The San Francisco Giants‘ farm system is mostly devoid of potential big league position talent, but outfield prospect Mac Williamson is a slugger with big-time upside. Williamson, the former No. 1 pitching prospect out of high school in North Carolina, redefined his baseball career as a full-time outfielder at Wake Forest University.
The Giants drafted Williamson in the third round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft. It took just four games for Williamson to make his name known at the rookie league level. He smashed two home runs and drove-in seven runs in 17 official at-bats, prompting an immediate promotion to low class-A in Salem-Kezier, where he continued to impress the Giants front office brass.
Williamson capped his first season as a pro with a .988 OPS in 29 games at the lowest level of A-ball. He crushed seven home runs in 125 plate appearances, leading to another promotion. The pitcher-turned-power hitter began the 2013 season at high class-A in San Jose, where he rampantly turned heads. Williamson belted 25 home runs and drove-in 89 runs in 520 official at-bats last season. He posted a .879 OPS in 136 games, but struck out 132 times.
Williamson enters Giants’ camp in 2014 with raw talent and sheer power. He possesses game-changing strength at 6-foot-5 and 240 pounds. He’s a true power-hitter who could potentially contend for a 25-man roster spot within the next two seasons. Williamson is an aggressive right-handed free-swinger, according to former big league scout Bernie Pleskoff of MLB.com.
Williamson also has decent speed for a player his size, registering 10 stolen bases in 11 tries last season. Pleskoff notes that Williamson has a compact swing, leveraging appropriated balance between his upper and lower body. He needs to increase his contact percentage before reaching the big leagues, but seemingly has the mechanics needed to sustain a powerful hitting stroke. He can play any outfield position and will likely see extended action in camp.
Spring Training will mark Williamson’s first chance first chance to showcase his natural talents in front of Giants’ coaches and trainers. A solid showing could land him on the fast track to the big leagues. At the moment, Williamson figures to begin the 2014 season at the double-A level in Richmond. But it wouldn’t be far-fetched for the Giants’ best power-hitting prospect to make the jump to triple-A, especially if he continues to turn heads in camp.