Monday, July 2, 2018

PhoulBallz Interview: Clearwater 3b/OF Luke Williams

Williams with Lakewood in 2017, image- J. Floyd
You would have a hard time finding a player that had a hotter offensive month in June than Clearwater's Luke Williams.  In 24 games the 21-year-old right-hander posted a .333 average with six doubles, a triple, six home runs and 20 RBI.

The California native was the Phils' 3rd round draft selection in 2015.  Since then he's worked to improve and the time and patience has being paying off of late, as he has more than doubled his career home run total over the past month.  Also, as recently as June 3rd, his batting average dipped as low as .167, but has since shot up to .246 on the season in the Class A Advanced Florida State League.

Strictly a third baseman until this season, Williams has added to his versatility by playing some outfield (left and center), some first base and a game at second base.

Recently, I talked with Williams about his successful month of June.  Read ahead for that full interview. 


-Related to the improved output...What has been the biggest difference for you this month compared to the first two months of the season? 
I think the big thing for me is that I’m not missing fastballs. I’m not fouling off as many pitches and I’d say it’s a physical and mental adjustment. I’ve closed my stance a little bit and set my sights to right center field and I feel that is helping me stay on balls longer. 

-What feedback have you gotten from coaches either about your improvements or were there things they said that have helped you make the improvements?
(Hitting coach) John Mizerock has been great help to me all season. One things he’s got me doing every day is hitting off the fastball machine. That’s also been a huge help. But as for feedback, I haven’t really gotten much. I don’t think anyone wants to talk to me and mess me up. (laughs)
-Are your teammates enjoying your recent success?  Any feedback or excited ball busting from those guys?
We’ve been having a lot of success as a team as of late and we, as a team, have been having tons of fun! We are a really close group and are always messing around each other and keeping things loose. 

-When there were struggles to maintain decent numbers early in the season, was that discouraging?  Did you think you could turn things around as much as you have?

I’m not going to lie, it was tough. There were some really tough days. I got very frustrated at times. But I know what I’m capable of. I knew that if I came to the field everyday with the same attitude and work ethic, that I was going to get through it. And I’ve started to turn it around, but I’m not done.
-How do you feel about the new positions on defense?  Easy transition or still adapting?
It’s been a fun transition. I grew up playing all around the field so I’ve enjoyed the transition. It keeps things exciting. 

-What's the best thing about playing in Clearwater?
I’d have to say playing at all the (big league teams') spring training fields. They are all so nice and the clubhouses are all top notch.
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