Devin Williams

Devin Williams

29-Year-Old PitcherRP
Milwaukee Brewers
60-Day IL
Injury Back
Est. Return 7/26/2024
2024 Fantasy Outlook
After another spectacular season in 2023, Williams finds himself at the center of trade rumors - similar to former teammate Josh Hader a few years ago. Williams is under team control for 2 more seasons before he becomes a free-agent in 2026 and there's no question he would command a haul if Milwaukee were to trade him. For now, the 2-time All-Star enters 2024 as the Brewers' unquestioned closer after tallying a career-high 36 saves last season. Williams' devastating "Airbender" changeup remained effective (.097 BAA), while his mid-90's 4-seamer generated a career-best 42% whiff rate. His walk rate was poor, but consistent with recent outputs and he improved his ratios for the second consecutive year. The right hander's 1.53 ERA was 6th-best among qualified relievers, while his 0.92 WHIP was 4th-best. Consistency is what you can expect from Williams, who is a candidate to be the first closer off the board in drafts this spring. Read Past Outlooks
RANKS
Rest of Season From Preseason
#145
ADP
$Signed a one-year, $7 million contract with the Brewers in January of 2024. Contract includes $10.5 million team option ($250,000 buyout) for 2025.
Dazzles in first rehab outing
PMilwaukee Brewers
Back
July 14, 2024
Williams (back) struck out all three batters he faced in a perfect inning during his rehab appearance Sunday with High-A Wisconsin.
ANALYSIS
Williams has been on the shelf all season while recovering from a pair of stress fractures in his back, but he didn't exhibit any signs of rust in his first game action of 2024. He needed just 14 pitches to strike out the side and generated four swings and misses during his brief time on the mound. The Brewers may have Williams shift his rehab assignment to Double-A Biloxi or Triple-A Nashville for a tougher test following the All-Star break, but the right-hander may not require too many more tune-up outings in the minors if he continues to look as sharp as he did Sunday. Williams should eventually supplant Trevor Megill as the Brewers' preferred option to close games once he's reinstated from the 60-day injured list.
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Pitching Stats
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2024
2023
2022
2021
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2019
2024 MLB Game Log
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2023 MLB Game Log
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2022 MLB Game Log
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2021 MLB Game Log
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2020 MLB Game Log
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2022
 
 
-38%
BAA vs RHP
2024
No Stats
2023
 
 
-30%
BAA vs RHP
2022
 
 
-47%
BAA vs RHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2022vs Left .177 219 57 28 33 7 0 2
Since 2022vs Right .109 252 126 30 24 4 0 4
2024vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2024vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2023vs Left .152 118 26 18 15 4 0 0
2023vs Right .107 113 61 10 11 2 0 4
2022vs Left .207 101 31 10 18 3 0 2
2022vs Right .110 139 65 20 13 2 0 0
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2022
 
