Prospect Williamson could be power source for Giants
Under-the-radar Class A outfielder has ability to turn game with one swing
San Francisco Giants outfield prospect Jonathan "Mac" Williamson intrigues me. There is something about him that makes me sit up and take notice. Power. That's what it is. I think Williamson will ultimately offer the Giants a commodity currently in short supply. Power. It's a wonderful tool.
Mac Williamson was a high-velocity pitcher at Wake Forest Rolesville High School. In fact, he was ranked as the No. 1 pitching prospect in North Carolina.
Williamson chose to attend Wake Forest University. After redshirting as a freshman, he fashioned an outstanding baseball career. Not as a pitcher, but as an outfielder.
The Boston Red Sox selected Williamson in the 46th round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft. He decided to return to Wake Forest.
The following June, the San Francisco Giants chose Williamson with their third-round pick. He ultimately signed a professional contract.
In the 2012 season, Williamson began his career playing four Rookie League games in Arizona. He hit two home runs in only 19 plate appearances.
Later that season, Williamson was moved to Class A Salem-Keizer in the Northwest League. Once again, Williamson's loud bat made an impression. He hit another seven homers in 125 plate appearances, giving him nine in his first professional season.
This season, Williamson was promoted again. He is now playing at Class A Advanced San Jose in the California League.
Williamson has the swing mechanics and bat speed to get loft on the ball and enough raw power and strength to reach the seats. So far, he has 16 home runs and 51 RBIs in 89 games.
Even with that production, Williamson may be playing a bit under the radar.
Like many power hitters, Williamson experiences his share of swings and misses. He has struck out 85 times in 386 trips to the plate. But he has the type of undeniable power that can change the outcome of a game with one swing of the bat.
Williamson is 6-foot-5 and 240 sturdy pounds. He's strong, nimble and in great shape. I don't see much future change in his physique. At age 22, his body is fully mature and well-proportioned.
The right-handed-hitting Williamson is appropriately aggressive at the plate. He has a compact swing with good balance of both his lower and upper body. His hands are strong and his forearms and wrists assist well in the entire swing process. He has the ability to use the entire field, a nice bonus for a power hitter.
Defensively, Williamson can play any outfield position. I like his arm strength as a right fielder.
Williamson moves well for such a big man. He has valuable speed.
I can see a Giants future with Williamson taking part as an everyday player or fourth outfielder with the ability to win a game with one swing of his powerful bat. I don't think he'll be under the radar very long.
Bernie Pleskoff has served as a professional scout for the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.