Williams Back To His Self

SCRANTON, PA - SCRANTON, PA- Centerfielder Mason Williams earned a promotion to Triple-A Scranton after Slade Heathcott was called up to the Yankees a week ago. Williams, who was once a top prospect in the Yankees organization, seems to be coming around after back to back disappointing seasons.

Mason Williams was one of the New York Yankees top prospects after they drafted him in the fourth round of the 2010 MLB draft out of West Orange High School in Florida. Williams signed a 1.5 million dollar signing bonus and continued to impress the Yankees organization after batting .349 with 20 extra base hits and 31 RBI’s in 269 at-bats with the Staten Island Yankees in 2011.

William’s success carried over into the 2012 season with Charleston and Tampa, batting .298 with 37 extra base hits including 11 homeruns and 35 RBI’s. In 2013, Williams began the season with Tampa but was promoted to Double-A Trenton where he played 17 games.

Last season, William’s progress slowed down drastically after a disappointing statistical year at the plate batting just .223 with a .290 OBP. Although it was a disappointing season, the Yankees still had faith in Williams' potential and added him to the 40-man roster this offseason.

“As a team we started off really well in Trenton and that helped me a lot playing with good guys on the team, and it just makes it easier to play with a bunch of good guys around you,” Williams said of his season this year.

Despite having a below average season in 2014, Williams continues to work hard off of the field and is still confident in his abilities.

“I’ve been working on my overall game this offseason, just trying to bounce back from the previous year I had, ” Williams continued. “I definitely had some failures so I came into this offseason and worked hard and I’m just trying to get back to myself.”

The 6-foot-1, 185 pound centerfielder has always been noted for his plus speed as well as his versatility defensively. Small ball is a big part of Williams' game and it seems that he’s been trying to use his speed more this season as oppose to last.

“Yea absolutely, small ball is a big part of my game and I feel like I kind of shied away from it last year but it’s actually been very beneficial to me this year because I’ve utilized it a lot more,” he said.

Williams seems to be back to form this season after reporting to camp 20 pounds lighter and the results have showed on the field; he batted .317 with a .407 on-base percentage in 120 at-bats with Trenton. These numbers along with Slade Heathcott getting called up to the Yankees have earned Williams his first promotion to Triple-A Scranton.

“It’s definitely exciting to be here in Scranton and I’m just thankful for the opportunity to continue to move up the ranks,” he noted.

RailRiders hitting coach Marcus Thames, who was Trenton’s hitting coach last season, has always been impressed with Williams regardless of his previous struggles.

“Mason is a tremendous player who can play both ways and I think some of his struggles came last year from just pressing the issue and thinking about it too much,” Thames said. “He’s getting back to his old ways, using his speed to get on base and I think that’s going to help him.”

Williams is off to a good start for the Railriders, batting .313 in seven games, including a 4 for 5 day at the plate against Durham on Sunday. It’s not only Williams' bat that has impressed the RailRiders early on, but his defensive presence is something that is hard to go unnoticed.

Although Williams is excited about the promotion, he knows that his job is never safe in baseball and hopes to continue to improve on his overall game.

“There’s always things to improve on, I’m just trying to get better defensively and offensively every day and become a better teammate,” Williams concluded.

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