Since being traded by the Cardinals to the Atlanta Braves, Matt Adams has been on an absolute tear—holding a .948 OPS with 8 HRs and 21 RBIs in 24 games.
As a refresher, on May 20th the St. Louis Cardinals completed a trade with the Atlanta Braves. The Braves received Matt Adams and cash, and in return the Cardinals acquired minor league infielder Juan Yepez.
Since being traded, Matt “Big City” Adams has seemingly escalated his play to fit the bigger city of Atlanta, and thus can be referred to as “Bigger City”.
Now Adams has not been doing anything all too special in the reaching base department—holding a .289 batting-average and .340 OBP (the same sort of numbers he had with the Cardinals)—but has been explosive in the power department—smashing 8 HRs and holding a .608 slugging percentage.
There are two logical explanations for this explosion in production.
The first is that Adams’ success is simply an exhibition of one of the fundamental attributes of the game of baseball: streakiness. Hot and cold streaks are the nature of the game. Sure, someone with a background in statistics might try to pull out the “hot-hand fallacy” on you, using it to “show” that no such streaks exist. But those people obviously haven’t followed the game of baseball throughout an entire season. Also if actual evidence is actually needed, here’s a study that shows the opposite.
Second is that Adams has finally been given a full-time starting role. In Atlanta he has been given a chance to settle in, without the threat of being benched for not doing well by his coaching staff. Comfort and confidence at the plate, in the case of Matt Adams, seems to be the key.
Honestly the answer probably lies somewhere in the middle of these two. Either that or the Cardinals are just cursed.
But before we all jump on the “Oh my, this was a bad trade” train, lets examine the question of “was it really?”
Well I for one do not see Adam’s burst of production as being the flip of some kind of irreversible switch. I definitely don’t expect him to maintain these kind of numbers. Additionally, the Cardinals really just did not have enough space on the major league roster for Adams.
With management’s decision to cement Matt Carpenter at first-base, all Adams would’ve been good for was playing backup. Additionally, Adams’ trial in the outfield didn’t work as he didn’t have tremendous offensive upside to level out the decrease in defensive play.
And what about Juan Yepez? Has he been doing well since the trade? Does he have a chance of being called up?
Well on June 11th he had a two home-run game for the Peoria Chiefs. At only 19 years old, Yepez still has a lot of room to grow. But the Cardinal’s organization is known for their ability to do just that. I would estimate Yepez will make it to the big club in 2020, but that is just my opinion.
Photo captured by Kim Klement – USA Today Sports