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Getting to know new Nationals’ bench bat Matt Adams

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Matt Adams will be a great addition to the Nationals’ roster.

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Arizona Diamondbacks Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

It is sad to lose Adam Lind, and I think if the Nationals had stuck with him he would have played very well. The Nats just signed Matt Adams to a one-year, $4 million contract to be their new power off the bench. This is amazing because, quite honestly, I love Matt Adams. We Cardinals fans affectionately refer to him as “Big City,” though Pilates has shrunk him down a bit. The Nats are demoting him to a bench role, though he is more than capable of playing first base every day. When you get right down to it, Adam Lind and Matt Adams are quite similar hitters.

Lind/Adams at the Plate

Player OPS v RHP OPS v LHP HR (2017) K% (2017)
Player OPS v RHP OPS v LHP HR (2017) K% (2017)
Adam Lind .852 .592 14 15.6%
Matt Adams .828 .593 20 24.0%

The Nationals traded in one power-hitter for a younger power hitter with, essentially, the same profile. Matt Adams used to struggle mightily against the shift because he was a dead pull hitter. The opposition would shove all four defenders onto the right half of the infield. Adams is known to bunt when that happens and has gotten much better at hitting all over the field. However, like Adam Lind, he is easy to double-off and won’t be legging out any triples.

Matt Adams was an everyday Cardinal from 2014 through the first third or so of the 2017 season. This year, Matt Carpenter was their first baseman, and after a failed attempt to shift Adams to left field they traded him to Atlanta. (If you thought Adam Lind was bad in the outfield, well, Matt Adams is worse.)

On a more optimistic note, I want to kick it back to one of my favourite Big City moments. It was July of 2016 and they’d played fifteen-and-a-half innings of baseball in St. Louis. It was 1:25 AM here in DC and I could barely keep my eyes open. It’s a weekday, I had to work in the morning, and it felt like one of those games that could drag on to nineteen or twenty innings.

It just wouldn’t end.

Then Matt Adams hit a game-winning homer and said what we were all thinking:

A walk-off like that stays in the memory bank awhile.

One of the bonus aspects of signing Matt Adams is adding postseason experience to the roster. He played for the Cardinals in the 2014 and 2015 playoffs. The team reached the Championship Series in 2014, the Division Series the following year, and he had some very memorable moments. Considering the Nationals may once again meet the Dodgers in the postseason, I think you will like this one:

I’ve always found Matt Adams to be very level-headed and optimistic. From a fan perspective, he is very nice and super open with the media. I think he’ll do well here in DC and am genuinely excited to be able to cheer for Big City once again!


Audrey Stark is a Contributor at Federal Baseball. You can follow her on Twitter @HighStarkSunday.