Missouri RHP Breckin Williams Selected by Arizona Diamondbacks in Fourth Round of MLB Draft


Missouri Tigers righthanded pitcher Breckin Williams has been selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks with the first pick in the fourth round of the 2015 MLB Draft (pick 106). The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Williams had been ranked 166th among prospects in the 2015 draft class by MLB.com.

Williams, the Tigers’ closer in 2015, had a strong season as a junior. He pitched his way to a 1.98 ERA, a .235 opponent batting average, and 39 strikeouts over 25 appearances spanning 36.1 innings. Williams recorded 13 saves on the season.

The 6-foot, 200-pound Williams, a native of Joplin, Missouri, definitely made a strong improvement as a collegiate player; he wasn’t drafted when he was eligible as a high-schooler in 2012. Just from his sophomore to junior season, the velocity on his fastball has jumped from the high 80s to the low-to-mid 90s. He also has a plus cutter and a solid curveball that could make him a real challenge on the mound as a pro.

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He should have a chance to move aggressively as a pro, considering Tony La Russa and Dave Stewart’s near-total reconstruction of the Diamondbacks’ organization over the past year. Especially since he’s already established as as a reliever, Williams shouldn’t need a whole lot of extra seasoning before he’s ready to compete at the upper levels of the minor leagues.

Williams’ selection further lengthens an impressive streak for the Tiger baseball program. They’ve now had a pitcher selected yearly in the MLB Draft, dating back to 2008. Williams will look to join the likes of Tiger pitchers selected during that period, including Kyle Gibson, Aaron Crow, Nick Tepesch, and Matt Stites, who have gone on to pitch in the major leagues.

Next: Missouri State RHP Jon Harris Selected by Blue Jays