Draft Preview: RHP Devin Williams (Hazelwood West HS)

By Ethan Silverman
Missouri Scouting Director

Few players in the Class of 2013 have generated and maintained as much buzz and hype as RHP Devin Williams from Hazelwood West HS (MO) . The 6-foot-3, 165-pound Williams has a long and lanky frame, with long legs and free and easy arm action. The ball jumps out of his hand with an effortless delivery.

Williams has a three-pitch arsenal, highlighted by a 91-93 mph fastball with late arm side run. He also flashes a two-plane knee bucking breaking ball and a changeup with late fade action. Williams shows the ability to throw all three pitches with confidence.

Committed to University of Missouri and a player who is getting plenty of attention from MLB scouts, Williams will have a difficult decision come draft time in June.

We caught up with Devin Williams to get his thoughts on what he has game through the past few years to get to an elite level and what he thinks about the future.

Williams has developed from a player who could just throw hard, to a pitcher who has a grasp on the art of pitching.

“The past few years I wasn’t hitting my spots at all,” he said. “I am definitely throwing harder now than I was before and locating all of my pitches. I think if I put on some weight, in the future I can be even better and throw even harder. Who knows what could happen from then?

 “Playing pro ball has been a dream of mine since I was a little kid, but if I don’t get what I am looking for in the draft I am not afraid to go to Missouri,” Williams said. “I have met with around 24 teams so far.”

The next few weeks and months through the high school season will be a tell-tale sign of how elite Williams can and should be. 

“I plan on throwing an extra bullpen during the week, on weekends, in between starts to make sure I am still throwing well and working on locating my pitches,” Williams said on his in-season throwing program to maintain his skills. “I also plan on eating right and maintaining my velocity and not lose any more weight.”

Williams, RHP Brian Howard and LHP Jake Brentz all play for the St. Louis Pirates summer program, and are the top three-ranked players in Missouri.  On the attention that the trio has received, Williams said, “We have a friendly competition, I think even more with Jake (Brentz) because we are going to school together next year and will be roommates.”

Williams is looking to build upon a successful 2012 season, in which he struck out 52 hitters in only 32.7 innings pitched.

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