One of the more projectable high school right-handers in the 2019 Draft, Williams passed on a Vanderbilt scholarship to sign with the Blue Jays for $1,547,500 in the second round. He posted a 1.13 ERA with 19 strikeouts in 16 Rookie-ball innings last summer, but his full-season debut was delayed until 2021 after the coronavirus shut down the Minors. The Dodgers acquired him as the first of two players to be named in the August trade that sent Ross Stripling to Toronto.
Williams presently sits in the low 90s and tops out at 95 mph with his fastball, which plays up because he uses his 6-foot-6 frame to create steep plane and angle. He throws two different breaking balls, with scouts preferring his curveball to his slider because of its spin and his high-three-quarters arm slot. He shows some feel for a changeup that should become an average offering as he uses it more.
Williams has more body control than most pitchers his size and age, which bodes well for his ability to repeat his delivery, throw strikes and stay healthy. He'll need time to refine his craft, but if his stuff improves as he gets stronger, he could become a No. 3 or 4 starter.
Scouting grades: Fastball: 55 | Curveball: 55 | Slider: 45 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 50 | Overall: 50
In January 2017, in the middle of his sophomore year of high school, Williams made the decision to relocate from his home in Mississippi to attend IMG Academy in Florida, with the hopes that the instruction plus the challenge of better competition would pay off. That it did, as Williams shot up Draft boards over the next couple of years en route to an above-slot bonus after the Blue Jays made the Vanderbilt commit their second-round pick.
At 6-foot-6, Williams is the quintessential projectable high school right-hander. While he started the spring a bit slowly, in terms of his velocity, which was 87-91 mph, it's been ticking up, sitting 91-92 mph and regularly touching 94 mph, as it did during the shutout he threw at the USA Baseball National High School Invitational in March. His fastball plays up because of its steep plane and angle, and there should be more consistent velocity to come as he matures. He throws both a slider and curve, with success, with some scouts thinking the curve will ultimately work better coming from his high three-quarter slot. He has some feel for a future average changeup, though he didn't throw it much in high school.
Despite his size, Williams tends to throw strikes and should have solid command and control, not to mention sharper stuff, once he figures out how to consistently repeat his delivery with his long levers. There's a lot to dream on here, though, like most prep pitchers, he'll need time to develop and refine his craft in the Minors.