Playing in a part-time role in the majors is difficult. It's an incredible adjustment for players who were on the field nearly every day and received regular at-bats in the minor leagues to be expected to produce on an on-call basis at the highest level.
This is the life of Colorado Rockies infielder Cristhian Adames, who in his first full season in the majors, is hitting just .191/.289/.260 in 151 plate appearances spanning 80 games. The 25-year-old rookie is playing above-average defense when he's on the field, so not all is lost. But at the plate, he's getting the bat knocked out of his hands.
Among National League players with 150 or more plate appearances, Adames ranks dead last in hard-hit rate at 16.8 percent, per Fangraphs. MLB's Statcast reveals a similar result; only two NL players (again, with 150 or more PAs) -- Dee Gordon of the Miami Marlins and Billy Hamilton of the Cincinnati Reds -- have a lower average exit velocity than Adames' 83.4 mph.
None of this is to say that the switch-hitting Adames can't improve at the plate. He boasts several strong characteristics on offense; Adames owns a 10 percent walk rate, is good at making contact (83.3 percent, compared to the 78.3 percent league average) and is better than average at laying off of pitches outside of the zone. It's just that there isn't a lot of power there, and without the type of speed that comparable light-hitting players such as Gordon and Hamilton possess, it will be an uphill battle for Adames to succeed with his batted-ball profile.
The good news is that with Trevor Story out for the season, Daniel Descalso sporting an inferior glove, and a lack of impact options in the upper levels of the minors, Adames should have ample opportunity to prove that his lack of production isn't solely due to limited playing time -- if that is indeed the case.