A continuation of our Spring Training non-roster invitee series with one of the top 100 prospects in Major League Baseball with outfielder Mason Williams. The Yankees don’t have too many in the top prospects lists from different publications (Williams and catcher Gary Sanchez) and you’ll be able to get a look at both of these guys during spring training.
In a season with lofty minor-league expectations last season, Williams didn’t deliver like the Yankees thought he would. Williams reached AA Trenton for the first time in his career, but struggled in 17 games with a .153/.164/.264 line with one homer and four RBI. He put up decent numbers for high-A Tampa. A .261/.327/ .350 line. He hit just three homers and drove in 24 runs, but he stole 15 bases and had 21 doubles. He played in the Arizona Fall League, where he posted a .267/.330/.337 line with four RBI and four steals. Williams has all sorts of ability, he just needs to stay healthy and put it together.
Williams should be spending all of this season in AA, and if he hits enough, could earn a promotion to AAA. He could even put himself into a position for a 40-man roster spot or a call-up in 2015.
The Yankees will have questions with their corner outfield positions. Brett Gardner is a free agent after this season. Carlos Beltran is getting older and may need even more time at DH then he will get this season. Williams, even though he’s a center fielder, could find himself in left as a cheap alternative to the free agent market if he continues to develop.
Williams is a former fourth round pick who won’t turn 23 until August. He just needs time and he could be a big part of the Yankees future.