2021 MLB Draft Profile: RHP Gavin Williams, East Carolina

Gavin Williams

This is the third college pitcher I’ve profiled, and all of them have similar frames and stuff. And Gavin Williams has a chance to be the best of the trio.

Previous Profiles

Vitals
6’6, 238 pounds
Position: Right-handed pitcher
Bats: Left
Throws: Right
DOB: July 26, 1999

Location
Greenville, N.C.
Year: Junior

Rankings
The Athletic: 54
Baseball America: 30
ESPN: 64
FanGraphs: 19
MLB Pipeline: 31
Perfect Game: 17
Prospects Live: 39

Slot recommended bonus (No. 29): $2,424,600

Note: All information of draft prospects compiled from Internet sources, scouting reports and videos.

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Before a few weeks ago, Williams was a solid MLB Draft prospect. However, a dominant performance against Vanderbilt (7 IP, 1 ER, 13 K), his stock has increased significantly and is firmly a 1st-round prospect. If Keith Law (The Athletic) and Kiley McDaniel (ESPN) updated their rankings, I’m sure Williams would be higher on each list. On the season, he had a 1.99 ERA and struck out 130 hitters in 81 1/3 innings of work.

The physically imposing Williams boasts one of the best pure fastballs in the country, routinely touching 100 MPH. It settles in around the 94-97 MPH range and works well up in the strike zone and also has a little arm side run. His breaking stuff has improved over the course of his college career. His high-spin, high-70s curveball is a weapon against both-handed hitters. It features sharp downward movement and an 11-5 shape. He pairs that with an improving mid-80s slider that looks like a cutter. It still needs some work, but it has the look of a future above-average (or better) offering. He also dabbles with a mid-80s changeup, but it’s far behind the other offspeed pitches.

Williams has a deliberate delivery and good downward plane thanks to his height and near over-the-top release point. His running fastball is sometimes more difficult to command and he can be inconsistent with the release point on his slider. He also has a little bit of crossfire in his delivery. That all leads to some command/control issues, but he has done a good job cleaning up his delivery overall. He has short arm action (despite being so tall) and a very quick arm.

Video

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Williams has all the makings of at least a mid-rotation starter. He has the stuff and frame to make the leap at the next level. Whichever team drafts him will have a higher ceiling pitcher who also comes with higher risk. His floor is a late-inning power reliever. At No. 29, he should sign without much issue.

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosted a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He was a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times and True Blue LA. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif.