I got my first live first-hand look at Williams during a three-game series at Pawtucket, where Williams went 7-for-13, 1 3B, 1BB, 0K, 1SB. Williams is a raw, tooled-up outfielder with the body, speed and athleticism to play all three outfield positions. During this series, Williams played one game in center field and the other two in right field.
The notable carrying tools and skills with Williams were his above-average bat speed, bat-to-ball ability and speed. He was able to consistently hit the ball hard, albeit with a pull-heavy approach pulling the ball to the right side ten times. It was an overall aggressive approach early in counts, and he showed poor pitch recognition – getting caught out in front consistently on breaking balls and off-speed stuff when thrown early, or thrown in fastball counts. He can however, make up for the lack of pitch recognition with his above-average bat control and still manage to square balls up and yank them to right field on occasion. He’ll have to show he has the ability to go to opposite field as pitchers start to try and exploit this weakness, and teams begin to deploy the shift to the right side of the infield.
The power profile appeared to be line-drive gap power, mostly in the form of doubles with the ability to run into 10-to-14 home runs given his bat speed and bat-to-ball skills. On the basepaths, Williams was an above-average runner, clocking at 4.07 at his best from HP-to-1B, and he can really accelerate once underway around the bases. The arm was average at best, and it’s playable enough for all three outfield positions, although he probably profiles best in left field. Defensively, Williams took inefficient routes and seemed indecisive, lacking fundamentals in the outfield, but he’s too athletic, agile and quick to not be able to develop into at least an average defender with more reps and experience. – Chaz Fiorino