Player: Devin Williams
Drafted by: Milwaukee Brewers (No. 54 Overall)
DOB: 9/21/1994 (Age: 18)
Height/Weight: 6'3"/172 lbs
School: Hazelwood High School (Florissant, MO)
College Commitment: Missouri
A standout high school star in the Midwest, Williams made several leaps up the draft board after showing good velocity with projection last summer and continued to add arm strength, resulting in more consistent readings in the 90-92 mph range.
Staying close to home for college, Williams is committed to the University of Missouri if he doesn't get to professional baseball. He was a member of the Rawlings Preseason First-Team All-Region Team (Central).
Full Scouting Report
Note: Numerical scores are on the conventional 20-80 scouting scale, where 50 is average, with the current score first and projected score second.
Projectable frame with present velocity already; should add about 15-20 pounds of muscle in the future, turning into 200-plus inning workhorse with overpowering stuff; throws mostly with his arm, failing to utilize lower half and falling off the first-base side after release; must learn how to pitch with stuff instead of relying on throwing; with minor tweaks, delivery will put less stress on shoulder.
Already shows above-average velocity and will hit 94-95 at times; should sit in the 92-96 range when body matures; throwing with upper half of body leads to inconsistent release point; pitches up in the zone too often; opens up hips too often, leading to ball sailing inside on him; throws two-seam fastball with some arm-side movement; plus velocity and future command leads to plus-plus projection.
Lacks consistent shape at present, though it does have the makings of becoming a solid-average offering with better feel; needs to get out front when pitch is released to throw for strikes consistently; has enough arm speed and movement to make slider primary secondary offering.
Arm action and speed on pitch are terrific; very deceptive pitch at present, though it lacks strong feel and commitment to it; fades deep when it gets into zone; excellent separation from fastball to keep hitters from turning on pitch; plus potential at peak, though more likely to end up above average.
Arm-heavy delivery makes it difficult to consistently throw strikes; athleticism and projection give control above-average upside; has to quiet down finish; pitches down in the zone; off-speed stuff will get better with experience.
Well-below-average command now; relies more on velocity and natural movement on fastball to get strikeouts; has to spot ball better against advanced hitters to miss bats; will take at least a year in lower minors to figure out how to pitch more than throw; consistency will be key with off-speed stuff; won't have elite command but should be average at peak.
MLB Player Comparison: Taijuan Walker
Projection: No. 2 starter on first-division team.
MLB ETA: 2018
Chances of Signing: 75%
Williams is a project with incredible upside and potential. He has pushed himself onto the map in this draft class with ceiling and a good present fastball. He is committed to Missouri, but it seems unlikely he will step foot on campus.
Considering how high Williams' stock has climbed already, not to mention the solid showing for his off-speed stuff, the choice will be made for him when he gets a huge signing bonus in a few weeks.