Reds: Recent trade for Case Williams essentially gives bonus draft pick

Case Williams, a 2020 fourth-round draft pick, was acquired by the Reds.

The Cincinnati Reds swapped right-handed pitchers yesterday. Robert Stephenson, a former first-round pick, was dealt to the Colorado Rockies in exchange for Jeff Hoffman. Case Williams, a fourth-round pick in the 2020 MLB Draft was also part of the deal, essentially giving the Reds an additional draft pick.

Williams was a prep player from Douglas County High School in Colorado that Nick Krall was eager to select in the fourth round of last year’s draft, but the Rockies, selecting a few picks before Cincinnati, plucked the right-hander with the 110th overall pick. The Reds took Mac Wainwright three picks later. Here’s what Krall had to say about Williams via MLB.com:

“Case Williams is a kid that we were going to take in the fourth round and Colorado picked our pocket right ahead of us. Our guys really liked him. He’s a big, strong high school kid that’s got good stuff. He’s got a chance to have three solid pitches.”

The Reds took Austin Hendrick with their first-round pick in the 2020 MLB Draft. Hendrick has the look of a power-hitting corner outfielder. A prep player from Pennsylvania, Hendrick will need time to develop, but did see some time at the team’s alternate site last season.

Cincinnati also took a trio of right-handed arms in the draft as well. Christian Roa, Bryce Bonnin, and Joe Boyle are all currently among the Reds Top 30 prospects according to MLB Pipeline. Roa is a solid, yet unspectacular pitcher with an array of four pitches. He projects as a middle-of-the-rotation starter.

Bonnin, Cincinnati’s third-round pick, is a hard-throwing right-hander with a plus-slider. His crossfire delivery likely has Bonnin ticketed for the bullpen, but the former Texas Tech Red Raider may be the most advanced arm of the group and could make his big league debut quicker than any other player the Reds took in this year’s draft.

Boyle has the chance to be special. The 21-year-old throws straight gas! Many scouts felt as though Boyle had the most arm strength in the entire draft, but because of control issues, he fell to the fifth round. If Cincinnati’s pitching development team can harness his erratic fastball, Boyle will be a weapon late in games.

Mac Wainwright, the Reds fourth-round selection was limited by injuries and the coronavirus pandemic, which cancelled the high school baseball season. Wainwright, who was committed to Ohio State, is strong and athletic with raw power. He’s a developmental talent, to be sure, but Wainwright could be the best player, aside from Hendrick, to come out of this draft for the Reds.

Adding Case Williams essentially gave the Cincinnati Reds an additional draft pick this past year. All the team gave up was Robert Stephenson, a player likely to be non-tendered, and Jameson Hannah, a mid-tier outfield prospect, of which the Reds have many.

Williams is a potential starting pitcher, something that every team values. His development, like any young hurler, will be key. But, he has the size and makeup to be a quality starting pitcher. Like the majority of players taken by Cincinnati in this year’s draft, Case Williams will require patience.