He may not have the prototypical size of a center fielder, but everything about Donta’ Williams screams Major League player. That’s now been affirmed with his draft selection.
Williams, a left-handed hitting center fielder, was picked by the Baltimore Orioles in the 4th round (106th overall) of the 2021 MLB Draft on Monday. Per MLB.com, that pick has a draft “slot value” of $549,000.
The fourth-year junior was Arizona’s table setter in 2021, hitting .342 from the leadoff spot with 28 extra-base hits including eight home runs and 49 RBI. He led the Wildcats in walks (50) and on-base percentage, reaching base safely in 48 consecutive games before failing to do so in Arizona’s season-ending loss to Stanford in the College World Series.
In his career Williams hit .302 in 176 games, ranking 10th in school history in runs (181) and walks (118) and fourth in hit by pitches (40).
Williams, who is 5-foot-10, created a no-fly zone at spacious Hi Corbett Field. He had only four errors in 62 games in 2021 while making numerous highlight-reel catches.
Here’s what Baseball America had to say about Williams, whom it ranked as the No. 322 draft-eligible prospect in the country:
“Williams was one of the top high school players out of Nevada but after going undrafted in 2017 made it to campus at Arizona, where he has become an extremely polished hitter. He takes professional at-bats, with good feel to hit and an advanced understanding of the strike zone. His below-average power turned into some sneaky pop in 2021, when he hit six home runs in 203 at-bats during the regular season, but that’s not his game. He posted a slash line of .335/.487/.517 with 45 walks to 33 strikeouts. Williams is a scout favorite, and with his high floor and solid fourth outfielder profile is viewed as a relatively safe pick. Despite being only an average runner, Williams is a plus defender thanks to good instincts and feel for jumps and reads. His average arm with good carry will also serve him well in the corners. Williams swings at strikes, spraying balls around the field, but he needs to improve his bunting and bat path. Consistently playing at a high speed, Williams raises the level of play of those around him.”