Case Williams Returns To Hometown Organization
After an unexpected jolt at the outset of his career, righthander Case Williams returned to the Rockies organization.
Colorado acquired Williams and righthander Noah Davis in the July 28 trade that sent reliever Mychal Givens to the Reds. Williams is from the Denver area and played on the Rockies' scout team before they took him in the fourth round of the five-round 2020 draft out of Douglas County High in Castle Rock.
Listed at 6-foot-3, 210 pounds, Williams averages 94 mph and has hit 96 and has a somewhat errant curveball that Rockies assistant farm director Chris Forbes called “a hard-breaking kind of chase-effective pitch right now.”
With Williams having velocity and the ability to spin the ball at age 19, Forbes said, “It’s going to be up to us to help him learn the craft aspect of things. That’s not an easy task, but he’s got age on his side.”
Williams joined Low-A Fresno. He recorded a 5.74 ERA in 12 games (11 starts) for Low-A Daytona with 33 walks, 34 strikeouts and 45 hits allowed in 47 innings.
Forbes said the Rockies “were barely able to scratch the surface” with Williams in instructional league last fall, where one of the onlookers was Rockies manager Bud Black.
“Statistically, it doesn’t look like he’s had a good year, but he’s growing,” Black said. “He’s 19 years old. I saw him in instructional league . . . I liked what I saw from a high school kid just out of the draft. I liked the potential strength with his body, and I like his arm action."
— Noah Davis, the 24-year-old righthander who also joined the Rockies in the Givens trade, went 3-6, 3.60 in 13 starts for High-A Dayton with 35 walks and 77 strikeouts in 65 innings. He limited opponents to a .193 average, the lowest opposing average in High-A. The Rockies assigned Davis to High-A Spokane and must decide whether to add him to their 40-man roster this fall.
— First baseman Michael Toglia was promoted from High-A Spokane to Double-A Hartford, and first baseman Grant Lavigne was moved from Low-A Fresno to Spokane to take Toglia’s place. The Rockies’ first-round pick in 2019 out of UCLA, Toglia was leading the High-A West in home runs (17) and RBIs (66). He hit .234/.333/.465 at Spokane with 42 walks and 91 strikeouts in 330 plate appearances
But the switch-hitting Toglia surged after June 15—when he was hitting .189/.304/.439 with nine homers and 23 RBIs. Toglia, who turns 23 on Aug. 16, has played well defensively and is seen as the Rockies' first baseman of the future. Lavigne, who turns 22 on Aug. 27, was a supplemental first roundpick in 2018 out of Bedford (N.H.) High and the 42nd player taken overall. He hit .281/.388/.442 in 72 games at Fresno with seven homers and 40 RBIs.
— Shortstop Ezequiel Tovar, who turned 20 on Aug. 1, was promoted from Low-A Fresno to High-A Spokane. At Fresno, Tovar hit .309/.346/.510 in 72 games with 11 homers and 54 RBIs. He led the team in batting, doubles (21), RBIs, hits (92) and slugging percentage and tied for the lead in home runs and runs scored (60).