When spring training began for the Milwaukee Brewers, one of the biggest early surprises was pitcher, Taylor Williams. Williams looked good from day one and as Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported, he opened plenty of his teammates’ eyes. As Ryan Braun watched him in the cage he told Williams, “That was impressive. You might have the best stuff in camp.”
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But since that debut, things have not gone well for Williams. After getting hit around in his first and only spring training outing, Williams has yet to see game action. After over a month of wonder, the Brewers have finally announced that Williams is still facing elbow troubles while working in extended spring training. Battling injury, the Brewers will be wise to take things slow with Williams.
Not only did Williams look great at big league camp, but he also shined 2014, his first full season as a professional. Pitching in Wisconsin, he went 8-1 through his first 22 appearances (12 starts) while posting an incredible 2.32 ERA. During this time he struck out nearly 10 batters per nine innings, while having a strikeout to walk ratio of nearly five to one. While he struggled a bit at Brevard County after a late season call-up, he was still able to finish the year 9-3 with a 2.72 ERA.
This great season helped to move Williams, who was a fourth round pick in the 2013 draft, to top of the Brewers system in terms of pitchers. Currently MLB.com ranks Williams as ninth best Brewers farm hand (third best pitcher) and with an impressive fastball and steady command he could continue to rise the ranks when healthy.
Williams future is much more important than his present. With endless potential as either a rotation mainstay or a power late-inning reliever, the Brewers should continue to ease Williams along until he is fully ready. With a rebuild coming, he certainly looks like a pitcher that the team could build around.
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