Toronto Blue Jays Prospect: Christian Williams
By Ryan Mueller
Christian Williams, considered by the best Power Hitter selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2015 Draft by Baseball America, joined Jays Journal to talk about his first year in the Blue Jays organization.
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The Toronto Blue Jays used their 16th round selection on the 3rd day of the 2015 Draft on native of Panama City Florida, Christian Williams. Originally drafted in 2014 by the Miami Marlins in the 28th round, Williams decided not to sign. The Jays were able to sign him for $200K.
The Blue Jay management sent the young power 1B/3B to play for Dennis Holmberg in Bluefield of the Appalachian League. The talented corner infielder led the team in GP, triples, RBI, and strike outs.
Christian Williams 2015 stats
Williams was born in Stuart, located on Florida’s Treasure Coast, 30 minutes north of Jupiter. His family moved up the coast to Vero Beach Florida where Christian lived until he was 18-years-old in his freshman year of college.
David Williams, Christians father, love for baseball rubbed off on his son. Despite playing other sports the younger Williams was pulled to baseball and he owes a lot of that to his dad’s influence.
Williams grew up idolizing Alanta Braves Iconic 3rd baseman Chipper Jones.
"Chipper Jones no doubt. Not even a close second. I remember being glued to the TV just watching and hoping that one day I could be like Chipper"
In 2015, Williams split his time between 1st and 3rd. If given the choice he’d prefer to stick at the hot corner like Chipper, but Christian will “play wherever I can help the Blue Jays organization.” Christian settled in at 3rd base in High School after pitching some, playing both corner and middle infield positions in Little League and High School.
Williams has respect for those brave enough to play the most demanding position on the diamond, catcher, and shared an experience he had while catching in Little League,
"I played catcher once in little league and I never played it since. I got ran over by an older kid when I was five so I would say that’s by far the worst and probably the toughest position to play. It takes a special person (to be a catcher), the good ones are fun to watch."
In his first professional season, Williams bonded with fellow 2015 draftee DJ Knight. The two played in the same conference in college, roomed together in Bluefield and again during Florida Instructional League. When they weren’t on the diamond, you could find the pair working out or playing video games (not well according to Williams).
The budding power hitter enjoyed playing for Bluefield’s Dennis Holmberg, who he describes as being “tough but has a lot of knowledge to share.” Williams raved about how the entire coaching staff helped it’s players adjust to “the grind, the long days, and the bus rides.” Adjusting to seeing good pitching every night instead of every few games as was the case through his Junior College days, was Williams biggest challenge.
The corner infielder demonstrated a mature approach at the plate finishing with 8.5 BB% and 23.8 K%, but he wasn’t satisfied. Williams has showed good plate discipline at every level he’s played. His HS coach had him batting lead off in his Senior year because opposing teams would always pitch around him which resulted in him leading the team in walks. He is hopeful that 2016 will produce better numbers at the plate and would like to cut down on the strike outs.
When I asked Christian Williams about his July 11th game, a game he went 4-for-4 in, his reply showed how humble this young man is,
"The 4-for-4 night was pretty fun. Those don’t come around very often. I just enjoyed the time with the guys and the friends I made. It’s a blessing just to play this game. I realize how many guys would love to have a chance to play and just how lucky I am to be able to do it."
The next natural next step is for Christian Williams to head to Vancouver to play for the Canadians. He will face competition from Gabriel Clark, Connor Panas, and possibly Justin Atkinson (he should be heading to Lansing).