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Arizona State SS Alika Williams drafted No. 37 overall by Rays

Arizona State's Alika Williams (Photo by Alex Weiner/Cronkite News)

Arizona State shortstop Alika Williams became the second Sun Devil drafted in the 2020 MLB Draft, being selected 37th overall Wednesday by the Tampa Bay Rays.

Williams, a California native, was a junior at ASU this past season. He hit .250, a career low, but in a shortened sample size as the college season was abbreviated by the coronavirus pandemic. In 57 games last year, Williams hit a career-best .333 with a .903 OPS and nine stolen bases. He also had just 28 strikeouts while walking 33 times.

Williams joins Spencer Torkelson, who was selected first overall in the draft by the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday.

Williams is the highest-drafted Sun Devil middle infielder since Deven Marrero was drafted in the first round (24th overall) by the Boston Red Sox in 2012. Marrero has since played parts of five major league seasons with Boston, Arizona and Miami.

The shortened MLB draft, which is only five rounds in 2020 instead of the usual 40, likely means there are fewer Sun Devils drafted than there would be otherwise. ASU has had five or more players drafted in four of the past five years. One of those players, Ryan Burr, has already made his major league debut since being selected in the fifth round by the Diamondbacks in 2015.


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