The first day of the MLB draft has wrapped up and the Blue Jays have opted to add two pitchers to the system. With their first pick, they grabbed huge righty Alek Manoah, then, with their second pick, they picked up a high school arm, Kendall Williams.
Blue Jays take yet another IMG Academy pitcher off the board. Vanderbilt is getting a very good recruiting class but looks like they won't be keeping Kendall Williams.
— JJ Cooper (@jjcoop36) June 4, 2019
— Prep Baseball Report (@prepbaseball) June 4, 2019
Kendall Williams is super polished for a prep pitcher with his frame. He's got five pitches. Four-seam, two-seam, CB, SL and CH.
— Carlos Collazo (@CarlosACollazo) June 4, 2019
Like Manoah, Williams is a big righty with a power arm. He’s 6’6″ and can already throw in the mid-90s. He also features a 12-6 curveball that sits in the mid-70s. He’s apparently a very polished pitcher for his age who mixes speeds quite well.
Kendall Williams is a 2019 RHP/1B with a 6-6 190 lb. frame from Olive Branch, MS who attends IMG Academy. Very tall and athletic build, square shoulders, tons of physical projection. Slow paced side step delivery, hips are late getting out of their turn but torques them hard, timing intensive lower half mechanics but repeats it well, high 3/4’s slot with severe downhill angle when he’s down in the zone, really extends out to the plate. Fastball topped out at 94 mph, mostly straight with the big plane, maintained his velocity well. Curveball lacked power but gets over it consistently well and gets big depth with good feel for landing it. Tended to slow his arm and guide his change up, still a developing pitch. High ceiling young talent. Good student, verbal commitment to Vanderbilt. Selected to play in the 2018 Perfect Game All American Classic. – Source
It’ll be interesting to see if Williams, who has committed to go to Vanderbilt this fall, will sign with the Jays. The slot value for where he was selected is $1.40 million. I wonder if the strategy here is to go over slot with Williams and under slot with Manoah, who was selected a little higher in the draft than expected.
UPDATE: Here’s some positive news on Williams’ signability:
Good news on the signing front for Kendall Williams: https://t.co/PMTy8038HK
— Blue Jays Nation (@thejaysnation) June 4, 2019