San Bernardino, California —— After his five inning no-decision last night, San Francisco Giants left-handed pitching prospect Garrett Williams is 6-4 with a 2.03 ERA over 17 games (15 starts) split between the Low-A Augusta GreenJackets and the High-A California League‘s San Jose Giants, with 92 strikeouts over 93.0 innings pitched against 79 hits and 35 walks. I observed the 22-year-old Oklahoma State University product in last night’s start on the road against Inland Empire; below is Baseball Census‘ full Garrett Williams scouting report, including video.
Garrett Williams Scouting Report — Video
Our video of San Francisco Giants left-handed pitching prospect Garrett Williams shows his warm-up bullpen and some pitching mechanic shots across his Tuesday night start against the Inland Empire 66ers, where he allowed two runs on three hits and two walks while striking out seven hitters over those five innings of work:
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Garrett Williams Scouting Report — Notes
On Tuesday night, Garrett Williams sat 89-92 mph with his fastball, which showed good arm-side life when down in the zone. Coming from a three-quarters arm slot, when Williams gets on top and out front of the pitch and releases it with good extension, he has late movement and sneaky velocity that explodes when it gets to the plate. His elbow can drop and the fastball can flatten out, though, and when that happens the pitch becomes far more hittable, even down in the zone. Williams coupled the fastball with an 80-82 mph changeup and a 77-80 mph curveball, both of which looked good last night. The curveball is a tight, sharp pitch that doesn’t quite give a truly overhand 12-to-6 look, but it has depth and breaks hard late. It’ll always be a more effective pitch against lefties, but Williams buried it back foot to righties a few times last night took, and shows good feel for the pitch to battle hitters on both sides of the plate.
Williams’ changeup worked well last night, with very late movement to his arm-side that neutralized the predominantly right-handed lineup he faced. His arm action on it is good, and it’s more or less indistinguishable from the fastball out of his hand thanks to identical arm speed. Just like his fastball, though, the San Francisco Giants prospect must stay on top of it to get consistent, effective life; at times, he struggled to replicate that good arm action while rushing through his mechanics (especially in the stretch), and that must be a point of emphasis going forward. Garrett Williams is a good athlete, and made two nice plays on balls hit back to him last night, jumping off the mound quickly and showing good footwork as a defender. He controls the running game well, too, and has a few different pickoff moves to first base that keep potential base stealers on edge.
Garrett Williams Scouting Report — Projection
Garrett Williams has moved steadily through the minors after being drafted in the seventh round out of Oklahoma State last June, and his ability to draw weak contact and miss bats with all three pitches in his arsenal makes him one of the more high-profile pitching prospects the San Francisco Giants have right now. Still just 22 years old, he’s slightly ahead of schedule to this point and there’s no reason he couldn’t find himself in Double-A to begin 2018. He must improve the consistency of his mechanics and release point, which continues to be a bugaboo for the lefty, but he looked pretty good last night and executed well with command of all three pitches. The prevailing thought is that he’ll eventually move to the bullpen, and that’s certainly possible, but if Williams has good life and improved command on the three lively pitches I saw last night, there’s no reason to believe he couldn’t remain in the rotation as a back-end piece going forward.
Add more fastball velocity — Garrett Williams reportedly sits in the mid- to upper-90s at times, though he wasn’t there against Inland Empire — and he suddenly becomes even more attractive for a rotation future. There’s some work to do in order to get there, and Williams may still fall short of that ceiling, but his development bears watching from here. If his command and mechanics continue to line up, the San Francisco Giants prospect will overachieve in the next few years and could become a significant piece of the club’s future.