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At 59, Mariners Select Projectable Lefty Brandon Williamson

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Likely an under-slot value, Seattle now has flexibility

TCU pitcher Brandon Williamson may not be the sexiest pick, but he’s certainly a projectable left hander with a reasonable ceiling.

He also likely carries an under-slot bonus designation, allowing Seattle to go after pitcher Isiah Campbell with their next selection.

Williamson is an interesting pick. When he’s right, he’s a lanky starting pitcher who has a long stride to home plate, allowing his low-90s fastball to play up. His slider sits low 80s and he’s still developing a changeup, which he’ll need to do to be effective at the next level.

At 6-foot-6, Williamson creates a good downhill plane, especially for his breaking stuff. His stride mitigates some of the depth he could create, but again, it all sneaks up on batters faster than expected.

In 77 innings last season, the Horned Frog struck out 89 batters and walked 36. But Seattle isn’t drafting him for what he is. They’re drafting him for what he could be.

One National League scout said Williamson was on his radar as well, but to be frank, not this early.

“I haven’t seen enough from him to pull the trigger this early,” he said. “There’s no doubt there’s something there, but with the hip, I’d need to see more.”

The hip the scout is referring to is actually two hips. Williamson had surgery to repair the labrum in both of his hips last fall, something that he apparently recovered from quickly given his innings posted this season.

Regardless, Williamson is a project, but one with a higher ceiling than many give him credit for. When pressed for a comparison, this scout admitted it’s too early to call for someone like Williamson.

“He’s probably going to be a different pitcher in three years but he reminds me of a young Drew Smyly.”

Williamson likely slots into the late teens as far as Mariners top prospects lists go.

Look forward to seeing Williamson in Everett in a couple weeks, just so long as signing him doesn’t lead to any hiccups.