Halo HQ Top 10 Prospects: #10 Nonie Williams

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Updated: January 30, 2017

First up in our top ten prospect countdown is 2016 draft pick Nolan “Nonie” Williams.

Nonie Williams

Profile: 6’2”/202 lbs; Born 5/22/1998 (age 18); Kansas City, KS; Homeschooled; Drafted 2016, 3rd round, 96th pick; SS; Bats Switch/Throws Right

Halo HQ 30-80 Scale (Current/Ceiling)

Hit: 45/55, Power: 45/60, Run: 65/70, Fielding: 40/50, Arm: 55/65, Overall: 45/55

Batting

Williams was one of the best prep shortstops in the 2016 draft class due to his bat. He’s a switch hitter, but there is a clear difference in his swings from each side. His right handed swing looks a lot more natural and is his power swing. From the left side, he looks more like a slap hitter with gap power. His speed allows him to continue to switch hit, but I think once he gets to the high minors, he may have to abandon hitting from the left side. On both sides though, Williams has amazing hand speed. According to Perfect Game, his bat speed measured at 107.9 MPH, good enough to be in the top 0.11% of all prep players. He’s a strong kid from the right side, so his power coupled with his bat speed means he could be a great hitter in the future.

If you watch his swing, you can see he looks a little more comfortable from the right side. For a shortstop, he has surprising pop. You could compare his swing to another power hitting shortstop in Troy Tulowitzki. You can see that Williams has a bit higher leg kick, but both explode with their hands to make hard contact. Once he fills out his frame, he could be a dangerous hitter from the right side.

Running

This is Nonie’s best tool by far. On MLB.com he grades out as a 65, but he could end up being a 70-75 grade runner. At a 2015 Perfect Game showcase, he ran a 6.51 60-yard dash, which was in the top 1.1% of prep players. His speed on the basepaths should help him create more runs in the future, but he has to become a smarter baserunner. His speed also helps him out on the field. If he wants to stick at short, he has to use his speed to his advantage.

Fielding

This is the weak point in Williams’ game. In 28 rookie level games at shortstop this season, he made 11 errors for a .838 fielding percentage. He’s young, but he still won’t be a great fielder at short when all’s said and done. He will most likely be moved from short to third or second or even be converted into an outfielder when he gets to high minors. He would probably be best at third as Williams has a cannon for an arm. At Perfect game in 2015, his throw from short clocked in at 92 MPH, which is well above average. He will be able to make the throw from anywhere on the field, but it all depends on how well he is in the infield. I would like to see him at third, but he really is a wildcard on where he ends up from a defensive standpoint.

Overall/Projections

Williams is a really raw prospect right now. The only tools he has that seem near major league level are his speed and arm strength. His power is raw. His fielding is raw. His plate vision is raw. Everything about him screams raw, but once he grows into his body, he should become a legitimate prospect at whatever position he ends up at. At his best, he could end up as a Manny Machado/TuLo type of player at the major league level, but it is way too early to tell. His tools got him on this list. What he can do with them will decide if he stays on this list next year. He needs to get more consistent with the bat, improve his glove, and tap into that power from the right side. His ceiling is super high, but that’s only because his super young at just 18. This season should provide a glimpse of what kind of player he will be in the future. Most likely, Nonie will become a quality everyday infielder with some pop and speed.

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