2012 MLB Draft Q & A: Trey Williams

We continue our series of 2012 MLB Draft Q & A's with an interview with Valencia H.S. (CA) infielder Trey Williams. Williams is the son of former MLB player Eddie Williams and is currently ranked as the #49 draft prospect by Scout's Frankie Piliere. Inside he talks about why he chose to commit to Pepperdine, how his dad has influenced him, his approach to hitting and a lot about Bryce Harper.

For a complete scouting report on Williams from Scout.com's National Baseball Expert Frankie Piliere, see: 2012 Draft Scouting Report: Trey Williams.

For scouting video of Williams, see: 2012 MLB Draft Scouting Video: Trey Williams.

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Rays Digest: You're a very, very athletic player and you're also being talked about as being one of the top prep hitters in the draft. Who do you kind of model your game after?

Trey Williams: My favorite player is Barry Bonds. I would love to say I am a model of him, but it's not like that because he's the greatest player I've ever seen play the game. So if I compared myself to anyone, it would probably be Carlos Beltran.

Rays Digest: You have a commitment to Pepperdine. What made you choose Pepperdine over other schools?

Trey Williams: I love that it's in California. I love the area. There's good people around there. The school is challenging and I'll get the education that I need. My dad played with Steve [Pepperdine Head Coach Steve Rodriguez] and he's a great guy and I've seen him coach. I got great feedback from my friend Quincy Quintero and just everything around there is good.

Rays Digest: You're being looked at as a high draft pick in the upcoming draft. What kinds of things are you and your family looking for from an organization to consider signing with an MLB team as opposed to going to college?

Trey Williams: It's really hard to say right now. For most people, it has to be a life-changing kind of thing. Education is important because I'm going to need that later on in life. Whatever offers I get is what I'm going to have to go with.

Rays Digest: So right now, you are just going to try and take it as it comes?

Trey Williams: Yeah, just flowing with it.

Rays Digest: Can you tell me a little bit about your approach at the plate? How do you like to approach things as a hitter?

Trey Williams: When I go up to the plate, honestly, I go up there blank-minded. I don't think about what pitch I'm going to get. I don't think about needing to get a hit. I just go up there blank-minded and react to what's coming towards me.

Rays Digest: So are you pretty good at recognizing different kinds of pitches and speeds and stuff like that?

Trey Williams: Yes. My plate discipline has gotten way better over the years. This year I've accumulated a lot of walks by taking pitches that I shouldn't be swing at. It kind of got into a habit where I got too patient and I was taking more strikes, instead of swing at strikes. But my plate discipline has gotten really good.

Rays Digest: Your father is former MLB player Eddie Williams, who I remember seeing some when I was younger. How much of an influence has he been on you as a player and as a person? It what ways does he help you out?

Trey Williams: It's crazy. He's basically made me until this day. He's helped in everything. He's helped me become a good person and a good ball-player. He helps me every day with something I need help with - baseball, life, anything. He's been a real big influence on me.

Rays Digest: Do you guys sit around the dinner table and talk hitting?

Trey Williams: Yes we do. (laughing) We probably talk about it 99 percent of the time.

Rays Digest: Other than your father, who are some of the other people and coaches who have been an influence on you?

Trey Williams: My old coach when I was probably about eleven, Al Ramirez, and then Todd Gamboa. Brian Cain of the San Deigo Show, Tom Bautista, there's been a lot of coaches who have really helped me with my career. They have helped me become the player that I wanted to be and helped me achieve the goals that i wanted to achieve.

Rays Digest: Tell me a little bit about your high school team. How have you guys been doing? Are you in the playoffs?

Trey Williams: We're doing okay. I'm not sure if we were walked into the playoffs or not. The next game will probably decide if we get in or not. Other than that, we're doing pretty good. The first part of the season we struggled a little bit, the second part of the season we started doing better. We started playing more scrappy, with more heart. Everything's looking good right now.

Rays Digest: What about your off-season or in-season workout routine? What kinds of things do you do to prepare yourself for a baseball season?

Trey Williams: I either hit with me dad every day or go work out with my weight-training coach every day. I probably have one day off of lifting and one day off of hitting, if that.

Rays Digest: Do you have representation? Have you talked to any MLB teams yet?

Trey Williams: We've talked to a few. I don't remember off the top of my head, but we have talked to five to eight.

Rays Digest: Are you going to be doing any pre-draft showcases or workouts or anything like that?

Trey Williams: I'm going to a few workouts. I know I'm going San Diego, I'm pretty sure. I'm going to the Dodgers workout. Then I'm not sure what other ones after that. I'm pretty sure I'm going to go to another one after that. It's just tough to go to the out-of-state ones with school and all that stuff going on. It's kind of hard.

Rays Digest: You already said that your favorite MLB player was Barry Bonds, but what other players do you admire in Major League Baseball?

Trey Williams: I admire Andre Ethier. My dad coached him and I saw the player that he was back then. The change that he made to get where he is now, that inspired me a lot. And Bryce. Bryce Harper. I was playing with that kid when I was ten. He's something else. He inspires me too.

Rays Digest: You played with him? Or against him?

Trey Williams: Yes. Me and Bryce and our families used to be close family friends. I played with him on the Southern Nevada Bulldogs when I was ten or so. Then I used to play against him with the Redwings and stuff like that.

Rays Digest: Yeah, he is definitely a special talent and he just made his long-awaited major league debut this week....

Trey Williams: I was at that game.

Rays Digest: Were you? Oh yeah, because it was on the West coast.

Trey Williams: Yeah, it was at Dodger Stadium.

Rays Digest: That's awesome. It's probably very rewarding to see a friend like that have all of his talent and hard work pay off.

Trey Williams: Yeah, it's a great feeling.

Rays Digest: Do you talk to Bryce Harper in terms of the draft or anything like that?

Trey Williams: Honestly, I haven't really talked to him, because I just kind of want to let him go and do what he has to do. I know he has a lot on his plate. A lot of people are trying to talk to him because he made it and stuff like that. I try and just let it go and talk to other people that have made it that are my friends. I talk to my dad, other people who have signed and I just go from there.

Rays Digest: You said you are just kind of waiting to see how things play out, but what is your mind-set about everything? Are you relaxed? Are you nervous?

Trey Williams: It's a little bit of everything. It's a little bit of nerves, it's a little bit of excitement, happy, relaxed - it's everything, because you really don't know what to expect.

Rays Digest: I don't know if you have studied it much- I'm sure your advisory group has - but the new CBA goes into effect for the draft this year and there are all kinds of new rules about bonuses and draft slots and stuff like that. Do you think that some of those things will be a consideration for you? A lot of folks think that guys will be more likely to go to college than in previous years because of the new rules and the limits teams have on bonuses.

Trey Williams: It's hard to say right now. I mean it's pretty much a 50/50 thing to sign or go to college. In both of them you are giving up a life-time experience that you maybe, sometimes, may never get again. With college you are getting something that will benefit your future. So, it's really hard to say right now.

Rays Digest: What about defense? I have read in the scouting reports that you are a very good defender. Do you like playing defense? What's your approach to defense?

Trey Williams: I love playing defense. Defense is basically my get away if I have a bad AB. I'll just go out there on defense and do what I have to do. It kind of refreshes my mind and lets me relax if I had a bad AB or something happened. Honestly, I just go out there and try to have fun. Third is a tough position because you have to move quick, but I just go out there and do what I have to do. There's not much to it.



John Gregg is Publisher and Senior Editor of Rays Digest. You can follow him on Twitter at @RaysDigest. He can also be reached via e-mail at raysdigest.com@gmail.com.

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