Baseball America intern Peter Wardell got out to see Trey Williams again last weekend and shot some video, too. . .
In a down year for Southern California position prospects, Valencia (Calif.) High’s Trey Williams leads the way as a potential first-round talent.
This past weekend, I made it out to Valencia for a double-header and my third look at the Pepperdine-commit this spring. Over the two games against Dana Hills, Williams, the son of former big leaguer Eddie Williams, went 4-for-6 with four singles and a walk.
Williams’ game begins at the plate where he rates as a solid-average pure hitter with power potential. He shows tremendous bat speed, arguably the top of his class, due to quick hands and wrists. This not only allows him to jump on pitches a split-second later than most, but also helps him generate power. Nearly every ball he puts in play is hit hard and he does a tremendous job making consistent contact and squaring up. He really only juiced one ball on Saturday (a deep flyout to center field) but has shown plenty of raw power in previous looks including a no-doubt home run against Harvard-Westlake, shown at the end of the video below.
The biggest difference I saw from Williams last weekend (and a good one at that) was in his plate approach. Back at the MLSB Compton Urban Youth Academy showcase in February and even a little bit against Harvard-Westlake, Williams was overly patient at the plate, to a fault. He was working deep into counts, often getting behind and although he rarely looked phased with two strikes, it was still concerning. On Saturday, he was much more aggressive, jumping on pitches early in the count while capitalizing on the pitcher’s mistakes. It was good to see.
Defensively, Williams will likely slide over to third base next season, however there are growing concerns that he may wind up at first base long term. Playing shortstop, Williams looks like an average fielder showing okay footwork with a strong arm but really struggled ranging to balls hit to his backhand. He showed good athleticism on a tough, charging play but failed to make a similar one just an inning later. Assuming he doesn’t grow off the position, he projects to stick at third base, but will definitely need to put in the work.
At 6-foot-1 and 210 pounds, Williams is a big kid with a lean, athletic upper body and thick lower half and muscular legs. As he matures over the coming years, he should add on a little more muscle but will need to work hard to maintain his physique and flexibility.
With one of the best prep bats in this draft class, Williams will certainly get looks early in the 2012 MLB Draft, going as early as the mid-to-late first round.
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