Scouting Yankees Prospect #3: Mason Williams

The New York Yankees selected outfielder Mason Williams in the fourth round of the 2010 MLB Draft out of West Orange High School in Florida. He immediately broke out in a big way in his first extended taste of professional baseball last year with the Staten Island Yankees and he is already considered one of the top prospects in the game.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Mason Williams
Position: Centerfield
DOB: August 21, 1991
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 165
Bats: Left
Throws: Right

"I thought year went really well for me." Williams told PinstripesPlus.com after the season. "I felt like I learned a lot and it was awesome winning that championship.

"Playing everyday is hard. If you have one bad game you don't want to dwell on that game. You've got a game the next day. It's not like football where it's one game a week. Mentally letting things go the next day and being prepared for the next game, that was big."

He proved to not only be an impact player on both sides of the ball but arguably one of the most consistent players. While he hit a team-leading .349 and also led the team in hits [94], runs scored [42], triples [6], stolen bases [28], and on-base percentage [among starters with more than 30 games played], it was the fact that he never went more than two consecutive games without a hit that was arguably more impressive.

"He was tremendous," Staten Island manager Tommy Slater said. "Obviously he's a great centerfielder, he can really run, he can really hit, and I think the power is just going to continue to develop. I think his power will just continue to get better.

"His swing is so tremendous which is why he's able to drive the ball well now, but I think as he matures and fills out I think [the power] will just increase. I would think he's everything you would want from a centerfielder. Across the board he's just a tremendous player."

Long lauded for his advanced swing, great plate discipline, plus speed, amazing defensive abilities, and surprising power for a wiry player, nearly every scout has envisioned what the long-term ramifications would be should he ever start to fill out his frame.

It was because of that 'what if' possibility that the Yankees brought Williams down for his own personal strength and conditioning boot camp after the Instructional League camps this offseason, and the early returns have been nothing short of remarkable.

"I think it went well," Williams said recently. "They're definitely trying to get me stronger and healthier. I felt good when I went out there. I put on about 25 pounds from last year at this time. I definitely feel better strength-wise.

"I definitely see me improving in the weight room and I felt my balls into the gaps were getting out there harder than usual. It's definitely motivation knowing that I can hit the ball harder [now] to left field."

The goal wasn't necessarily to improve his home run power but rather to get him stronger to handle the rigors of playing everyday over the course of a long season, but it doesn't hurt to have more effortless power too.

"I wouldn't say it's effortless, I still have to square the ball up," he said. "I still have to hit the ball well enough for it to carry anywhere in the field with backspin, that is the goal. I just feel like I'm getting stronger and I hopefully I can keep it up to hit balls hard."

Stronger than he ever has been and coming off of such a tremendous first season, few talent observers question his ability to remain one of the game's more electrifying players.

"Right now I feel good. I feel like I'm still quick to the ball and this way I can get better.

"I would love to try and do that again," he said of having another season like last year. "Right now I'm just trying to get better at the little things. The little things will take me a long way. Hopefully I'll have as good a season as I had last year."

Year

Team

AVG

AB

2B

HR

RBI

R

SB

BB

SO

OBP

SLG

2011 Staten Island .349 269 11 3 31 42 28 20 41 .395 .468
2010 GCL Yankees .222 18 0 0 0 0 1 1 4 .263 .222


Batting and Power. With a picture-perfect left-handed swing, Williams has always had a knack for squaring balls up and hitting them hard despite his smaller frame. He also shows great plate discipline and a willingness to sit on his pitch. He will draw walks but he is more of an aggressive hitter who attacks pitches earlier in the counts and drives the ball to all fields. He doesn't have great home run power, but he stings the ball from gap with authority and he shows very good power for a leadoff type hitter. Now gaining some strength with room to fill out even more, there is average long-term power potential here to all fields.

Base Running and Speed. Still learning the nuances of reading pitchers' moves better, Williams is extremely fast and can be electric in the running game. He will have his short-term mistakes stealing bases because he's so young, but few can match his plus speed and aggressive running style. He is an impact runner, plain and simple.

Defense. It is his plus speed and innate instincts, as well as above average arm strength that makes him a plus-plus defensive centerfielder. With literally no weakness in his game, he is already a Gold Glove caliber big league centerfielder defensively.

Projection. At just 20 years old, with his blazing speed, consistent big league swing, advanced bunting ability, mature plate discipline, and ever-developing average big league power, Williams is one of the safest bets to reach his ceiling as a big league starting centerfielder and eventual leadoff man. In a lot of ways he's a Brett Gardner type with much more power potential and a lot more aggressiveness at the plate and on the base paths. He has future big league All Star potential.

ETA. 2014. Williams will most likely open up the 2012 season with the Charleston RiverDogs but it won't be long before he's ready to move up to Tampa now that he has gotten stronger. He's going to move up the minor league ladder in a hurry.

