Heading into his senior season at East Carolina, Gavin Williams was pegged as a hard-throwing reliever with a fastball that touched triple digits, but struggled with command and lacked feel for his off-speed pitches. That all changed this past season, as Williams got his first look as a starter and took full advantage of it, posting a 1.88 ERA, while striking out 130 batters in 81 1/3 innings for the Pirates.
Williams capped off his tremendous senior season in the Nashville Super Regionals, where he would go toe to toe with potential top 5 pick Kumar Rocker and the number 4 ranked Vanderbilt Commodores. Despite being heavy under dogs, Williams kept his club in the ball game, tossing 7.1 innings, while allowing only two runs and striking out 13 batters in a 2-0 loss.
Despite taking the loss, Williams’ performance was the sole reason that ECU had a shot to win this game. He was able to use his elite fastball and improved off-speed pitches to shred a deep Vanderbilt lineup on the biggest stage, which should see him skyrocket up draft boards.
Along with his tremendous production, Williams has a great arsenal with a fastball that sits in the mid 90’s and has touched 99 MPH as a starter. The right-hander also features two plus off-speed pitches with a harder slider that resides in the mid 80’s, and slower curveball that has a ton of swing and miss potential.
Scouts love Williams’ build, as he stands at 6’6” and weighs in at 238 pounds. Along with his great size, the North Carolina native features a delivery that has “improved over the course of his career” and at this point in time is clean and repeatable, which combined with his plus size bodes well for him sticking as a starter and his long term health.
Williams is only the 31st ranked prospect on MLB Pipeline’s board but is someone who I truly believe will rise as the draft approaches due to his elite fastball, three pitch mix and his fantastic outing in the Super Regionals against Vandy. I would be ecstatic if the Jays decided to add Williams to their organization this draft. He definitely has front line starter upside, but with his age and experience out of the pen he also has the tools to help this team a lot sooner in a relief role.