Rays Acquire Two Prospects To Complete Steven Souza Deal
The Rays finalized their February three-way trade with the D-backs and Yankees on Tuesday, receiving minor league pitchers Colin Poche and Sam McWilliams from the D-backs to complete the portion of the deal that sent Steven Souza to Arizona.
McWilliams was ranked as the No. 13 prospect in the D-backs' system entering the year, and Poche ranked 29th.
Sam McWilliams, RHP
The D-backs first acquired the 6-foot-7 McWilliams in the Jeremy Hellickson deal with the Phillies in 2015. They worked with him through some mechanical issues related to his height early on, and he began to flourish in 2017. McWilliams posted a 2.84 ERA in 25 starts at low Class A Kane County last season and was off to a stellar start this year, going 1-1, 2.10 with 32 strikeouts and six walks in 25.2 innings at high Class A Visalia. McWilliams throws a 90-94 mph two-seamer with late life and good downhill plane out of his massive frame, and he mixes in a slider that flashes plus to give him two effective weapons against hitters. He's traditionally been more of a groundball pitcher than a strikeout machine, but his strikeout rate jumped from 6.6 percent last year to 11.2 percent so far this year, with everything starting to tick up. McWilliams' changeup is improving and will be key to his development. If he can solidify his third pitch, he has a chance to develop into a mid-to-back of the rotation starter.
Invisible Fastball Helps Colin Poche Thrive In Bullpen
D-backs lefthander Colin Poche's fastball-heavy approach plays up in the bullpen.
Colin Poche, LHP
The D-backs drafted Poche in the 14th round out of Dallas Baptist in 2016 and moved him quickly through their system as a reliever. He began the year at Double-A Mobile with nine consecutive scoreless outings, totaling 11 innings with three hits and two walks allowed and 23 strikeouts. Poche confounds hitters with a 90-92 mph fastball he hides well and a short slider that's draws below-average grades but plays up. He gets good extension on his pitches, which helps them get on hitters faster than expected. Poche's pure stuff leaves evaluators skeptical, but his career 1.75 ERA and 13.65 K/9 rate can't be argued with. He has a chance to settle into Tampa Bay's bullpen in the coming years.