Rays Trade Jeremy Hellickson to the Diamondbacks | The Process Report

Rays Trade Jeremy Hellickson to the Diamondbacks

The Rays have traded Jeremy Hellickson to the Diamondbacks in exchange for two prospects, according to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic.

Andrew Velazquez, a 20-year-old switch-hitting middle infielder, is the more well-rounded of the players. He has the chance for four average or better tools, including well-above-average speed. Because Velazquez’s arm and glove provide him the potential to stick at shortstop, and because his short and thin body doesn’t afford him much power potential, his hit tool will serve as the determinant on whether he’s an extra infielder or something more. Look for the Rays to work with Velazquez on improving his strike-zone command and cutting down on the swing-and-miss in his game. (And no, he’s not the new Ben Zobrist.)

Justin Williams, a 19-year-old outfielder, is the riskier proposition. He’s a bat-first prospect whose impressive left-handed raw power hasn’t translated in full to games. The rest of the package is substandard, and his arm and range seem certain to limit him to left field. There are also serious questions about his hit tool (as you might suspect from his inclusion in the trade), meaning there’s a legitimate chance he flames out as he climbs the ladder. Age and special power potential are on his side, however.

The Rays now have 38 players on the 40-man roster, as neither Velazquez nor Williams will require Rule 5 protection for years to come. Based on some rough projections, they need to clear at least two more spots before the upcoming deadline.

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