9. Justin Williams
Justin Williams was drafted in the second round of the 2013 MLB Draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks our of high school. Williams found himself ranked as the number nine prospect in the Rays’ system for the second year in a row.
Williams played the majority of the 2014 season at the ripe-old-age of eighteen. Still playing Diamondbacks organization, Williams slashed .351/.403/.467 between two levels. He spent 46 games in Missoula and 28 games at Low-A South Bend for the D-backs.
Following the 2014 season, the Rays acquired Williams’ services in a trade. Williams was projected to reach the majors by 2018 with 20-25 home run power.
In 2018, Williams’s power number seemingly disappeared. His slugging percentage from .489 in 2017 to .376 in 2018. Additionally, he saw his average drop to .258 with an on-base of only .313. These numbers were a far cry from his 2017 .301/.364/.489 in AA-Montgomery.
Nonetheless, Williams did make his major league debut in 2018 with the Rays. He played in one game and earned one at-bat.
Justin Williams’s claim to fame with the Tampa Bay Rays is that he was a part of the package that brought Tommy Pham during the 2018 season.
A little hope remains for Justin Williams with the Cardinals. Last season he absolutely tore it up in AAA-Memphis. It was a small sample size (36 games) but he slashed .353/.437/.608.
There’s a possibility Williams resurfaces in the big leagues this season at age twenty-four. He caught some eyeballs with his scorching performance last season, but the Cardinals already have a logjam in the outfield.
Williams currently finds himself ranked outside of the Cardinals’ top ten prospects according to most publications.