Heading into the June Draft – Devin Williams was projected to be a top 20 selection but fell onto the laps of the Brewers’ at the 54th pick.
Milwaukee was ecstatic with its first selection in the draft after the team relinquished its 17th overall pick with the signing of Cardinals’ free agent Kyle Lohse.
Williams was set to extend his education beyond high school demonstrated by committing to the University of Missouri to play baseball.
The commitment may have turned teams off the 18-year-old pitcher from St. Louis due to notions he might not sign his named on the dotted line.
The Brewers knew they had to woo Williams away from college by offering him a signing bonus ($1.35 million) $300,000 more than the slotted value assigned by Major League Baseball.
Milwaukee’s loss of its first round selection played a factor in the offer of a higher signing bonus.
Worth the Cash?
Williams’ fastball was clocked as high as 96 miles per hour on the radar gun during his senior season for Hazelwood West and struck out 101 batters in just 55 innings.
In addition, he demonstrated tremendous control walking 28 batters and allowing 19 hits to give him a 6-2 overall record and a 1.05 earned run average.
Scouts admired his ability to mix up his pitches and throw all of them for strikes.
Milwaukee believed he will develop into a substantially better once he adds to his 6’3” 165 lb frame.
Rise to the Top 20
Mechanics played a role in his early struggles with the Arizona Rookie League after observers noted his slow delivery and utilizing too much of his upper body.
Williams allowed eight earned runs in 9.1 innings from July 6-22 with three losses. He walked 15 batters and struck out 16 in the tough stretch.
Following adjustments to his mechanics he was highly effective allowing just five earned runs in 20.1 innings and logged 23 strikeouts. It took Williams 11 appearances before he received his first career professional victory.
In spite of his early struggles, Williams acknowledged he was fortunate to be rated as the Brewers’ ninth rated prospect through entire organization.
|Williams File||Milwaukee’s Ninth Rated Prospect|
|Born||September 21, 1994||Pre-Draft Rankings|
|Bats||Right||6-2, 55 IP, 101 Ks, 17 H, 28 BB, 1.05 ERA|
|Throws||Right||Arizona League (Rookie)|
|School||Hazelwood West||1-3, 34.2 IP, 13 ER, 39 Ks, 22 BB, 28 H|
|Hazelwood, Missouri||No HR allowed, 5 scoreless outings|
|Drafted||Second round (54th) by Milwaukee in 2013|