College Baseball Daily continues our countdown to the start of the 2013 college baseball season by checking in on the Top 100 Players in the country. We will be providing one player per day until we reach number 1.
Number 88 on our Top 100 Countdown is UCLA’s Kevin Williams. The 6’0 second baseman from Van Nuys, California was a 41st-round draft pick by the Dodgers in 2010 and began his career at UCLA seeing a good amount of playing time.
As a freshman, Williams saw action in 28 games including 20 starts. While Williams’s freshman season wasn’t statistically significant, the season clearly helped Williams develop into a complete player, as was evident in his stellar sophomore season.
During the 2012 season, Williams was the outright starter for the Bruins at second base and a solid bat in the order for UCLA. Williams posted a .302 batting average on the season including six doubles, two homers and 27 RBI. Perhaps one of the most notable moments of his season and career was when Williams proved clutch, as one of his two homeruns on the year was a walk-off with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to defeat Arizona State. Williams’s consistent performance throughout the season helped the Bruins secure a spot in Regionals and eventually the College World Series.
Although Williams was recovering from a knee injury during the latter half of the 2012 season, it didn’t come as too much of a shock that Williams was chosen to play in the prestigious Cape Cod League in the summer of 2012 for the Brewster Whitecaps. Throughout the summer, Williams’s defense continuously impressed in the Cape, where he stood out even amongst some of the best fielding players in the country.
From a scouting perspective, if you’re looking for a defensive stud, Williams is your guy. He had 27 double plays on the year, 106 putouts and 222 catches for the Bruins in 2012 while posting a .977 fielding percentage primarily at second base. He has great intuition that creates a sense of confidence among any infield where he plays. Also a strong left-handed batter, Williams continues to improve at the plate. Another year at UCLA will do great things for his bat, as the composure at the plate that is taught in that program has already allowed significant improvement during his time there. Williams’s continuous growth and defensive dominance leave lots of room for excitement, making him one of the top 100 players in the country to watch for in 2013.