Wednesday afternoon, the Reds and Rockies completed a minor type of trade that swapped a pitcher and a minor leaguer from each team. The “focus” of the deal is probably the two Major League pitchers switching teams, a needed change of scenery for each player. Former top prospect for the Reds, Robert Stephenson, heads to Colorado for former top prospect with the Blue Jays and Rockies, Jeff Hoffman. Those are the two names you’ll probably recognize right away, and will see in 2021.
The Reds also sent OF Jameson Hannah, their compensation from trading Tanner Roark to Oakland in 2019, to Colorado for the Rockies 2020 fourth round draft pick, Case Williams. Those are the names that you, uh, definitely won’t see in 2021, and honestly may never hear about again.
But dreamers can dream, and Williams is a super fresh face; only 18 years old, the right handed pitcher was drafted straight out of his Colorado high school this past summer. Writing him off now would be a mistake, considering only a handful of people have ever actually seen him pitch as a professional, the 2020 pandemic season being what it was.
So, let’s take brief look at what we know about the newest Reds prospect.
RHP Case Williams - 6’2”, 210lbs - Castle Rock, CO (Douglas County High School)
The Rockies select Williams in the fourth round of this past summer’s draft (110th overall). There’s already been a lot written about how this was a surprising pick, mostly because if you look around at the draft prognosticators, Williams’s name was nowhere to be found. He didn’t show up on MLB’s list of top prospects, that featured 200 names. He didn’t show up on Baseball America’s list, either, and it went deep with 500 names.
Regardless, the Rockies made the selection. It was somewhat of a fan favorite, as well, since he was from right there in their backyard. Still, not even six months have passed and they shipping him on over to the Reds.
It’s possible that, given a full season to showcase himself some more, Williams would’ve climbed into those aforementioned rankings, but the coronavirus pandemic pretty well spiked all of the spring sports. He was rated as the top prep arm in Colorado by both Perfect Game and Prep Baseball Report. Which, kinda makes it a bit strange he didn’t crack a list of the top 500 draft prospects, but alas.
Williams was slated to go to Santa Clara University this fall but, with the Rockies taking him as high as they did, somewhat unexpectedly, he decided to forego that opportunity. In his high school career, Williams went 14-2 with a 2.98 ERA over 94 innings pitched, totaling 134 strikeouts.
As for stuff, he’s got a fastball that sits in the 95mph range, but let me show you some moving pictures from those who know more about that.
And... that’s about all I have for you, after about 45 minutes of Google searching. Only the best, most extensive research for the readers of Red Reporter dot com.
I will say, he’s a pretty well built looking fella for someone that could just start buying lottery tickets over the last several months. He’ll build upon that, obviously. He’s a long ways away, but he’s got the raw skills that the Reds covet. Just look at the spin numbers in some of those videos up above.
The Reds wanted to draft Williams... before the Rockies took him first. Now, they got a player that they apparently coveted. Let’s see if they can turn him into something great.