Pittsburgh Pirates: Alika Williams Promoted to the Big Leagues

Pittsburgh Pirates v Arizona Diamondbacks
Pittsburgh Pirates v Arizona Diamondbacks / Chris Coduto/GettyImages
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The Pittsburgh Pirates are apparently making the decision by calling up Alika Williams, a talented infielder who was acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays earlier this season. The Bucs got the former 37th overall pick for reliever Robert Stephenson on June 2nd. Williams is considered a Top 30 prospect in the Organization.

The trade was somewhat scrutinized at the time. The Bucs bullpen is a weakness and the Bucs traded away a potential arm. However, they also brought back a former top draft pick who clearly they believed had more upside. Its the case of getting a potential everyday player for a reliever, give me the everyday player.

Williams has shown remarkable improvement in the minor leagues since joining the Pittsburgh Pirates and has outperformed his previous numbers with the Rays. With the Rays his slash line was .237/.314/.417, pretty underwhelming. However, with the Pittsburgh Pirates, he is batting .305/.384/.531. He has played only 6 fewer games in the Bucs Organization at this point. As a middle infielder, he possesses exceptional athleticism, especially in playing plus-plus defense at shortstop, making him a valuable asset to the team who is rotating their middle infielders. So why call him up now?