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Pinstripes Plus Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nVital Statistics:
\r\nName: Mason Williams
\r\nPosition: Centerfield
\r\nDOB: August 21, 1991
\r\nHeight: 6'1\"
\r\nWeight: 165
\r\nBats: Left
\r\nThrows: Right
\r\n
\r\n\"I thought year went really well for me.\" Williams told PinstripesPlus.com after the season. \"I felt like I learned a lot and it was awesome winning that championship.
\r\n
\r\n\"Playing everyday is hard. If you have one bad game you don't want to dwell on that game. You've got a game the next day. It's not like football where it's one game a week. Mentally letting things go the next day and being prepared for the next game, that was big.\"
\r\n
\r\nHe proved to not only be an impact player on both sides of the ball but arguably one of the most consistent players. While he hit a team-leading .349 and also led the team in hits [94], runs scored [42], triples [6], stolen bases [28], and on-base percentage [among starters with more than 30 games played], it was the fact that he never went more than two consecutive games without a hit that was arguably more impressive.
\r\n
\r\n\"He was tremendous,\" Staten Island manager Tommy Slater said. \"Obviously he's a great centerfielder, he can really run, he can really hit, and I think the power is just going to continue to develop. I think his power will just continue to get better.
\r\n
\r\n\"His swing is so tremendous which is why he's able to drive the ball well now, but I think as he matures and fills out I think [the power] will just increase. I would think he's everything you would want from a centerfielder. Across the board he's just a tremendous player.\"
\r\n
\r\nLong lauded for his advanced swing, great plate discipline, plus speed, amazing defensive abilities, and surprising power for a wiry player, nearly every scout has envisioned what the long-term ramifications would be should he ever start to fill out his frame.
\r\n
\r\nIt was because of that 'what if' possibility that the Yankees brought Williams down for his own personal strength and conditioning boot camp after the Instructional League camps this offseason, and the early returns have been nothing short of remarkable.
\r\n
\r\n\"I think it went well,\" Williams said recently. \"They're definitely trying to get me stronger and healthier. I felt good when I went out there. I put on about 25 pounds from last year at this time. I definitely feel better strength-wise.
\r\n
\r\n\"I definitely see me improving in the weight room and I felt my balls into the gaps were getting out there harder than usual. It's definitely motivation knowing that I can hit the ball harder [now] to left field.\"
\r\n
\r\nThe goal wasn't necessarily to improve his home run power but rather to get him stronger to handle the rigors of playing everyday over the course of a long season, but it doesn't hurt to have more effortless power too.
\r\n
\r\n\"I wouldn't say it's effortless, I still have to square the ball up,\" he said. \"I still have to hit the ball well enough for it to carry anywhere in the field with backspin, that is the goal. I just feel like I'm getting stronger and I hopefully I can keep it up to hit balls hard.\"
\r\n
\r\nStronger than he ever has been and coming off of such a tremendous first season, few talent observers question his ability to remain one of the game's more electrifying players.
\r\n
\r\n\"Right now I feel good. I feel like I'm still quick to the ball and this way I can get better.
\r\n
\r\n\"I would love to try and do that again,\" he said of having another season like last year. \"Right now I'm just trying to get better at the little things. The little things will take me a long way. Hopefully I'll have as good a season as I had last year.\"
\r\n
\r\n\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n
\r\n

Year

\r\n

Team

\r\n

AVG

\r\n

AB

\r\n

2B

\r\n

HR

\r\n

RBI

\r\n

R

\r\n

SB

\r\n

BB

\r\n

SO

\r\n

OBP

\r\n

SLG

\r\n 2011\r\n Staten Island\r\n .349\r\n 269\r\n 11\r\n 3\r\n 31\r\n 42\r\n 28\r\n 20\r\n 41\r\n .395\r\n .468
\r\n 2010\r\n GCL Yankees\r\n .222\r\n 18\r\n 0\r\n 0\r\n 0\r\n 0\r\n 1\r\n 1\r\n 4\r\n .263\r\n .222

\r\n
\r\nBatting and Power. With a picture-perfect left-handed swing, Williams has always had a knack for squaring balls up and hitting them hard despite his smaller frame. He also shows great plate discipline and a willingness to sit on his pitch. He will draw walks but he is more of an aggressive hitter who attacks pitches earlier in the counts and drives the ball to all fields. He doesn't have great home run power, but he stings the ball from gap with authority and he shows very good power for a leadoff type hitter. Now gaining some strength with room to fill out even more, there is average long-term power potential here to all fields.
\r\n
\r\nBase Running and Speed. Still learning the nuances of reading pitchers' moves better, Williams is extremely fast and can be electric in the running game. He will have his short-term mistakes stealing bases because he's so young, but few can match his plus speed and aggressive running style. He is an impact runner, plain and simple.
\r\n
\r\nDefense. It is his plus speed and innate instincts, as well as above average arm strength that makes him a plus-plus defensive centerfielder. With literally no weakness in his game, he is already a Gold Glove caliber big league centerfielder defensively.
\r\n
\r\nProjection. At just 20 years old, with his blazing speed, consistent big league swing, advanced bunting ability, mature plate discipline, and ever-developing average big league power, Williams is one of the safest bets to reach his ceiling as a big league starting centerfielder and eventual leadoff man. In a lot of ways he's a Brett Gardner type with much more power potential and a lot more aggressiveness at the plate and on the base paths. He has future big league All Star potential.
\r\n
\r\nETA. 2014. Williams will most likely open up the 2012 season with the Charleston RiverDogs but it won't be long before he's ready to move up to Tampa now that he has gotten stronger. He's going to move up the minor league ladder in a hurry.
\r\n
\r\n

\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n
\r\n

Are you a monthly or 3-month subscriber to PinstripesPlus.com? Why not get two months free AND get 4 issues of our PinstripesPlus Magazine included by becoming an annual subscriber? Upgrade today to get the most out of your subscription.

\r\n

\r\n

Become an annual subscriber today!

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