The 3rd Man In

Garrett Williams’ ride to the top

Garrett Williams has had an eventful baseball career to date. As a 12-year-old boy, Williams rose to stardom for his performance at the 2007 Little League World Series, when he led his team to a third-place finish, while striking out 42 batters in 16 innings in the tournament.

Then, in high school, he was selected to play for Team USA and won a gold medal with the 2012 USA Baseball 18-and-under team.

Williams finished his high school career off by being selected in the 33rd round of the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft by the San Diego Padres. He passed on the opportunity to turn pro, instead attending Oklahoma State to continue his baseball career and education.

“Out of all the places I visited I knew the coaches were the ones who’d develop me,” Williams, a left-handed pitcher, said. “They had the assists I need to become a better player on the mound.

“I really enjoy the things they do around here. They have a personal relationship with all their players. They are team ordinated. I know I made the right decision, and I have no regrets.”

William’s first two seasons at Oklahoma State haven’t gone as he’d hoped, as he has struggled in limited action.

Despite facing adversity, Williams has continued to work at his craft and is pleased with how he’s developed during his time at Oklahoma State.

Now a junior, Williams is hoping he can produce to the level he knows he’s capable of, no matter what his role is this season.

“I think experience plays a huge role in how you perform,” Williams said. “I want to perform the best I can for my team. The past two years I feel like I’ve devoted myself to the program, but I haven’t done my part. I just want to do good for the team and help the team win.”

However, the 2016 season hasn’t started like he’d hoped. Williams has missed the first three weeks of the season due to left shoulder tendinitis and is unsure of when he will return to game action, he said.

“I’m a competitor, and when I’m not play it’s extremely difficult for me to stay calm,” Williams said. “Seeing my team out there playing and not being able to help them out and do my role (is challenging).

“The best I can do right now is to be a cheerleader on the sidelines, and give them the support they need.”

Once Williams returns to the mound, he will have high expectations placed on his shoulders. Despite, his lack of success in his first two college seasons, he is expected to be selected in the early rounds of the 2016 draft.

The 6-foot-1, 199-pound hurler is ranked 39th on Baseball America’s top college draft prospects list.

Williams has a three-pitch mix that generates a high number of strikeouts. He throws a fastball that sits in the low-90s with good life, an above average curveball and a solid changeup.

However, during his college career, he has struggled with his command, averaging 7.50 walks per nine innings. If Williams can consistently throw strikes this season, there’s no question he’ll move up draft boards.

“The No. 1 goal is to have fun and go out and compete,” Williams said. “The rest will take care of itself. Control what I can control and don’t worry about what I can’t. I just want to go out and compete to the best of my ability.”

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