts (153) and TEX Elvis Andrus (146)…it was the 3rd-most in club history behind Julio Lugo (155) in 2005 and Yunel Escobar (149) in 2013...Was errorless in 86 chances over his last 31 games…totaled 12 Defensive Runs Saved, tied with OAK Marcus Semien and LAA Andrelton Simmons for most among AL shortstops...Was one of three Rays on the active roster for the entirety of the season, joining Charlie Morton and Tommy Pham...Hit .303/.375/.528 (82-for-271) with 15 HR in 77 games on the road and .204/.253/.304 (53- for-260) with 5 HR in 75 games at Tropicana Field…75.0 pct. of his homers came on the road, the highest rate in the AL (min. 15 HR)...His first 9 HR came on the road, becoming the second player in franchise history to hit his first 9 HR of a season on the road, joining Gerald Williams (9) in 2000...Hit .329/.403/.609 (53-for-161) with 11 HR out of the No. 9 spot, leading the majors in on-base pct. and slugging pct. …his 11 HR tied OAK Josh Phegley (11) for the major league lead and were a club record, passing Curt Casali (7) in 2015 and Yunel Escobar (7) in 2013...Made his first Opening Day roster…at 23 years, 207 days, was the youngest Opening Day starting shortstop in club history, passing Reid Brignac (25 years, 75 days) in 2011 vs. BAL...On May 29 vs. TOR, his 11th-inning single off Justin Shafer was the second walk-off hit of his career, following Aug 7, 2018 vs. BAL...On June 4 at DET, hit his first career grand slam, off Buck Farmer in the 8th inning…was the fifth grand slam by a shortstop in club history, following Daniel Robertson on May 19, 2018 at LAA, Ben Zobrist on Sep 13, 2008 at NYY (G2) and Aug 29, 2008 vs. BAL and Julio Lugo on June 13, 2003 vs. PIT…at 23 years, 275 days, was the youngest Ray to hit a grand slam since Wil Myers (22.194) on June 22, 2013 at NYY...On June 11 vs. OAK, recorded the 13th steal of home in franchise history, as part of a double steal with Kevin Kiermaier...On Sep 20 vs. BOS, recorded a career-high-tying 3 hits, including a walk-off single in the 11th inning, his third career walk-off hit...On Sep 21 vs. BOS, his solo homer off Josh Taylor in the 7th inning struck the D-ring catwalk and went 462 feet, the longest homer of his career...lead off the next half inning with a homer…his home run hit the D-ring catwalk, the third time a fair ball struck a catwalk in the postseason.
Appeared in 85 games and made 80 starts (72-SS, 8-2B) over three stints with the Rays, his first career major league action…took over as the starting shortstop after Adeiny Hechavarria was designated for assignment on Aug 1…led the team in starts at shortstop...Ranked among AL rookie leaders in avg. (.278, 4th), on-base pct. (.348, 3rd), multi-hit games (22, tied for 7th) and walks (31, 7th)...Named to the Topps Major League All-Rookie Team, the first Rays shortstop to earn the honor...Was the second rookie middle infielder in franchise history to hit double-digit homers, following Brendan Harris (12) in 2007...Eight of his 10 HR came with the bases empty, and seven of his 10 HR came at home...Committed a team-high 14 errors…his 13 errors at shortstop tied for 5th-most in the AL...Entered August batting just .200 (23-for-115), but from Aug 1 through season's end started 47 of the team's 55 games at shortstop…hit .329/.405/ .480 (47-for-173) during that span, tops among AL rookies in avg. and 4th in the AL, trailing BOS Mookie Betts (.363), BOS J.D. Martinez (.346) and CLE Michael Brantley (.337)...Made his major league debut on May 22 vs. BOS…at 22 years, 262 days, became the youngest position player to make his major league debut for the Rays since Wil Myers on June 18, 2013 at BOS and youngest infielder since Reid Brignac on July 4, 2008 vs. KC…became the youngest shortstop to homer in his major league debut since CHC Starlin Castro (20 years, 44 days) on May 7, 2010 at CIN…at the time, was the 3rd-youngest player in the AL, behind NYY Gleyber Torres and BOS Rafael Devers...Homered off Chris Sale in his second career at-bat, becoming the fifth Ray to homer in his major league debut, following Brandon Guyer on May 6, 2011 at