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MLB Draft 2016: Angels sign 3rd round pick Nolan Williams

Williams' high school coach gives us some insight into the newest member of our farm system

George Walden

Many thanks to Nolan Williams's high school baseball coach, George Walden for the information in this article!  Walden has been with the Turner High School baseball program for 11 years and has been head coach for the last two years.

According to Walden, Nolan Williams signed and headed to LA on Sunday.  From there he will head to Angel's extended spring training in Tempe to prepare for his rookie ball season.  This is great news for one of the more exciting picks out of the 2016 draft.

Halos Heaven:  What is your overall impression of Nolan?

Nolan is a ridiculous Athlete.  Quickest hands and feet I have ever seen as a coach or a player.

Can you tell me about his size?

He is 6'2 and 212 lbs.  He was listed lighter on purpose so he'd seem bigger to the scouts.

That big and that fast?

He has been clocked at 6.46 (laser timed) 60 yard dash.  Elite speed.  He is a big dude but also very lean at the same time.

Speed and size like that are  hard combination to come by.  What can you tell me about his arm?

Nolan's throw has been been clocked at 97 MPH across the diamond from SS.

Since we are on the topic of speed, what about his bat speed?  It seems impressive.

He had the second highest ever recorded bat speed at the All-American Perfect Game.  It was clocked at 109 MPH.  He hits the absolute piss out of the ball from both sides of the plate.

Do you think he will stay a switch hitter?

Probably 75% of the scouts I talked to made it sound like they would ditch his LH swing once he gets to pro ball.  It will be interesting to see if they let him keep it.

What about his position? He's kinda big for a SS

As a freshman/sophomore, I would have bet my house that he would be moved from shortstop.  His hands, arm angle, and feet all improved so much during his three years with us.  Now there is a chance they would let him stay there.

Where else could he play?

Ultimately I see him as OF, maybe CF or RF.  But his glove, feet, and arm play well at 3B and 2B as well.  It kinda depends on what the Angels need.  Some scouts see him as a potential catcher because of his hands and footwork.  He had a 1.81 pop time from one of the scouts.  Teams will be hesitant to take away his gift of speed though by locking him behind the plate.

When did you first see him?

He came to our camp as a 6th grader and decided to stay, even though every team in the KC area wanted him.  Lucky us!  Oklahoma, UCLA, LSU, and others all called about him before his first game as a freshman.

How come he only has stats for 20 games last year?

That's a Kansas High School Athletics thing.  It's all they let us play. It's a competitive advantage thing supposedly.

How about that batting cage his dad built for him?

He built that hitting tunnel when Nolan was 8.  It has three hitting cages with astro turf.  It's big enough to hit ground balls in.  During the winter our team practices there.

I understand Nolan has some connections to other top picks in the draft?

He grew up playing ball and is friends with Riley Pint who went #4 to Colorado.  His best friend Cole Duensing was drafted 6th round by the Angels.  Duesing has also already signed.

What else can you tell me about Nolan?

He has a tremendous work ethic.  He's a gym rate, physical freak, and a great kid.  You guys got a good one!  He was Kansas 5A player of the year as a sophomore.  He comes from a great family.  He was home schooled but took one class at the high school so he could play with us.

Check out this great video about Nolan here.