Cheryl Pursell

Williams Enjoying Playoff Run with Reading

Nick Williams came over to the Phillies in the Cole Hamels trade and it's turned out well for both sides. For Williams, he is relishing the chance to play on a team contending for a playoff spot.

Nick Williams came from the Frisco Rough Riders, a team that is currently 56-69 on the season. When he arrived in Reading, he found himself in a different world, being on a team that is fighting for a spot in the Eastern League Playoffs. Williams was actually a perfect fit for Reading, since they had been playing without center fielder Roman Quinn, who went down earlier in the season with an injury. Since joining the Fightins, Williams is hitting .357 in 19 games at Reading and has taken over the leadoff spot in the lineup.

In his short time in the organization, Williams has already opened some eyes. His offense has been exceptional and he's shown good instincts in center field and when he may misread a ball, he can usually kick in the after-burners to wind up making the play. Another part of Williams' game that has been impressive is his pure hustle. His normal style of play is to bust it hard out of the box whether it's a flyball, groundball or anything in between. 

Williams puts a lot of pride in his defense and has put in a lot of hard work to go along with his natural instincts playing in center field.

"I feel free out there and I'm fast, so I can cover up some bad jumps. If it's in the air, I'm going to take it if I can possibly get to it," said Williams.

Some players start to agonize when they hear their names in trade rumors. For Williams, he first heard the rumors during the Futures Game in Cincinnati this season and they came from what he considered to be a reliable source.

"During the Future's Game, I had a couple words with J.P. [Crawford] and I knew it was going to happen," laughed Williams. "It was just a time of when. It didn't bother me at all, no matter where I was going to go, I was going to play hard and try to win."

From that point on, Williams paid little attention to the escalating rumors of a pending deal between Texas and Philadelphia. He knew his name was being bandied about not only in a potential deal with the Phillies, but in other deals that were being mentioned involving Texas. When the deal was finally announced, it obviously wasn't a surprise to Williams. It also didn't immediately sink in who he had been dealt for in the deal. Coming to the Phillies organization, where Cole Hamels was a genuine fan favorite doesn't seem to have put any added pressure on Williams to impress the new team or their fans.

"There's no pressure. I know he was a World Series MVP and all, but it doesn't add any pressure. I just know that another team really wanted me and I'm glad it's the Phillies organization, it's been a lot of fun so far," said Williams. "I love where I am right now and I feel like this team is going to win everything, win it all. I'm just enjoying this with my new teammates and it's nice to be in a playoff race; I can't even tell you how far out of it we were in Texas."

As for what he has to work on to make it to the majors, Williams realizes that there are a number of things that he can improve on, but none of them are major holes in his game. The basics are all there, it's just a matter of putting everything together night-in and night-out.

"It's really little things, but it really comes down to just trying to stay consistent," admitted the 21-year old outfielder. "You can always get better at something, but for me, right now, it's just a matter of being as consistent as possible."


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