Saturday, June 13, 2015

Meet a Prospect: Mason Williams

Mason Williams has been called up to the New York Yankees this weekend after spending his entire professional career in the minor leagues. Mason’s climb to the major leagues has not been an easy one as he has experiences his fair share of ups and downs including a DUI and almost being left unprotected in the Rule 5 Draft this winter. All of that is in the past allowing us to now focus on the present after Williams was called up to replace Jose Pirela on the Yankees active roster. We may be a day late and a dollar short, story of my life, but now is as good of a time as any to meet a prospect, Mason Williams.

Mason Williams was born on August 21, 1991 in Florida to parents Derwin and Colleen Williams. Williams grew up in Florida and spent his high school years at West Orange High School in Winter Garden, Florida playing for their baseball team. Williams excelled at West Orange High School enough to forgo his scholarship and commitment to the University of South Carolina after being drafted by the New York Yankees in 2010. The Yankees took Williams in the fourth round of the MLB First Year Players Draft and signed him to a $1.5 million signing bonus.

Williams began his professional career with the Gulf Coast Yankees in 2010 appearing in just five games before getting the bump to the Staten Island Yankees in the New York Penn League for 2011. Mason won the NYPL Most Valuable Player Award in 2011 slugging three home runs with a .349/.395/.468 slash with 31 RBI and 28 stolen bases in just 68 games. After that monster 2011 season Baseball American named him the Yankees 5th best prospect in their farm system and the top prospect in the NYPL while Keith Law had Williams ranked 34th overall. Mason was on his way.

Williams got the promotion to the Charleston Riverdogs in 2012 and continued where he left off in 2011 collecting a .304/.359/.489 slash with eight home runs and 19 stolen bases before earning another promotion to the High-A Tampa Yankees. Williams looked to be settling in well with Tampa slashing .277/.302/.422 with three home runs in 22 games before a dislocated left shoulder ended his season. From 2013 to 2015 Williams never seemed completely right after the dislocated shoulder and a DUI conviction and was almost left unprotected by the Yankees in the 2015 Rule 5 Draft.

Williams was ultimately protected and was added to the 40 man roster and assigned to Double-A Trenton before the season. By May 20th Mason was already promoted to Triple-A with the RailRiders before earning the ultimate promotion on June 11th to the big leagues for his major league debut. Mason didn’t exactly take the easy way or the quick way to the major leagues but the important part is that he is here now and he made it. Congratulations Mason and welcome to the family. 

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)