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Top prospect countdown: #13 Nonie Williams

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Nonie Williams-SS

The Angels 3rd round pick from 2016 is far from short on tools and work ethic. After the 2016 draft, I had the opportunity to speak to Nonie’s high school coach (George Walden) and he couldn’t say enough great things about Williams, from the batting tunnel his parents built in their house (and the team practices there in the winter), to his pure speed and athleticism. Nonie was drafted at age 17 and didn’t even finish high school until after his pro debut in the Arizona League. He played varsity ball his freshman through junior years and with 156 plate appearances hit .464/.523/.876 with 11 home runs and 24 stolen bases in 26 attempts.

Nonie Williams is the definition of a very raw player with huge upside potential in that he has insane athletic ability and build, but he definitely has some fine tuning that needs to happen from a baseball perspective. In High school, he even pitched 13 innings over two seasons and struck out 17 with a 2.15 ERA - a testament to his athleticism and arm strength.

Williams will probably not stick at SS, but could make a great outfielder with his plus arm and plus plus speed. In 38 rookie ball games, he played all of them at short stop, but he made 19 errors. He may also land at third base with his good hands and footwork. Power, speed, and arm are his best assets. In fact, Williams is pretty strong across the board and it’s hard to not get a little bit of cautious excitement over his future potential as a guy who could hit .270 with 30 home run and 30 stolen base potential.

Williams struggled at the plate to start 2016, but don’t let that fool you. He spent a lot of time hitting from the left side, and although is listed as a switch hitter, the right side is where his best skills are. Despite that, Williams adjusted and turned his .205 average from the first half into a .277 with a .318 OBP in the second half of the season. Surprisingly, he didn’t hit any home runs, but he DID swipe 8 bases in 38 games. Williams ended the season strong, hitting .326 over his last 10 games. Williams was sent to the instructional league in the fall and should start in Orem in 2017. He is young, so his arrival could be years away, but he will sure be exciting to watch develop as he moves through the system.