The Dodgers have acquired right-hander Kendall Williams as one of the players to be named later in yesterday’s trade that sent Ross Stripling to the Blue Jays. Williams was Toronto’s second-round pick in the 2019 draft, and the 20-year-old took an above-slot bonus to begin his pro career rather than attend Vanderbilt.
MLB Pipeline ranks Williams as the 13th-best prospect in the Jays’ farm system, calling him “the quintessential projectable high school right-hander” with “potentially huge upside.” The 6’6″ right-hander has a fastball that is approaching mid-90’s velocity, though his biggest asset could be his overall four-pitch arsenal rather than any one signature offering. Baseball America’s scouting report cites Williams’ slider, curveball, and changeup “could all be average or better.”
There’s certainly enough potential here to see why the Dodgers would be intrigued in adding such a young arm to their already-deep minor league talent pool, particularly for a solid but non-elite pitcher like Stripling who wasn’t even a full-time rotation member. From the Jays’ perspective, they naturally see a promising but longer-term asset like Williams (who isn’t one of the upper-tier prospects in their farm system) as a reasonable price for Stripling, who has already shown that he can deliver at the MLB level and can help the Blue Jays win both in 2020 and in 2021-22 before he is scheduled to reach free agency.