BAL, Elijah Dukes on April 2, 2007 at NYY, Delmon Young on Aug 29, 2006 at CWS and Brent Abernathy on June 25, 2001 at BOS… also became the first player, Rays or visitor, to homer at Tropicana Field in his first career game...On Aug 7 vs. BAL, hit a walk-off home run off Miguel Castro, becoming the fifth player in club history to hit one before his 23rd birthday…he joined Jake Bauers (2018), Evan Longoria (2008), Delmon Young (2007) and Carl Crawford (twice in 2003)…it was the fourth walk-off homer in Rays history by a shortstop, following Ben Zobrist (2012), Reid Brignac (2010) and Kevin Stocker (1998)...Totaled 5 HR and 5 SB in August…was the third rookie in franchise history with at least 5 HR and 5 SB in a calendar month, joining Desmond Jennings in August 2011 and Damon Hollins in May 2005...Played in 40 games for Triple-A Durham prior to his first recall, and another 24 games spanning two stints after his major league debut...On April 23 vs. Buffalo (Blue Jays), hit for the cycle in an 8-1 victory…it was his first career cycle, and the second for Durham since they became a Rays affiliate in 1998, joining José Guillén on April 22, 2000…it was the 10th cycle in the history of the Rays organization, first since Evan Longoria for the Rays on Aug 1, 2017 at HOU, and the eighth by a Rays minor leaguer, first since Grant Kay on July 14, 2014 with Short-A Hudson Valley.
Spent his age-21 season with Durham…was the third-youngest player on an International League Opening Day roster, behind 20-year-old Ozzie Albies (Gwinnett) and teammate Jake Bauers (21)... Named Most Valuable Player for Durham by the Rays Baseball Operations department…tied for 3rd in the IL with a team-leading and careerhigh 140 hits, surpassing his 133 hits in 2016 with Double-A Montgomery…also led the team with 5 3B and 210 total bases... His 62 RBI and .277 avg. were both career highs... Named to the IL midseason All-Star Team, his third consecutive year receiving midseason AllStar honors... From the start of June through the end of the season, hit .303/.389/.455 (98-for-323) with 8 HR and 41 RBI in 84 games…through the first two months, was batting .230/.309/.344 (42-for-183) with 2 HR and 21 RBI in 46 games... Named the Rays Minor League Hitter of the Month for June, batting .350/.449/.550 (35-for100) with 5 2B, 3 3B, 3 HR and 12 RBI... According to Baseball Reference, did not have a single plate appearance against a pitcher younger than him... Named to the Rays Organizational All-Star Team by MLB.com... Ranked by Baseball America as the No. 19 overall prospect in the minors following the season… was the No. 2 prospect in the Rays system and No. 5 prospect in the IL…the publication also tabbed him as the Best Defensive Shortstop and Best Infield Arm in the IL in its Best Tools survey... Ranked by Baseball America as the Best Defensive Infielder in the Rays organization for a fourth consecutive year…also tabbed as the Best Infield Arm in the system.
Spent his age-20 season with Double-A Montgomery…established career highs in games (132), runs (89), hits (133), doubles (31), home runs (11), stolen bases (13), walks (74) and SLG (.430). Led the Southern League in runs and walks…also ranked among league leaders in doubles (3rd), extra-base hits (3rd), OBP (4th), SLG (5th) and total bases (3rd). Named to the SL midseason and postseason All-Star teams. All 112 starts came at shortstop. Had 4 HR through the end of April, matching his output from the season prior with Charlotte. Hit .324/.407/.602 (35-for-108) with 6 HR and 20 RBI vs. LHP. According to Baseball Reference, had only 6 PA against pitchers younger than him…had 562 PA against older pitchers. Was the starting shortstop for the World team in the Futures Game in July at Petco Park. Ranked by Baseball America as the No. 10 over-all prospect in the minors entering the 2017 season…was the No. 1 prospect in the Rays or-ganization and the No. 2 prospect in the SL, behind Dansby Swanson (Braves), following the 2016 season…the publication also tabbed him as the Best Defensive Infielder in the system for the third straight season.