Position: Second Base Height: 5-9 Weight: 155
Born: 4/1/1983 Bats: Right Throws: Right
Rhymes joined the Tigers as a 27th round choice out of William & Mary College after he had completed one of the most impressive careers in school history. Rhymes finished his senior season with a .413 average, which led the CAA Conference, and 92 hits that broke the William & Mary single-season record. For his efforts, Rhymes was named Second Team All-Conference, First Team All-Region, and Honorable Mention All-State (Virginia). Any doubts about his ability to hit with wood were laid to rest after he was named to the Cape Cod League All-Star team in 2004. After joining the Tigers organization, Rhymes kept right on hitting, posting a .328/.391/.420 line. During his time with Oneonta, Will was one of the stalwarts both offensively and defensively in the O-Tigers everyday lineup.
Rhymes is a player much like Curtis Granderson, one whose tools don't impress scouts, but he continues to get the job done at a high level. His approach at the plate is very patient, and he demonstrates a plan during each at-bat. He looks for pitches he can drive to the gaps, and is very reluctant to chase pitches out of the zone. His exceptional hand-eye coordination allows him to avoid strikeouts and put the ball in play frequently. Despite his small stature, Rhymes has the ability to drive the ball to all fields with good gap power and great frequency. His consistently hard contact will serve him well as he moves up through the system. Will is an average defender, with mediocre range and a good arm. He has good instincts in the field that allow him to overcome some of his other defensive problems. He is only an average runner, but gets much more out of his speed than most with exceptional reads and an intelligent base running approach. Will is a heady player that may not have the exceptional tools that scouts like, but until he fails to perform, it's hard to argue with the results.
Performance Level Team AB AVG 2B HR RBI SO BB OBP% SLG% SS-A
Will has been healthy to this point in his career.
Rhymes will likely receive a promotion to West Michigan for the 2006 season, but it may be wise for the Tigers to aggressively push him to Lakeland instead. There are no outstanding prospects ahead of him and there is no reason not to push an advanced collegiate player. Rhymes has the mental toughness to handle an aggressive promotion schedule, and should be challenged by the organization. If he continues to hit at a high level with the Whitecaps, he will likely get the opportunity to demonstrate his abilities with the L-Tigers. Rhymes is a very polished player, who has a strong work ethic and poised approach to the game. There is little doubt that Will's offensive game will carry him through the minor leagues. Look for Rhymes to continue hitting through the 2006 season, and he may not receive his first true test until he reaches AA.