Welcome to our second Minor League Profile series. This time the spotlight lands on OF Johnathan Mackensey “Mac” Williamson. Like the center of our first profile, Kyle Crick, Williamson was also invited to join the San Francisco Giants at their Spring Training camp.
Williamson is a 22-year-old, right-handed power-hitting OF from Wake Forest University. In two years as a Demon Deacon, Williamson hit .276 in 107 games with 39 extra-base hits (19 homeruns), 86 RBIs and an .838 OPS. Demon Deacons Head Coach Tom Walter described Williamson in 2012 as “a five tool player who is just coming into his own as a hitter… He has turned himself into an elite prospect. He is the kind of player who can take over a game.” This is the player that caught the attention of the Giants and prompted them to draft Williamson in the 3rd round (115th overall) of the 2012 MLB June Amateur Draft.
At 6’4” and 240lbs, Williamson is a big strong hitter (bigger than big Chris Davis even, and yes, I’m drawing a slight comparison between “Mac” and “Crush”). In his first four games in the Arizona Rookie League, Williamson hit two home runs in just 19 plate appearances (for reference, that’s 63 homeruns over a full season’s worth of ABs). He is also an above-average defender, with above-average speed in the field and a very strong arm well suited for either corner outfield spot, but especially right field.
In 2013, Williamson moved up to the San Jose Giants, where he had the team’s top offensive year, batting .292/.375/.504 in 137 games. He led the team in home runs (25 – also good for 3rd most in the California League), RBIs (89), on-base percentage and slugging percentage. His 2013 performance has earned him an invite to the big league spring camp and makes him the top outfield prospect for the Giants. He’s expected to start the season at AA Richmond and make his big league debut some time in 2015.
Where Williamson might struggle as he moves through the minors is with his strikeouts. Currently, Williamson can be long and slow in his swing, which could cause him trouble as he starts to face stronger and smarter pitching. If he is able to tighten his swing and continue to develop as the opposition facing him does, there’s no reason that he can’t maintain a near-.300 batting average with 25+ home runs every season.
A near-.300 batting average with 25+ homeruns? Sounds like the kind of power-hitting leftfielder the Giants have been looking for. Sure, for now there is Mike Morse, but after that?
Williamson is going to be exciting to watch – big, strong, athletic with a power arm and power swing – and is definitely someone to keep an eye on as he makes his Spring Training debut at the end of this month.
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