In this ongoing series that will last most of spring training, we’re going to look at each player that will be in Major League camp with the Cincinnati Reds. Each post will have some information on the player. There will be some background information, profiling, projections, and more. To see all of the posts in the series, you can click here. Today we are going to look at outfielder Mason Williams.
Mason Williams’ Background
Acquired: 4th Round Draft pick, 2010 (Yankees). Signed with the Reds as a free agent in November 2017. Re-signed with the Reds as a free agent in December 2018.
Height/Weight: 6′ 1″ / 195lbs
Years of MLB Experience: Four.
Mason Williams was originally drafted out of high school by the New York Yankees back in 2010. He quickly became one of their top prospects, topping out as the #32 overall prospect in all of minor league baseball after the 2012 season in the Baseball America rankings. In June of 2015 he would reach the Major Leagues with the Yankees, and see action in parts of the next three seasons in the Majors.
Mason Williams’ 2018 Season
In spring training of 2018 Mason Williams caught some attention, but ultimately didn’t make the team and was sent to Triple-A. With the Bats he had a solid, but unspectacular April where he hit .281/.323/.421 for Louisville. He fell off of a cliff, so-to-speak, in May – posting a .602 OPS in 29 games. Things turned around quickly once June began, and over the next 42 games he hit .307/.384/.490 in Triple-A. He joined the Reds roster when Jesse Winker hit the disabled list in late July and he didn’t look back the rest of the season. Over the next three weeks he would start most days until Scott Schebler returned to the lineup, then he transitioned to a bench role. Over his 51 games played in Cincinnati he hit .293/.331/.398 over 132 plate appearances.
Mason Williams’ Playing History
When he was drafted, Mason Williams was just 18-years-old. He spent his first season at the complex level of rookie ball with the Yankees – playing in all of five games after signing at the deadline – which was then August 16th (it’s since been moved up to prevent players from basically missing their entire first season). From there he quickly worked his way up to Double-A, but that’s where he stalled out for a few seasons before putting things together in 2015 as a 23-year-old. Ever since then he’s been back-and-forth between Triple-A and the Major Leagues with the Yankees and the Reds.
Projecting Mason Williams for 2019
For a player who has been shuttled back-and-forth between Triple-A and the Major Leagues, Mason Williams has hit fairly well. The outfielder has a career .289 average with a .325 on-base percentage, and a .396 slugging percentage. For a guy who can play center field, that’s pretty good for a backup who’s been used as a 5th outfielder/shuttle guy. Two systems projected him for 2019 and they see things quite a bit differently. Marcels likes him quite a bit more than ZiPS does.
How could Mason Williams fit in Cincinnati in 2019?
There are two ways that Mason Williams can find himself in Cincinnati in 2019. The first would be much like last year: Good play in Triple-A and injuries opening up a spot for him. The other option would be that the team simply isn’t comfortable with their options in center field at some point. Williams has time there, and the Reds felt comfortable enough to play him there in the Major last season in 26 games. There doesn’t seem to be much of a chance, short of multiple injuries, that he breaks Goodyear with the club. But as the season goes along a spot could open up for a variety of reasons that could give him another shot.