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A Confident Garrett Williams Finds Success



Every once in a while, things just click for someone who has endured more than his share of struggles.

Case in point: 23-year-old lefthander Garrett Williams.

The 2016 seventh-round pick did not have a lot of success at Oklahoma State and then ran up a  5.68 ERA in 25.1 innings with short-season Salem-Keiser.

Turn the page to 2017 and it seemingly became an entirely different book. With low Class A Augusta and high Class A San Jose, Williams went 6-5, 2.32 and 96 strikeouts in 97 innings.

Williams couldn’t pick out one specific reason for his turnaround but said it had a lot to do with confidence.

“The more I threw, the better I felt, the more feel I had for my pitches and my body,” he said. “I was able to make adjustments when I needed to and to know what those adjustments were and how to get back to them quicker than normal.”

Mainly a reliever in college, Williams has thrived as a starter.

“He competes. He’s got a great presence on the mound,” general manager Bobby Evans said. “. . . He really showed us that he’s advanced as you could hope for this early in his career. He really turned some heads.”

Williams quickly made a strong impression with San Jose. In his first start, he struck out 10 Visalia hitters in six shutout innings on Aug. 2.

“He’s very, very, very disciplined,” San Jose shortstop Ryan Howard said of Williams. “He has a plan of what he’s trying to do. It’s kind of hard to explain, but the way that he goes about his business . . . is so far advanced from most of the guys.”

Listed at 6-foot-1, 205 pounds, Williams has been working on a changeup in instructional league; he basically threw only a fastball and curveball this season.

Mastering a changeup would give Williams only more confidence.

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“Trust your talent and your ability. That’s what got you there in the first place,” Williams said. “I have confidence in myself and my performance is showing that.”

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