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Pirates SS Alika Williams called up to MLB

The Pirates 29th ranked prospect is joining the big-league squad.

Syndication: News-Journal Gregg Pachkowski / / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Pittsburgh Pirates are calling up shortstop Alika Williams, per Jason Mackey

The news comes after last night’s presumably long-term injury to IF Tucupita Marcano.

Williams, a former first round draft pick of the Tampa Bay Rays was acquired by the Pirates in the Robert Stephenson trade. Putting up a rather uninspiring line with the Rays AA affiliate, the Pirates felt his performance was in part due to there being room for improvement in his lower half mechanics.

Sent to AAA Indianapolis after the trade, it wasn’t long after his arrival they made those changes. Working to make his leg kick shorter and to start it earlier. The results were both immediate and obvious. Slashing .348/.420/.663 since June 22.

A plus runner with a plus glove, how much the bat will play has always been the question. His ceiling likely remains limited, but his offensive improvements might take him out of the range of a defensive replacement and utility player.

This story will be updated as soon as an official announcement is made.