Tampa Bay Rays: Think twice before calling Alika Williams “glove-first”
By Seth Carter
One of the Tampa Bay Rays newest members via the 2020 MLB Draft is former ASU shortstop Alika Williams. He says his bat deserves some credit, too.
The Tampa Bay Rays selected Alika Williams with the 37th overall pick of the 2020 MLB Draft and Kiley McDaniel immediately told us that he was a glove-first shortstop.
While people like to talk about his glove, he wants you to know that his bat has something to say.
Williams has a career .300 average in 129 NCAA games and slashed .333/.429/.474 last season (2019) at Arizona State University. He smashed 4 HR, 12 2B, 9 SB, and 53 RBI in just 212 at-bats while often finding himself hitting cleanup.
He’s a very well-rounded player who walks more than he strikes out. He’s just the kind of player the Rays like.
Williams was recently interviewed by Karen Loftus of News Channel 8 WFLA.
"“I take pride in my defense for sure but I think I just want to be known as an all-around really good player.” He added about his bat, ” I hear a lot of people talk about my defense and how I’m a ‘glove-first guy,’ but I really enjoy hitting baseballs and squaring baseballs up so it’s something that I take pride in as well.”"
Alika Williams was previously selected by the New York Yankees in the 32nd round of the 2017 MLB Draft out of Rancho Bernardo HS (CA).
He finished third on the 2019 Arizona State team with 53 RBI, second in triples with three, second in steals with nine, and fourth in OBP with .429. This is a team that included some top talent such as 2020’s number one draft pick Spencer Torkelson and last year’s 10th overall pick Hunter Bishop.
Williams was the final piece to the Matthew Liberatore trade with the Cardinals. In all, the Rays received Jose Martinez, Randy Arozarena, and used their pick on Alika Williams.
He definitely fits the Rays mold. We all look forward to watching him progress through the Rays system.