Rockies deal Jeff Hoffman, Douglas County prospect Case Williams to Reds

Jeff Hoffman’s time with the Colorado Rockies is over.

So is Case Williams’ recent design choice – although the 18-year-old Douglas County flamethrower never really got a chance to get started.

Both pitchers were sent to the Cincinnati Reds in a two-for-two exchange announced on Wednesday that brought back righthanded reliever Robert Stephenson and minor league-outfielder Jameson Hannah.

The exchange means a necessary change of scenery for the two big league-pitchers in the deal, with both Hoffman and Stephenson never meeting expectations with their former clubs.

Once rated the best prospect in the Reds organization, Stephenson, 27, comes off a disappointing 2020 season in which he averaged 9.90 runs over 10 relief appearances with three walks and 13 strikeouts.

A year earlier, the first round of 2011 played 57 games for the Reds, who went 3-2 with a 3.76 ERA in 64 2/3 innings. That included a strong conclusion to the 2019 season that started on July 26 (1.38 ERA in 26 innings) that topped all National League relievers during that period (at least 26 innings). In five seasons, Stephenson was 10-13 with a 5.15 ERA, 111 walks and 222 strikeouts in 104 appearances (208 innings) with the Reds.

Hoffman was considered the crown jewel of the Troy Tulowitzki trade in 2015 – a 2014 first-round pick with great stuff that the Rockies thought could be part of their starting spin. But the right-handed never went out to Colorado and ended up in the bullpen.

Like Stephenson, 27-year-old Hoffman also had a rough 2020, going 2-1 with a 9.28 ERA, nine walks and 20 strikeouts in 16 appearances. In five Major League-seasons with Colorado, he was 10-16 with a 6.40 ERA, 107 walks and 197 strikeouts in 68 games (38 starts).

Williams, 18, was a surprise in the fourth round of the Douglas County High School for the Rockies in the 2020 draft. However, he has never seen the field with the organization and now he goes to the Reds organization.

Hannah, the 23-year-old prospect the Rockies got back for it, was originally a second-round pick for Oakland before being shared to the Reds in 2019 for right-handed Tanner Roark. In 133 minor league-level career games, the Flower Mound, Texas, native hit .275 with 32 doubles, five triples, three home runs, 47 RBI’s, and 14 stolen bases. He played as high as the High-A level in 2019.