22-Year-Old Outfielder – Tampa Bay Rays
2018 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
Williams, who was the second youngest hitter in the Southern League, finished fourth in the league in batting average (.301), third in OPS (.853), fourth in ISO (.189) and fourth in wRC+ (145). The hi...
Williams was added to the Rays' 40-man roster Monday.
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Tampa Bay Rays Roster
MajorsAlvarado, Jose (P)
AAAAdames, Willy (SS)
AALowe, Brandon (2B)
A+Ciuffo, Nick (C)
ABurke, Brock (P)
RookieBetts, Chris (C)
Justin Williams: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Williams split his time between High-A Charlotte and Double-A Montgomery and put together a solid campaign, slashing a combined .295/.318/.447 over 342 at-bats. The biggest concern with respect to the 21-year-old is the fact that he's still struggling to make good on his power potential, as his total of 10 homers last season represent his professional high-water mark in that category. However, he's proven to be an above-average hitter overall and provided a respectable 30 extra-base hits last season while also driving in 59 runs. He's likely to get a full season at Double-A in 2017 to continue his seasoning, and perhaps finally see a breakout in the home-run department. Currently, he still represents a decent value for dynasty purposes, but his ability to take his fantasy production to the next level remains firmly in question.
The centerpiece of the Raysí return in the 2014 Jeremy Hellickson trade with Arizona, Williams has still not lived up to his potential as a power-hitting corner outfield prospect. He is still just 20 years old, so it is too early to write him off, but he has just 12 home runs in 969 professional at-bats in the lower levels of the minor leagues. This is disappointing for someone whose calling card is supposed to be plus raw power. On the bright side, his hit tool may be slightly better than advertised, as he hit .277 in 470 at-bats across Low-A and High-A last year without posting an unusually high BABIP at either stop, but he also had just 14 walks, which kept his OBP just below .300. One would assume that strikeouts might be a bit of an issue, but he actually had K-rates below 19 percent at both levels. It will be crucial for Williamsí power to start showing up more in games this year.
Selected in the second round of the 2013 draft, Williams was considered to be a raw, athletic prospect. The 18-year-old hit .351 in low levels of the minors last year. While he didn't show any of it last season, he is expected to have above average power. His long-term position has not been nailed down, although he currently profiles as an outfielder. Williams needs quite a bit of seasoning before becoming a threat to make the major league roster, but the D-Backs gave him a three-game taste of the Midwest League last summer, and he may begin 2014 as one of the younger players at Low-A South Bend if the organization feels he's ready for full-season ball.