By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network
The Cleveland Guardians called up their No. 1 prospect and the 16th-ranked prospect on MLB.com Pipeline, starting pitcher Gavin Williams, ahead of his Major League debut WEdnesday at home against the Oakland Athletics at 7 p.m. EDT.
Williams was selected by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2017 Major League Baseball Draft in the 30th round, but did not sign, instead enrolling at East Carolina University for his freshman year.
During the 2018 season, Williams missed some time due to a forearm strain and still put up reasonable numbers, throwing 15.2 innings through 15 games and recording a 1.15 ERA, allowing nine hits, one home run, walking seven, and striking out nine in his freshman season.
In William’s sophomore season, he went 1-4 with a 4.56 ERA through 21 games, throwing 49.1 innings allowing 40 hits, three home runs, walking 23 batters, and striking out 56 recording a 1.277 WHIP. As a junior, Williams went 10-1 recording a 1.88 ERA through 12 starts throwing 81.1 innings allowing 57 hits, three home runs, walking 21 batters, and striking out 130.
The Cleveland organization selected Williams with the 23rd overall pick in the first round of the 2021 Major League Baseball Draft and later signed him for $2.25M.
Williams made his professional debut starting in High-A in 2022 with the Lake County Captains, posting a 2-1 record in nine starts with a 1.40 ERA, throwing 45 innings and allowing 25 hits, no home runs, walking 14, and striking out 67 before getting promoted to Double-A Akron.
In the second half of the 2022 regular season in Double-A, Williams went 3-3 with a 2.31 ERA in 16 starts throwing 70 innings allowing 44 hits, nine home runs, walking 26 batters, and striking out 82.
This season, Williams split time between Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus, posting a 2.54 ERA combined at both levels with a 4-2 record, throwing 60.1 innings and allowing 35 hits, six home runs, walking 24 batters, and striking out 81.
William’s fastball averages 97 mph and has gotten up to 101 mph throughout the course of the season, and he’s struck out 33.3% of the batters he has faced since arriving in Triple-A.