Wednesday, March 15, 2017

2017 Phillies Prospects Countdown: #3 OF Nick Williams


Nick Williams, image- Jay Floyd
Included among the collection of prospects the Phillies obtained in the 2015 trade that sent Cole Hamels to Texas, slugging outfielder Nick Williams is as promising as any of the very talented young players the team has in their developmental ranks.

A second round pick of the Rangers out of Ball High School (TX) in 2012, Williams quickly signed and debuted as a pro. In the rookie level Arizona League, he posted a .313 batting average with a pair of home runs and 27 RBI while swiping 15 bases in 48 games.

The following year Williams played with Class A Hickory in the Sally League. In 95 games, he tallied a .293 average with 17 homers, 60 RBI and eight steals.

In 2014 Williams would open the season with Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach, where he notched a .292 batting average with 13 home runs and 68 RBI in 94 games. That production earned him a promotion to the Double-A level to wrap up that season in August, where he posted a .226/.250/.290 slash line in 15 contests.

The lefty batting Williams returned to Double-A Frisco in 2015, batting .299 with 13 homers and 45 RBI through 97 games. He also represented the Rangers in the MLB All-Star Futures Game. By late July, the trade to the Phillies occurred and Williams transitioned to Double-A Reading, where he suffered a concussion as the result of a collision on defense in the field and missed some time.

Despite that stint on the shelf, Williams posted a .320/.340/.536 slash line in 22 regular season games, helping the Fightins reach the Eastern League playoffs.


Last season, Williams played the Triple-A level for Lehigh Valley, where he batted .258 with 13 homers and 64 RBI. 

There was some concern last year with the production at the plate from Williams, as his offensive statistics took a dip, while his walks went down and his strike outs increased.  Coaching concerns with his hustle, or lack thereof, at times also began to negatively impact Williams's reputation.  Those within the organization don't feel that his 2016 numbers are indicative of what's to come, as Williams, a member of the Phillies' 40-man roster, has been contributing nicely this year in big league spring training (.320/.414/.480 slash line through 13 games).

The hit tool is outstanding for the 23-year-old. With super-fast hands and a considerable amount of power, the Texas native is able to drive any pitch that's within his reach.

Speed may not be a huge factor of his game, but Williams can swipe a bag here and there and he worked hard last year to improve his base running.  In his professional career, he has been successful in 48 of 75 (64%) stolen base attempts.

Primarily a left-fielder in the pro ranks, Williams has the quickness and range to play all three spots in the outfield.  He is known to make amazing catches with ease and is as reliable on defense as they come.  He also has a solid arm that can keep runners conservative.

At six-foot-three and 195 pounds, Williams has a well-proportioned and athletic frame that could still pack on some muscle.

I would expect Williams to open this coming season back with Lehigh Valley, however, if he is able to display the ability to hit the way he's done in spring training, it shouldn't be long before he makes his big league debut.  The exciting Williams certainly projects as an everyday big leaguer.

You can follow along with this year’s Phillies prospects countdown by clicking this link.
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