23-Year-Old Outfielder – Philadelphia Phillies
2017 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
Williams entered last season with high expectations after taking steps forward in 2015 with his walk rate and cutting back on his strikeouts. Unfortunately, he was unable to build on those improvement...
Williams went 3-for-3 with his first home run of the season Saturday for Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
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Philadelphia Phillies Roster
MajorsAltherr, Aaron (OF)
AAAAlfaro, Jorge (C)
AAAnderson, Drew (P)
A+Dominguez, Seranthony (P)
AAguila, Osmel (OF)
Nick Williams: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Williams came over to the Phillies as part of the deal that sent Cole Hamels to the Rangers. He is an aggressive hitter that is prone to striking out, but he showed some signs of improving his approach at the plate last season. His walk rate jumped to seven percent and he cut his strikeout rate to 19 percent. If he can continue that growth while still tapping into his power, then Williams has the potential to be a very valuable fantasy commodity since he can also chip in with double-digit stolen bases. The Phillies will likely start him out at Triple-A Lehigh Valley, but Williams could force his way to the majors later this season with a strong performance in the minors.
If Williams had a good approach, he would be one of the top 10 offensive talents in the minor leagues. His ability to make hard contact on fastballs in and around the zone is elite. Williams possesses the high-end bat speed and athleticism that can wow onlookers on his good days. However, he can look downright lost against pitchers who know how to sequence and offer adequate or better off-speed stuff. He had a 28.7% K% and just a 4.7% BB% in 408 plate appearances at High-A Myrtle Beach, and both of those rates went in the wrong direction in a brief 15-game stint at Double-A Frisco to finish the season. Despite a shoddy approach, he was still able to slash .292/.343/.491 with 45 extra-base hits at Myrtle Beach, but it is reasonable to be skeptical of the 21-year-old outfielder’s ability to continue to thrive when he faces more pitchers at Double-A and Triple-A that can spin a breaking ball.
Williams, a second-round pick by the Rangers in the 2012 draft, spent his first full season of professional baseball at Low-A Hickory in a loaded young lineup. Much like his teammate Lewis Brinson, Williams has outstanding tools that are still in need of refinement. As a 19-year-old, an .879 OPS in the Sally League is ultimately going to make people take notice, but the impressive power and speed are met with plate discipline (15:110 BB:K, 404 plate appearances) that must improve as Williams continues move through the organization. He'll likely spend all of 2014 at High-A Myrtle Beach, but Williams is the type of player capable of making a fast move up top prospect lists if he shows signs of putting everything together.
Agreed to terms after being selected in the third round of the June draft.