Royals acquire pitcher Zach Willeman as compensation for the Danny Duffy trade


The Royals announced they have acquired right-handed pitcher Zach Willeman from the Los Angeles Dodgers as the player to be named later in the Danny Duffy trade back in July. Duffy did not throw a single pitch for the Dodgers due to a strained flexor.

Willeman was a reliever at Kent State in Ohio until his junior year when he posted a 4.91 ERA in 66 innings. But he brought a high-90s fastball that made him a 19th round pick by the Dodgers in 2017. He would not pitch professionally that season and most of the next due to Tommy John surgery, and he struggled in A ball in 2019 with a 5.38 ERA. In December of 2020, Eric Longenhagen at Fangraphs gave a short scouting report on the right-hander.

Willeman was a 35+ FV prospect last year, as he was throwing really hard in Arizona while rehabbing from TJ, which cost him much of 2017 and 2018. He was held back to start 2019 and his stuff was down a bit when he returned, more 89-94 than sitting in the mid-90s the way it was the year before.

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