GM Matt Klentak said Williams has some "finishing touches" he needs to work on before he will be considered for a promotion to the majors, Ben Harris of MLB.com reports. "We'd like when players that come up here, they have a decent chance of staying and that's the thing," Klentak said. "There's some finishing touches for Nick that he's working on and he knows what he's working on."
Williams is slashing .280/.314/.516 with 13 home runs and five stolen bases in 225 at-bats for Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He is said to have plus bat speed, but he also is very aggressive at the plate which has lead to high strikeout rates throughout his minor-league career. He's not going to be an asset in OBP leagues when he finally gets the call, but he does have an intriguing blend of power and speed which could make him quite valuable if he is able to make enough contact when he gets to the majors. The Phillies are likely to trade a few veterans before the July 31 deadline which should open up a roster spot for Williams to see time in the majors over the final two months of the season.
Williams went 2-for-5 with two home runs and four RBI for Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Sunday.
Williams has an 11-game hitting streak at Triple-A Lehigh Valley which has raised his slash line to .282/.315/.518 with 10 home runs and four stolen bases in 170 at-bats. Williams is still striking out at a healthy clip, but at least the offensive production has been there when he makes contact. The Phillies will likely give him a look in the outfield later this summer.
Williams went 3-for-3 with his first home run of the season Saturday for Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Williams is off to an OK start, hitting .265/.297/.412 with two doubles, the homer and two stolen bases. The biggest issue remains his lack of plate discipline. He has struck out 12 times in 10 games with just one walk. He walked just 19 times and struck out 136 times in 125 games last season. Williams is still just 23 years old and has time to figure things out, but it would be nice to see him start reining in his free-swinging ways a bit.
Williams was optioned to minor league camp Friday.
The Phillies' No. 5 prospect, per RotoWire's rankings, needs a little more time at Triple-A Lehigh Valley, where he hit 13 home runs and drove in 64 runs last year but also was saddled with a .258/.287/.427 line. Williams had no struggles in his first full Double-A campaign last year (split between the Rangers' Frisco and the Phillies' Reading affiliates), totaling 17 taters, 55 RBI and 13 steals with a .303/.354/.491 line over 515 plate appearances. At his peak in the majors, Williams could offer a similarly diverse stat line.
Williams, 23, hit .258/.287/.427 with 13 home runs, 136 strikeouts and 19 walks in 527 plate appearances at Triple-A Lehigh Valley last season. He was hitting .290 with a .790 OPS through the end of July, but then hit just .161 with a .478 OPS over the rest of the season. Williams' struggles led to a drop in his status as a prospect, but he's still the same physically gifted player that was on every list of the top 100 prospects last year. If this new swing helps him produce at the plate, he'll force his way to the majors by midseason.
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|More Batting Stats|
|Minor League Batting Stats|
|2014||AFA-Myrtle Beach Pelican||94||377||61||110||28||4||13||68||19||117||5||7||.343||.491||.292|
|2015||AA-Reading Fightin Phil||22||97||21||31||5||2||4||10||3||20||3||0||.340||.536||.320|