Gavin Williams Is A Competitor
The Indians used 19 of their 21 draft picks on pitchers, beginning with burly Gavin Williams, a 6-foot-6, 238-pound righthander from East Carolina.
Cleveland took Williams with the 23rd overall pick, a selection that was a popular one in the organization's war room.
“If you’d had the opportunity to see our room and how our scouts reacted to adding Gavin, that tells you how we feel about him,” Indians scouting director Scott Barnsby said.
A first-team All-American this season at East Carolina, Williams went 10-1 with a 1.88 ERA and 130 strikeouts and 21 walks in 81.1 innings.
Perhaps the highlight of Williams’ season occurred in ECU's super regional against Vanderbilt when he struck out 13 in 7.1 innings.
“And he held 97 (mph) the entire game,” Barnsby said. “He’s just a physical righthanded power arm who can get it up to 100. He held his velocity all spring.”
In his four years at ECU, Williams appeared in 53 games, 17 of them starts, going 11-5 with a 2.65 ERA. He didn't become a full-time starter until his junior year in 2021.
“Pete Loizzo, our scout in the Carolinas, did a great job in getting to know Gavin," Barnsby said. "People around him talk about the competitor he is, the work ethic and the drive he has."
Coming out of Cape Fear High in Fayetteville, N.C., Williams was selected by the Rays in the 30th round of the 2017 draft but chose to go to college.
“He has two breaking balls, two power breaking balls,” Barnsby said. “We figure he’s going to get swing-and-miss with his fastball, curveball and slider. He hasn’t had to use his change as much, but we feel there’s a fit there as well.
“We envision him as a starter. He’s an extreme competitor. He always wants to be the best player on the field and to compete against the best.”
— The Indians signed East Carolina catcher Seth Caddell as a nondrafted free agent. He was Gavin Williams’ college catcher. He hit .270 with 14 home runs and 47 RBIs this season.