- Full name Trevor Anthony Williams
- Born 04/25/1992 in San Diego, CA
- Profile Ht.: 6'3" / Wt.: 231 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Arizona State
- Debut 09/07/2016
Drafted in the 2nd round (44th overall) by the Miami Marlins in 2013 (signed for $1,261,400).
View Draft ReportWilliams is a bit like Ryan Eades, in that his size and stuff would lead you to believe that he would produce big strikeout numbers. In two years as a starter for the Sun Devils, however, Williams has struck out about 5.5batters per nine innings. He has a workhorse build at 6-foot-3 and 228 pounds, with an athletic delivery. He relies on a two-seam fastball that sits in the 90-91 mph range and can dial his four-seamer up to 95 when he needs it. Hischangeup is his best secondary offering. He throws both a slider and a curveball that are below-average because a long arm swing in the back inhibits his ability to stay on top of them. A pro organization will likely take one of the breaking balls away and try to get him to shorten up in the back. Williams has good control, with 35 career walks in his three years in Tempe, and he can command his fastball, though the pitch can get straight at times. If he cantighten up his breaking ball, Williams could be a middle of the rotation starter.
Organization Prospect Rankings
The Pirates officially acquired Williams from the Marlins for righthander Richard Mitchell, who was almost immediately released. The acquisition was a side deal as compensation for the Marlins hiring Pirates pitching guru Jim Benedict as their vice president of pitching development. Williams quickly took to the Pirates system and made his major league debut in 2016 with a September callup. He provided one of the most emotional moments of the season when he notched his first win with three scoreless relief innings against the Cardinals and celebrated with a long, emotional hug in the stands with his father, who was battling lymphoma. Williams is a sinker-slider pitcher who sits 90-93 mph and uses the same slider grip as Indians ace Corey Kluber. Williams' four-seam fastball, curveball and changeup all flash as potentially average pitches. The Pirates are unsure whether Williams fits as a back-end starter or long reliever, but they like his ability to induce ground balls and will have him in the rotation at Triple-A.
The Pirates acquired Williams from the Marlins in what appeared to be a lopsided October 2015 trade for 20-year-old Colombian righthander Richard Mitchell, a reliever who pitched in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League. While that was the deal that was announced publicly, sources indicated that, in fact, the Pirates were being compensated for the Marlins hiring away Jim Benedict and Marc DelPiano, two special assistants to GM Neal Huntington who will oversee pitching development and the farm system, respectively, for Miami. Williams throws a four-seam fastball that reaches 96 mph, but it is his two-seamer and its sinking action that intrigues the Pirates because he induces plenty of groundballs. He also has a solid changeup that flashes plus, and he throws both a curveball and slider. While both breaking pitches have been inconsistent, he showed improvement with the curve in 2015, which is evident by a careerhigh strikeout rate of 7.7 per nine innings. Williams looks like he can be a solid No. 4 or 5 starter in the big leagues, but some evaluators view him as a reliever who could strand inherited runners because of his ability to induce double plays. He will begin the 2016 season in the rotation at Triple-A Indianapolis.
Williams previously pitched for two traditional powers. The San Diego native attended Rancho Bernardo High, where he played for coach Sam Blalock, and he attended Arizona State. A down junior season in 2013, in which his ERA doubled to 4.12, dropped him to the second round, where he signed for a $1,261,400 bonus. He made the high Class A Florida State League all-star team in 2014, then finished at Double-A Jacksonville. Marlins officials consider Williams among the system's most cerebral pitchers, and his advanced approach makes up for not having a plus pitch. He throws both a four- and two-seam fastball from a drop-and-drive delivery, pitching up and down in the zone with low-90s velocity and keeping the ball down. He has reached 96 mph in shorter stints when pitching as a reliever. Williams gave up just five home runs in 2014 and gets his share of groundball outs. He added an upper-80s cutter-type slider in 2014 and has more confidence in his changeup than his low-70s, early count curveball. Williams lacks a putaway pitch but has a chance to be an innings-eating No. 4 starter. He should start 2015 back at Double-A and could approach his career minor league innings total (178).
After going 12-2, 2.05 as an Arizona State sophomore, Williams tailed off to 6-6, 4.12 in 2013. The Marlins still liked him enough to pluck him in the second round and sign him for $1,261,400. They kept him on a tight pitch limit, never allowing him to work more than three innings in any start as he advanced to low Class A Greensboro. Williams is a strike-throwing workhorse who should see a much longer leash in the near future. His plus fastball sits 92-93 mph and touches 95. He'll throw a two-seamer that runs in on righthanders and away from lefties. He throws his slow changeup with a fastball grip and gets nice fade to it. It can become an average to better offering with more use. His inconsistent breaking balls prevented him from racking up big strikeout numbers in college. He struggles to throw his slider for strikes, and he also has a solid late-breaking, three-quarters curve, and neither pitch projects as more than average. Williams tends to open up too early and is working to keep his front side closed longer. A self-proclaimed perfectionist, he has an advanced feel for pitching and impressed the Marlins with his work ethic. Williams projects as a No. 3 or 4 starter capable of logging 200 innings a season.
Williams is a bit like Ryan Eades, in that his size and stuff would lead you to believe that he would produce big strikeout numbers. In two years as a starter for the Sun Devils, however, Williams has struck out about 5.5batters per nine innings. He has a workhorse build at 6-foot-3 and 228 pounds, with an athletic delivery. He relies on a two-seam fastball that sits in the 90-91 mph range and can dial his four-seamer up to 95 when he needs it. Hischangeup is his best secondary offering. He throws both a slider and a curveball that are below-average because a long arm swing in the back inhibits his ability to stay on top of them. A pro organization will likely take one of the breaking balls away and try to get him to shorten up in the back. Williams has good control, with 35 career walks in his three years in Tempe, and he can command his fastball, though the pitch can get straight at times. If he cantighten up his breaking ball, Williams could be a middle of the rotation starter.
Minor League Top Prospects
Williams excelled in Arizona State?s bullpen as a freshman and went 12-2, 2.05 as a sophomore, but he struggled to a 6-6, 4.12 mark as a junior, as his WHIP jumped from 0.94 to 1.35. He still showed power stuff as a junior and this summer in the NY-P, but he can struggle to put hitters away, as illustrated by his pedestrian 5.7 strikeouts per nine innings ratio in two years as a starter at ASU. On a strict pitch count this summer, Williams never went longer than three innings in any of his 10 outings. He showed his usual plus velocity, working at 92-95 mph with some sink. He does a good job pitching down in the zone but needs to do a better job coming inside against lefthanded hitters. His three-quarters curveball has late break and good power at 78-82 mph, giving it a chance to be average or a tick better if he can stay on top of it more consistently. He also showed a fringe-average, high-70s changeup with late fade, but he used it sparingly and only against lefties. He has good feel for the change, and it should become a solid-average pitch in time. Scouts like Williams? aggressiveness and competitiveness, and he has a chance to be a back-of-the-rotation starter or better if he can smooth out his long arm action and fine-tune his secondary stuff.