Ronnie Williams, RHP (Johnson City)
Credit: Bret Jacomet/Johnson City Cardinals
This isn’t Williams’ first instructional league rodeo. Probably won’t be his last, either. The 19-year-old righthander has a big arm but a raw feel for pitching. In high school in Miami and during his pro debut in the Gulf Coast League, he simply blew his mid-90s fastball by everyone.
A second-round pick of the Cardinals in 2014, Williams reported to Johnson City this summer and hung in there mostly because he was able to constistently locate the fastball in the lower half of the strike zone. He finished the season with 43 strikeouts and a 1.25 WHIP in 56 innings of work. Oh, he walked 25 hitters, too. If he’s going to have any prayer of sticking as a starter moving forward, Williams will have to bring along his curveball and changeup. He’ll be throwing those pitches almost exclusively in his similated instructional league games.