Jeremy Hellickson is the newest member of the D’backs. Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
It didn’t take too long for the new regime of the Arizona Diamondbacks to make their first move. The team acquired right-handed pitcher Jeremy Hellickson in exchange for Minor League shortstop Andrew Velazquez and Minor League outfielder Justin Williams. Hellickson will be immediately expected to upgrade a rotation that was among the worst in all of baseball in 2014.
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The 27-year old Hellickson was the American League Rookie of the Year in 2011 going 13-10 with a 2.95 ERA and two shutouts for the Wild Card-winning Rays. He owns a lifetime mark of 40-35 with an ERA of 3.78. He suffered through a rough 2014, starting the year with elbow surgery in January. Hellickson did not pitch until July, making 13 starts the rest of the season. The tighty went 1-5 with a 4.52 ERA, allowing 71 hits and 21 walks in 63 2/3 innings.
Both Velazquez and Williams were considered up-and-coming prospects in the D’backs’ organization. The 20-year old Velazquez was a 7th round pick of the Snakes in 2012. He set a Minor League record last year with the Class A South Bend Silver Hawks by reaching base in 74 consecutive games and was named Midwestern League Prospect of the Year. The 19-year old Williams was selected in the 3rd round of the 2013 Draft. He split 20104 between two A ball locations, Missoula and South Bend, batting .351 with a .403 on-base percentage.