One of the two players to be named later in the Ross Stripling trade has been named. The Dodgers on Tuesday acquired pitcher Kendall Williams from the Blue Jays, the team announced.
Williams, who was drafted by Toronto in the second round in 2019, will join the Dodgers player pool later this week.
The 6’6 right-hander had a 1.13 ERA with 19 strikeouts and seven walks in 16 innings in the Gulf Coast League in his pro debut last year. Williams turned 20 on August 24.
Old friend David Hood ranked Williams as his No. 46 prospect in that 2019 draft, noting, “good feel, highly projectable, chance for a plus FB w/ run.” Williams was drafted 52nd overall.
Without naming Williams, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman on Monday said, “We are definitely getting a guy that we like and feel like will fit in really well with our next crop of prospects that are coming.”
The Dodgers will receive one more player to be named for Stripling, presumably at some point during the offseason. Friedman said Monday it would take some time to determine the other player.
Eric Longenhagen at FanGraphs rated Williams as the 16th-best prospect in the Blue Jays’ system, noting:
Williams had some cross-bodied mechanical violence as an amateur that might be ironed out in pro ball, and already may have been. He had a Mike Clevinger look in the bullpen this spring. Whether or not more velo comes, Williams is already a big, strong kid whose fastball has been up to 96, and he creates vertical depth on his breaking ball. There’s sizable relief risk here because of the delivery, but No. 4 starter ceiling if that’s corrected or overcome.
Kiley McDaniel at ESPN wrote of Williams, “He was dealing fastballs up to 96 mph and flashed three average-to-above pitches in high school, but with a delivery that needs some work.”
Keith Law at The Athletic in February said Williams was “a projectable right-hander from Florida who is 6-foot-6 and can show both velocity and spin on breaking stuff. But he needs help with consistency in his delivery and also has some physical maturation ahead of him.”
From MLB Pipeline:
His velocity continues to creep up to the mid-90s and his fastball plays up because of its steep plane and angle. He throws both a slider and a curveball, with success, with some scouts thinking the curve will ultimately work better with its spin and coming from his high-three-quarter slot. He has some feel for a future average changeup.