San Francisco Giants and Mac Williamson reunite in desert


This is the twelfth in a series of articles, here at Around the Foghorn, covering the 22 non-roster invitees joining the San Francisco Giants in their spring training complex this season.

Mac Williamson is in camp with the San Francisco Giants as a non-roster invitee, attempting to take up this season, what was interrupted almost a year ago. Having completed his rehab from Tommy John Surgery (last April), Williamson will take up his pursuit of a major league career, beginning with the opportunity to impress Bruce Bochy by having a representative spring.

For him this would mean hitting a homerun every 5.6 games or every 19.9 at-bats, while playing outfield. Standing six-foot, five inches tall, and weighing in at 240 pounds, he bears a strong physical resemblance to another right-handed Giants outfielder, who just departed after a one-year stint with San Francisco, Michael Morse.

Aug 30, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants first baseman Michael Morse (38) hits an rbi double against the Milwaukee Brewers during the fourth inning at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

The tantalizing notion that the organization and its fans will get a firsthand glimpse at this prospect over the next six weeks, is certain to lend an air of expectancy to the whole proceedings.

Back from season-ending surgery, mac williamson has much to show the Giants and their fans.

Not so much that Williamson is expected to start depositing balls over AT&T Park’s walls, but fans would like to see him conduct himself in such a way as to give hope for the immediate future.

Lassoing a power hitter into AT&T park, is like trying to lure a top-notch pitcher into Coors Field: Given a choice, he will generally find a more user-friendly venue to ply his trade. But when the options involve continuing to play in the minors, or making the leap to the major leagues, be it AT&T Park, or the most spacious yard in the bigs, Williamson is going to go for the big top every time.

Having graduated from Wake Forest High School in Wake Forest, North Carolina, the home state of Madison Bumgarner, Williamson was rated the best pitching prospect in the state, but went on to attend Wake Forest University as an outfielder. There he was drafted in 2011, by the Boston Red Sox in the 46th round, but elected not to sign.

When the Giants selected him in the third round the following year, Williamson signed and began his professional career by playing four Rookie League games in Arizona, where he hit two homers in nineteen plate appearances. He also played that season in the Northwest League for  Salem Keizer, belting another seven round-trippers in 125 plate appearances.

Let’s take a quick look at some of his key offensive stats over his first two+seasons of pro ball:

2012: Combined stats for two teams: AZL Giants (4 G) of the Arizona League and the Salem Keizer Volcanoes (29 G) of the Northwest League/Age 21/144 PA/131 AB/26 R/42 H/8 2B/9 HR/32 RBI/0 SB/8 BB/24 SO/.321 BA/.375 OBP/.588 SLG/.963 OPS/77 TB

2013: San Jose Giants/California League/A+/Age 22/136 G/597 PA/520 AB/94 R/152 H/31 2B/2 3B/25 HR/89 RBI/10 SB/1 CS/51 BB/132 SO/.292 BA/.375 OBP/.504 SLG/.879 OPS/262 TB After not stealing a base in 2012, he stole ten in eleven tries his second season. And 89 RBIs in 136 games? That would extrapolate out to 106 runs knocked in over a full season in the bigs.

2014: San Jose Giants/California League/A+/Age 23/23 G/100 PA/85 AB/16 R/27 H/7 2B/0 3B/3 HR/11 RBI/6 SB/1 CS/13 BB/14 SO/.318 BA/.420 OBP/.506 SLG/.926 OPS/43 TB  Again, note the stolen bases to begin his season: seven attempts in his first 23 games, six of the successful. Also note that his ability to take the walk is improving.

Defensive stats for his two seasons that he played in the field: 140 G/284 Ch/258 PO/18 A/8 E/7 DP/.972 fld%

Because he was experiencing elbow issues prior to the start of the 2014 season, Williamson did not advance to Double-A ball, but remained as the San Jose Giants’ designated hitter, being unable to play in the field. Not until April 28th did he have the surgery done, meaning that the rest of the year was going to be taken up with rehabbing.

And now Mac Williamson is back on the field of play, though unseating Hunter Pence from his right field position, is going to take quite a performance. On the other hand, having converted from a pitcher to a right fielder when he went from WFH to WFU, transitioning from right field to left should not be that much of a stretch.

Not for someone like Williamson, who is six-feet, five inches tall.