Get to Know Giants’ Prospect Mac Williamson


Some great hitters have come through the San Francisco Giants farm system in the past decade or so. Pablo Sandoval, Buster Posey, and Joe Panik are all great homegrown players from the Giants organization. But one thing that the Giants don’t produce as much is power.

Guys like Sandoval and Posey all have pop, but they aren’t known as typical power hitters. But there is a young man in the organization now who probably has the most raw power the team has seen in years.

Mac Williamson looks like a power-hitting outfielder. He stands 6’5” and weighs in around 240 pounds. He’s built more like an NFL tight end than a baseball player.

Williamson played college baseball for the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. In 2011, the Boston Red Sox drafted the right-handed hitting outfielder in the 46th round, but he didn’t sign, opting instead to stay for his senior year. That would prove to be a great choice.

In that final year, Williamson hit .286, led the Demon Deacons with 52 RBI’s, and led the ACC with 17 home runs. For his effort, he was awarded First-Team All-ACC honors.

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After his tremendous season, the Giants drafted Williamson in the third-round, 110th overall. He was placed in rookie ball in the Arizona League but stayed there for only four games. He had three hits, two of which were home runs.

Williamson was then promoted to the Low-A Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, where he tore the cover off the ball. In just 29 games, he hit .342 with seven home runs and 25 RBI’s. He ended the season second on the team in home runs, despite being on the team for less than a third of the season.

In 2013, he picked up right where he left off the previous year. He was promoted to the Class A-Advanced San Jose Giants. He played 136 games and finished with an impressive slash line of .292/.375/.504. Williamson led the team with 25 home runs, 89 RBI’s and 51 walks. He also showed off a little bit of speed, as he stole 10 bases.

Before the 2014 season, Baseball America ranked Williamson as the Giants’ fifth best prospect, and expectations seemed pretty high for the young slugger.

However, the 2014 season derailed pretty quickly for Williamson. The team wanted to place him with the Double-A Richmond Flying Squirrels, but an elbow injury prevented him from being able to play defense, so he was sent back to San Jose, where he would be able to play DH.

He got off to a quick start with San Jose, as he hit .318 with three home runs, seven doubles, 11 RBI’s, 13 walks, and six stolen bases in 23 games. But soon, the pain and discomfort became too much to play through, and he was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his 2014 season.

Feb 23, 2014; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; San Francisco Giants right fielder Mac Williamson (85) poses for a photo during photo day at Scottsdale Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Williamson has all the tools to be a very good major league outfielder. He plays good defense, as his above average speed gives him solid range. He also possesses a very strong, and quite accurate, throwing arm.

His power is easily his best tool. But like many of the big power hitters of our time, he does struggle with strikeouts, as he whiffed 132 times in 597 plate appearances in 2013. The 22 percent rate is higher than the major league-average of 18 percent but not overly terrible.

Williamson is great at getting on base, not just by walking, which he did 51 times in 2013, but also by getting hit with pitches. In 2012, at Wake Forest, he was plunked 13 times in just 52 games. In 2013, he was hit 21 times. The ability to work a walk, and fearlessness to take a beaning, led to an outstanding .375 OBP in 2013.

At 24 years old, he is a little older than most prospects at his level. But the injury last season really derailed his progress, as he probably would have ended up with the Triple-A Fresno Grizzlies at some point in the year.

Even though Williamson has played right field his entire minor league career, he is athletic enough to be able to make a smooth transition to left field, where there is currently an open spot on the big league club.

Without the injury, Williamson may have been considered as a September call-up when rosters expanded, especially with the injury problems that Michael Morse faced late in the season.

Spring Training in 2015 will be a big opportunity for Williamson. He should be fully healed and ready to show what he’s got by then.

But one thing is for certain, the bright lights are shining on Williamson’s future, and he is supplying the power.