 
-33%
ERA at Home
2024
No Stats
2023
 
 
-50%
ERA at Home
2022
 
 
-12%
ERA at Home
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2022Home 1.41 0.83 63.2 7 4 26 14.3 4.1 0.3
Since 2022Away 2.10 1.11 55.2 7 3 25 13.3 4.7 0.6
2024Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2024Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2023Home 1.07 0.80 33.2 5 1 18 13.4 4.3 0.3
2023Away 2.16 1.08 25.0 3 2 18 13.3 4.3 1.1
2022Home 1.80 0.87 30.0 2 3 8 15.3 3.9 0.3
2022Away 2.05 1.14 30.2 4 1 7 13.2 5.0 0.3
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Defensive Stats
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Stats Vs Today's Lineup
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2023
2022
2021
2020
2017
2016
2015
2014
Williams made his first All Star team in 2022 after an impressive first half as Milwaukee's setup man. Once Josh Hader was traded, many assumed Williams would become the Brewers primary closer, but the team used him as part of a committee for a bit before finally turning things over during the final month. Williams finished with a career high 15 saves, including seven of Milwaukee's last nine. Momentum is certainly on his side as we forecast closers for 2023, especially since his Statcast metrics were off the charts. Williams was 99th percentile or better across nine diffferent metrics, including strikeout rate and hard hit rate. The one area that continues to be a problem is walks, but that's bound to happen when you have insane movement on your changeup - a pitch so filthy that it has its own nickname. While the "Airbender" gets the attention, Williams really improved the effectiveness of his 4-seamer (.090 BAA), which supplemented the change as a secondary strikeout pitch.
The 2020 National League Rookie of the Year and Reliever of the Year was expected to regress a bit last season after posting ridiculous numbers in the COVID-19 shortened campaign. Williams' 2021 journey ended up being a roller coaster that left and returned to the station on a bumpy track. He struggled early on with a 4.19 ERA, 1.40 WHIP and 12 walks across 19.1 innings through the end of May. From June through August, he was lights-out with a 0.60 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 48:12 K:BB over 30 innings. Williams even recorded the first three saves of his career before he fractured his right hand while celebrating Milwaukee's NL Central division title. He ended up missing the playoffs, which was a big blow to the Brewers. Williams finished the season with eight wins, 23 holds and a respectable 2.50 ERA and 1.19 WHIP. He is expected to be ready for spring training in his familiar setup role to Josh Hader.
Williams was not guaranteed a spot in the Brewers' bullpen heading into last season, but my, how things change. That last word is key, as Williams' changeup helped him transition from afterthought to one of the best relievers in the league. Williams threw the pitch more than half the time and coupled that with a fastball that averaged a tick under 97 mph. He threw a slider here and there, but on the strength of his two-pitch mix he allowed just one earned run and averaged just shy of two punchouts out per inning. Relievers -- particularly those that don't close -- rarely factor into the ROY mix, but Williams was so good he took home the award in the NL. He was named the top NL Reliever to boot. On the heels of his dominant campaign, Williams will be one of the top relievers to target in fantasy circles. If Josh Hader is moved in the offseason, only a couple relievers would be more desirable in fantasy drafts than Williams.
After working mostly as a starter for his first five seasons as a professional, Williams transitioned to a full-time relief role in 2019 and the move immediately paid dividends. The right-hander started the season with Double-A Biloxi, where he pitched well enough to be selected for the Futures Game. He ultimately earned a promotion to Triple-A San Antonio in late July after compiling a 2.36 ERA and 76 strikeouts in 53.1 innings with the Shuckers. Williams made three scoreless appearances for the Missions before earning a promotion to the majors, where he posted a 3.95 ERA, 1.76 WHIP and 14:6 K:BB across 13.2 innings down the stretch. The 25-year-old showed reverse splits with both Biloxi and the big-league club. Williams will probably have to cut down on his walks (13.2 BB% at Double-A in 2019) if he wants to become a reliable bullpen piece for the Brewers in 2020.
Williams already has an average-to-plus changeup to go with a fastball capable of hitting 95 mph. That alone gives Williams, Milwaukee's second-round pick, a good chance of eventually landing in a major league rotation. Add the fact that the 6-foot-3 righty has room to bulk up and continues to improve his breaking pitches and it's looking like the 22-year-old can travel quickly up the organizational ladder. The question will be if he can overcome his control, which has been shaky at best in his professional career. Williams walked more than four batters per nine innings at both Low-A and High-A, and while he has been nasty enough to get away with it thus far, the upper levels of professional ball won't be so kind. In order to continue his development as a starter, Williams needs to show signs of improving his control in 2017.
Williams spent his first season in the minors in 2015, playing for Low-A Wisconsin. He's only 21-years old, but already has three full seasons in the Brewers' organization and is one of their top prospects on the rise. Despite a 3-9 record, Williams posted a 3.44 ERA and 1.25 WHIP on the mound in the 2015 season after coming off a forearm strain that kept him out until late May. Looking ahead to the 2016 season, Williams will continue to climb through the minors but it looks unlikely to expect him to make the big league roster in the next year.
Since being taken out of high school in the second round of the 2013 draft, Williams has fooled hitters with 105 strikeouts in 101 innings, thanks mainly to his quality fastball that hovers in the low-to-mid 90s. His ERA slipped from his first season to his second, but he cut his walks in half, and has given up just five home runs as a pro. After spending the last two seasons in rookie ball, he could see his first action at the Low-A level in 2014.
The Brewers lost their first-round pick last season after signing Kyle Lohse, but they still snagged Williams, whom some considered a first-round talent, in the middle of the second round. Williams already throws a fastball in the mid-90s, and he could add more velocity as he matures. He still has some work to do on his curveball and changeup, and will need to cut down his walks, but he threw the ball well in his professional debut, posting a 3.38 ERA and striking out 39 batters over 34.2 innings. Williams will not turn 20 until next offseason, so the Brewers may opt to keep him in the Rookie Leagues for now. However, Williams has the potential to be a top-end starter a few years down the road.
More Fantasy News
Starting rehab assignment Saturday
PMilwaukee Brewers
Back
July 11, 2024
Williams (back) will begin a rehab assignment with High-A Wisconsin on Saturday, Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Live BP up next
PMilwaukee Brewers
Back
July 7, 2024
Williams (back) is scheduled to throw live batting practice Tuesday at American Family Field, Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Another bullpen coming
PMilwaukee Brewers
Back
June 28, 2024
Williams (back) threw 20 pitches during a bullpen session Wednesday and is scheduled for another 20-pitch session over the weekend, Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Could be back sooner than expected
PMilwaukee Brewers
Back
June 26, 2024
Brewers general manager Matt Arnold said Wednesday that Williams (back) could return from the 60-day injured list sooner than his initial mid-to-late-July recovery timeline, Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.
ANALYSIS
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Will throw from mound this week
PMilwaukee Brewers
Back
June 23, 2024
Williams (back) will throw a bullpen session Wednesday in Milwaukee, MLB.com reports.
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Latest Fantasy Rumors
Milwaukee considering trade
PMilwaukee Brewers
February 2, 2024
The Brewers have "entertained the possibility" of trading Williams, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
Milwaukee dealt ace Corbin Burnes on Thursday, and while the team isn't expected to completely punt on 2024, trading other key contributors can't be ruled out if it would improve the Brewers' long-term outlook. Williams is owed $7.25 million this season and has a $10.5 million club option for 2025, so he has a team-friendly contract in addition to being one of the top relievers in baseball, making him a highly desirable trade chip.
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