The players-to-be-named-later (PTBNL) in the Ross Stripling trade to the Blue Jays have started to be revealed. Kendall Williams, a right handed starting pitcher, was the first to be named. However, it might be a while before we hear about the second, and final one. This article will take a look at Williams and what he might bring to the Dodgers.
#BlueJays announce they've sent No. 13 prospect Kendall Williams to the #Dodgers as one of two PTBNL for Ross Stripling. Scouting report, tool grades, stats, video & more on the 2019 second-rounder: https://t.co/koGPio0Y8P pic.twitter.com/WrMX641FnJ
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) September 1, 2020
Although Kendall Williams was born and raised in Olive Branch, Mississippi, he spent his last two years of high school in Florida for baseball reasons. Coming out of high school at the height of 6′ 6″ and with a 95 MPH fastball, he was committed to go to baseball powerhouse, Vanderbilt University. However, he was drafted in the 2nd round (52nd pick) by the Blue Jays in the 2019 draft and received a signing bonus of a little over $1.5M, and henceforth, opted to sign instead of continue his education.
He lit it up in his first professional season in the Rookie League. In 16 innings he had an ERA of 1.13 with 19 strikeouts, 6 hits and 7 walks. As many of you know, most pitchers are babied in their first season. After the season, Williams was ranked as the 13th prospect by MLB Pipeline and 17th by Baseball America.
What Do They Say About Him
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.
Williams presently sits in the low 90s and tops out at 95 mph with his fastball, which plays up because he uses his 6-foot-6 frame to create steep plane and angle. He throws two different breaking balls, with scouts preferring his curveball to his slider because of its spin and his high-three-quarters arm slot. He shows some feel for a changeup that should become an average offering as he uses it more.
Williams is a big, projectable 6-foot-6 righthander who projects to grow into more velocity. His fastball presently sits in the low 90s and touches 95 mph with good downhill plane. He shows feel for three average or better secondary pitches, headlined by a curveball that draws swings and misses at its best, and throws everything for strikes. Williams’ four-pitch mix and control give him a clear path to starting.
Williams possesses the normal secondary off-speed pitches in a slider, curveball, and change-up. Scouts project that his curveball will be his best secondary pitch, mostly due to his size and three-quarter arm slot. After watching some highlights, his curveball and slider do have some solid movement and did produce some swing and misses from batters on both sides of the plate. His change-up is the one pitch he will need to work on the most out of the three off-speed pitches, as it’s reported that he did not throw the change-up much during his time at IMG Academy.
It looks like he’s already pitched at Dodger Stadium South:
My initial comparison was Dustin May, just because of the height. However, Williams has a bit more build to him and May already had amazing control right out of high school. Both came in from high school sitting in the low 90s while topping out at 95. What we do have is a pitcher that just turned 20 years old and is still physically maturing. There is no doubt in my mind he will throw hard. He has a complete starting pitcher mix and two and four seam fastball, curve, slider and change up.
Most importantly, the Dodgers like him:
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 – Andrew Friedman
This season, Kendall Williams would be in Low-A so I would expect him to be with the Quakes in High-A in 2021. Right now Williams is scheduled to head over to the Alternate Site at USC where he will be able to work with the Dodgers development staff. Once the season is over I would also expect him to head to Arizona for further development.
MLB Pipeline slotted Williams at number 25 for the Dodgers, which shows how stacked the Dodgers are. Kendall is on Twitter ( @kwilliams2019 ) and Instagram ( @kwilliams ) so make sure to follow him. Welcome to the Dodgers, Kendall Williams!