A look at Kendall Williams, acquired in Ross Stripling deal, plus some PTBNL candidates

Kendall Williams.

The Dodgers made a buzzer-beater trade with the Blue Jays on Monday, when they sent Ross Stripling to Toronto for two players to be named later.

The first PTBNL has been … named … and it’s Kendall Williams.

Williams, 19, was the Jays’ 2nd-round pick (No. 52 overall) in the 2019 MLB Draft.The 6-foot-6, 190-pound right-hander oozes projectability. Here’s what some prospect experts said about Williams.

Baseball Prospectus

“In yesteryear’s baseball, a player like Williams probably gets drafted much higher, and ends up much higher on prospect lists. Who doesn’t like a 6-foot-6 right-hander who showed an above-average fastball and potential plus curveball? He was simply too much for young hitters in the complex given his size, angle, strike throwing, and stuff. The stuff is still inconsistent and the fastball dropped later in the year as he wore down, which was partially why he was still on the board at 52. Williams’ stuff should be ready for a full-season roster next year, but they will most likely keep him in extended to add strength to his wiry frame.”

FanGraphs

“Williams had one of the biggest frames among the high school prospects from the 2019 draft, standing in at a very projectable-looking 6-foot-6. He was much older than the typical high school prospect (he and Adam Kloffenstein, who was drafted the year before, were born nine days apart), and that colors the fastball projection, but what is lost there might be gained through a better delivery. 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.”

MLB Pipeline

“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 has more body control than most pitchers his size and age, which bodes well for his ability to repeat his delivery, throw strikes and stay healthy. He’ll need time to refine his craft, but if his stuff improves as he gets stronger, he could become a No. 3 or 4 starter.”

Prospects Live

“Our team caught Williams multiple times leading up to the draft with Kyler Peterson catching him early with IMG. Kyler described Williams in the following to a tee.

‘Tall, slender frame with loads of projection. Build similar to Forrest Whitley. Long legs and levers. Efficient, fluid delivery with good extension. FB sat 87-91 with run and serious downward plane. Curve can be deadly at 75-76 with slurvy feel flashing more tilt and horizontal break than vertical. Change-up 75-76. Easy to dream on with more velocity coming due to size and athleticism.’

This is consistent with other reports including Jason Pennini’s from NHSI. I’d encourage you to click the link and revisit his writeup. With a large range of outcomes for Williams a possibility I’m only comfortable slapping a number four starter ceiling on him at the moment. There’s certainly room for growth due in his massive frame.

And some video.

Sounds like a very interesting piece for the Dodgers. With their developmental system, there’s every chance realizes his potential and there’s a non-zero chance he improves with LA. I’d rank him in the 20-30 range if I were doing a top prospects list update.

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That leaves one more player who will be coming from Toronto to LA. The Dodgers will choose from a negotiated list of players by a certain date. It could be tomorrow, it could be next month. Both teams have or will agree to that date.

For yucks, let’s take a look at some potential candidates for the second PTBNL. Odds are, it’s going to be a lower-level player rather than someone closer to the majors.

OF Dasan Brown, 18
– Toolsy outfielder, elite athleticism, contact suspect presently

RHP C.J. Van Eyk, 21
– 2020 draftee, undersized SP, solid 3-pitch mix, potentially plus-curveball

RHP Roither Hernandez, 22
– Electric fastball, slider needs work, interesting RP prospect

SS Leonardo Jimenez, 19
– International free agent in ’17, solid all-around, no standout tools

UTIL Otto Lopez, 21
– Profiles as super utility player, plus-runner, contact over power

RHP Eric Pardinho, 19
– 4-pitch mix, had Tommy John in February, No. 4/5 profile

LHP Naswell Paulino, 20
– Converted outfielder, soft-tosser, above-average curveball, reliever-only

OF Will Robertson, 22
– 2019 draftee, above-average power potential, corner outfielder

These are just some of the players who caught my eye. No guarantee it’ll be any of them.

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Andrew Friedman has done well when trading depth for prospects. While Williams and whomever they get probably won’t ever be near the top of the Dodgers’ prospect list, they might have a chance to play a role in LA down the line — either with the Dodgers ore as a trade piece. Or they could never make the majors. You know how that goes.

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler
Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosts a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He is a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif.