- Mike Grimala, ESPNHS
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This story originally appeared in the April issue of ESPNHS Magazine.
Like most hitters, Trey Williams tries to keep things simple when he steps to the plate. He waits for a hittable pitch, stays back and focuses on spraying line drives up the middle or to the opposite field.
But unlike most other hitters, Williams has the raw power to consistently turn those line drives into towering home runs.
“I’m not trying to hit home runs,” says Williams, a senior who cracked nine HRs last year. “I try to focus on the fundamentals and let the pitcher supply the power.”
Williams is being modest, because he definitely generates most of the power. At 6-foot-2, 210 pounds he’s got the size and build of a classic slugger, and his bat speed is elite. He's rated the No. 21 player in the Class of 2012 by ESPNHS, and Major League scouts love everything about his game, which is why he’s projected to be a first-round pick when the draft rolls around in June.
“I’ve been hearing first round,” says Williams. “Anywhere from 1 to 17. I try not to think about it during the season, because I have more important things to worry about. I want to help my team first, so I try to push that stuff aside.”
While power is his ticket to the big leagues, Williams spent the offseason working on his speed and agility, hoping to improve in the field and on the basepaths. And his main goal this season isn’t to clear the fence as many times as possible, but to bat .500. Williams posted a .385 average last year, and he thinks a balanced approach at the plate can help him get to the .500 mark.
So far this season, Williams is batting .429 with three home runs.
And he’s still trying to keep things simple. With Williams anchoring the middle of the lineup, Valencia opened the spring at 9-6, so the team comes first. Williams’ MLB dreams will have to wait until after the season.
Follow Mike Grimala on Twitter (@ESPNHSGrimala).