BLUF: Impact up the middle player with average, steals, doubles and excellent defense.
The Player: Mason Williams (OF, New York Yankees) – Fourth round pick of the Yankees in 2010. Signed late and appeared in only five games for the GCL Yankees. Spent the 2011 season in the New York-Penn League, hitting an impressive .349/.395/.468 as a 19-year old against college-heavy competition. Hitting .307/.354/.502 in 64 games with Low-A Charleston.
Basis of Report: Compilation – Personal Observation (NYPL 2011), Industry Contacts
Body (6-0, 155): Smallish body. Outstanding raw athlete. Surprising strength in thin frame. Well coordinated with good balance.
Hit: Very simple swing with consistent mechanics and at least plus bat speed. Strong forearms and wrists. Snaps the bat through the zone. Excellent feel for the barrel. Makes consistent contact w/ line drives to all fields. Aggressive approach with very little swing and miss. Handles all types of pitches and can hit the ball in any part of the zone. Incredible innate feel for contact. Grade – 50/70
Power: Has plenty of bat speed but it doesn’t generate power. Line drive hitter with little elevation in swing. Projects for gap power with below-average home run power. Could pop ten home runs a year at physical peak, but not much more. Frame doesn’t suggest power projection. Grade (raw power) – 30/40
Arm: Average raw arm strength with good accuracy on throws. Uses entire body to generate velocity. Enough arm for center field. Grade – 50/50
Fielding: Very natural defender. Reads the ball well off the bat to get good jumps. Takes proper routes to balls. Can struggle with balls right at him but has improved with experience in pro ball. Eats up real estate in the gaps w/ outstanding speed. Aggressive defender that will sell out to make plays. With more polish, could be a true plus-plus defender. Grade – 60/70
Speed: Shows well-above average to elite speed at times. Typically plays more in the plus-plus range down the line and can play better than that in center field where he can get up to top speed on longer runs. Speed will be maintained well. Good chance to remain easy plus-plus runner. Grade – 70/70
Summation: Rare player with combination of great athleticism and very good baseball skills at a young age. Instinctual player in the field with plus-plus potential up the middle and average arm. Should be able to go get it with the best of them and compete for Gold Gloves. Natural hitter that consistently barrels the ball and uses the whole field. Potential .290-.300 hitter and possibly better than that as he adds strength and drives the ball more. Lacks power projection but should have plenty of doubles. Has speed to steal bases at the top of the order. Lacks classic leadoff approach but natural hitting ability makes up for it and he should still fit at the top. Potential impact up the middle player.
Relative Risk: High. Profile relies heavily on maintaining and improving upon present hitting ability. If the average isn’t sustained, his profile takes a big hit, leaving him with considerable risk at this time. Risk could drop quickly as he reaches upper levels.
Future: Hitting well and showing more pop this year and could get a peak in High-A before the end of the season. Still just 20-years old and could reach Double-A by the end of the 2013 season. The question with all Yankee prospects is how will the team break them into the big leagues, but with his ability to contribute in multiple phases, Williams could force them to put him in the lineup in 2014-2015.