LA Angels Top 25 Prospects: #25 Nonie Williams

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 14: Manager Mike Scioscia of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim walks out to batting practice before playing the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium on September 14, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 14: Manager Mike Scioscia of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim walks out to batting practice before playing the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium on September 14, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images) /

Here at Halo Hangout we’ve decided to compile a list of the Top 25 prospects within the LA Angels system in order to properly introduce you with the young talent in the organization.

The LA Angels bounty of talented prospects has grown year after year, and at this point in 2018 it seems like we’re seeing the biggest load of talent run through the system than ever before. Here we’re making easier for you to become acclimated with the system through out Top 25 Prospect List.

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Standout Angel prospects such as Jo Adell, Brandon Marsh and Griffin Canning have completed their first MiLB season with the Angels and are looking to establish themselves as future stars of the MLB after great first showings with the Angels. On the other hand the Angels draft class of 2018 look to begin what may be a long and fruitful career in professional baseball; guys like Jordyn Adams, William English and Jeremiah Jackson among others. There’s also the international signings of recent with prospects like Kevin Maitan and Livan Soto building themselves up as the next biggest international stars.

That’s a lot of talent to sift through and study, luckily for you we’re making it easier by compiling the Top 25 prospects you absolutely need to know about. In this list they’re ranked by talent, raw and future, as well as current performances and MLB-readiness. This doesn’t mean guys who were just drafted will automatically sit at the bottom of the list, one of the biggest keys in prospect profiling in evaluating future talent in respect to present toolsets. With that being said, let’s kickoff the Halo Hangout Top 25 Angels Prospects of 2018!

#25 Nonie Williams (Position: SS)

Drafted 2016 – 3rd Round (#96) 

Bats/Throws: R/R

Nonie Williams was drafted back in 2016 as a shortstop, the Angels prizing his raw ability and physical structure enough to take him in the third round. Williams was drafted out of high school, specifically Turner High in Kansas City, where he attended only a few classes, being primarily home-schooled, in order to become eligible to play on the school’s baseball team. Williams registers as a physical powerhouse, standing at 6’2 200lbs, which has in turn impacted his status as a shortstop. Despite him being noted as one of the fastest players in the 2016 draft class Williams has seen his physical maturation push himself into the outfield.

His move to the outfield is a consequence of both his physical development taking a few ticks off of his speed/foot quickness, the foot quickness already needing work coming out of the draft, and the status of fellow Angels prospects Kevin Maitan and Livan Soto, two athletes who look set to develop into advanced middle infielders.

That isn’t the only adjustment Williams has had to make to his baseball athletics as he progresses through the Angels system. Coming into the Angels system, Nonie Williams was a noted switch-hitter with measurable power from both sides of the plate. That’s changed with the Angels preference for Williams hitting solely from the right-side of the plate.  His development has been slow, but not a fault of his own, only because of the many changing parts in his athletics from high school to today. Defensively he’s had to adjust to a new position and offensively he has been working on a re-tooled swing.

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Speaking of his re-tooled swing, it’s been working well for him so far. A lot of the fat has been cut from his previous swing, such as losing his high foot kick as well as an improved sense of lower-body balance and focus and a more efficient hand path. The biggest issue for Williams to grapple has been his pitch-recognition and strike zone control. In the last two seasons he’s collected 180+ plate appearances (185 in 2017, 181 in 2018) and walked 14 times each season next to 53/50 K’s in 2017/2018. One noticeable improvement in his game has been his ability to drive the ball, thanks to his maturing physicality and refined swing.

His ability to assert himself offensively took an exponential jump from 2017-2018 as he refined his swing. In 2017 Williams hit only 3 doubles and 2 triples alongside a HR with 15 RBI’s to boot. His 2018 season across Rookie League Orem, his first season in this level, saw him improve his numbers to 8 doubles and 5 triples paired with 2 HR’s and 24 RBI’s. His offense is growing into a more assertive form with Williams taking hold of an ability to lift and drive the ball. That being said, Williams projects to be more of a power hitter than his current form. He has fantastic bat speed that, when paired with his growing strength, will allow him to punctuate his hitting form with extra pop.

All of this requires Williams to continue the refinement of his approach at the plate which is probably the biggest factor in a successful development for Williams. His shift from switch-hitting to exclusively batting right-handed required a reassessment of his pitch recognition, especially with breaking balls, which has shown improvement since the switch.

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His defensive work has left a bit of development to be desired; 2018 was his first year working as a professional outfielder while collecting a fielding percentage of .942 across the season (200.2 innings in CF, 14.1 in LF). His defensive range requires serious expansion, but as we’ve seen from Williams patience is key in observing his improvements. Everything has been on the upswing for him and that’s what can conservatively be expected when evaluating Nonie Williams. His physical maturation has exasperated his lacking initial quickness and footwork, however it should be noted his speed is still in strong form. With a focus on his defensive footwork and jumps on the ball his speed will play back into his defensive ability and project him to an above average defender. With more liberal expectations in mind we may see him develop into an advanced defender.

Overall, Nonie Williams projects as an above-average Major Leaguer whose prominent tools sit with his ability to make efficient contact and drive the ball as well as his plus speed. He just finished his 3rd MiLB season, though he hasn’t spent any time in A Ball or above which will test the strength of continuing development. The biggest factor in Nonie Williams success is the refinement of his strike-zone control and efficiency at the plate in terms of being able to single out his pitch and work himself into favorable counts.

Best Tools: Size, Strength, Speed, Bat Speed

Developmental Needs: Pitch Recognition, Strike Zone Control, Asserting Confidence, Defensive Footwork

MLB Estimation: 2021-2022