Wiry body; frame to fill into; lean muscle; athletic; low maintenance body; sneaky strength; body that can handle rigors of long season as weight is added into early-to-mid-20s.
Hickory Crawdads (Low A, Rangers)
eyes cover the entire plate; plays the game hard and with enthusiasm; approaches practice sessions with a purpose.
Easy, fluid stroke; generates plus bat speed; explosive hands; drives hands through hitting zone and then extends; swing covers entire plate; can pull hands in and stay inside to go out for ball on outer half; ability to adjust to path of the ball; swings stays in zone – can wait back long on offerings; shows knack for barreling ball up; contact is loud and hard; drives ball to all fields with backspin; gets head of the bat on offerings in all four quadrants of strike zone; excellent hand-to-eye coordination; innate hitting ability.
Not a huge present raw guy; produces power via bat speed and back spin; swing shows upward plane through hitting zone; in the early stages of creating lift with swing; generates post-contact extension; added strength will help future home run output; pull-side power projection, with ability to occasionally reach seats the other way.
4.23-4.26 down the line digging for hit/avoiding double play; kicks it into higher gear running first to third; doesn’t presently read pitchers well; often took step back to first base during motion.
Average reads at the crack of the bat; doesn’t possess an explosive first step; average range; makes the routine plays hit out his way; left field projection; won’t hurt team in the field; at times gets feet tangled when going back on ball and drifts.
Longer release; throws lose steam on way into infield; average accuracy; limited to left field; won’t be feared, but also won’t be taken advantage of.
Williams’ natural hitting ability quickly shows during both batting practice and in game action. The 19-year-old left-handed hitter possesses excellent hands, and knows how to use them. The swing covers both sides of the plate, generating solid leverage for producing backspin when offerings are squared up. In this series, just about every ball Williams hit was hard, loud, and came off his bat with authority. The lefty showed a sweet spot from the right-center field gap to the left-center field gap, with the mindset to take what was given to him and use the whole field. The ball-to-sweet spot of the barrel contact was also very impressive. There’s hitting ability that just can’t be taught.
Williams’ swing stays in the zone and allows him to wait back against offerings, while also giving him a chance to adjust to the path of the pitch. I can see the hitter being able to hit .300 in the major leagues during a peak season or two as he continued to develop, with the potential to consistently post averages in the .275-.295 range at full utility. One area to watch is the development of Williams’ pitch selection. Presently, he’s unchallenged at the level to work counts due to his advanced ability. It isn’t that the left-handed hitter is unwilling to be patient, but he isn’t often tested to do so as when he gets his pitch, he rips it. Williams will need to demonstrate he can pick out good offerings to handle as he gets to the next level and beyond.
Though profiling as a left fielder, Williams’ hitting talent can carry him to the role of a major-league regular. Given that the young hitter shows a knack for squaring balls up and has the bat speed, there’s the potential for 15-18 home runs as he continues to mature and learn his strike zone. Williams was by far the most polished hitter on the field, and should be able to make a relatively smooth adjustment to the next level when he takes the next step up the ranks