After sitting for two seasons due to injury, Milwaukee Brewers pitcher, Taylor Williams, returned to action in 2017.
By the end of the year, Williams had pitched his way to being a September call-up. Beyond that, he performed his way up to the 21st spot on the 2017 rankings by the end of the year. This season, the former fourth round selection of the Milwaukee Brewers sits three positions higher, at 18.
Following an impressive debut year in 2014, Williams found himself sidelined for his encore due to a strained flexor tendon. Then, 2016 saw the righty under the knife for Tommy John surgery. With health finally on his side, the 26 year old will be looking to see Miller Park once again in 2018.
As a bullpen arm, Williams will top out at 98. He also shows a very good slider. Both the fastball and slider grade out at 60. He also flashes a changeup that fades a bit. Williams is undersized with his 5’11” frame, but he uses it well to get the most out of his delivery.
Before the arm injuries, Williams proved to have some solid control. He will likely get that back as time goes on. Two years off is a long time. But one certainty is that he has a true power arm and knows how to use it. As he gains his control back, watch out.
Last season, Williams appeared 22 times with 14 starts at the Double A level last season. He ended with a 3.09 ERA. More impressively, he recorded 57 strikeouts in 46.2 innings. That performance was enough to earn a call-up to the Milwaukee Brewers when September rolled around.
Williams did not pitch a ton at the MLB level, but he did throw well. He showed a 1.93 ERA through 4.2 innings. His electric stuff was on display, as he fanned four batters over the nearly five innings of work.
How Does He Project?
Due to his injury history and live arm, he projects as a great late inning guy. If he can command the zone well, he could turn into a closer, but at minimum he can be reliable in the late innings. With the right opportunity in 2018, Williams could turn into Corey Knebel’s bridge by the end of this season.
I think that Williams can reach his ceiling of closer. After seeing him pitch against the Cardinals, I was sold on his ability. His slider and fastball combination will carry him above and beyond in a late inning role.