Guardians’ top pitching prospect Gavin Williams to make MLB debut against Athletics

June 20, 2023  -CLEVELAND (AP) — Guardians manager Terry Francona didn’t get to do much scouting of top pitching prospect Gavin Williams during spring training in Arizona.

He was forbidden.

“Don’t think they wanted me to,” Francona cracked on Tuesday. “They were afraid I might want to bring him with us.”

Williams is in Cleveland now, and the hard-throwing right-hander, who has quickly risen through the organization’s minor league system, will make his major league debut Wednesday night with a start against the Oakland Athletics.

A first-round draft pick in 2021, the 23-year-old Williams has overpowered hitters the past two seasons and now he and the Guardians will get to see whether he can dominate in the majors.

One day before his debut, Williams was still coming to grips with his promotion.

“I have no words for it,” he said. “I really don’t know how to describe it right now.”

Williams has gone 4-2 with a 2.39 ERA combined at Double-A Akron (three starts) and Triple-A Columbus (nine starts). He struck out 81 batters in 60 innings. Last season, Williams struck out 149 in 115 innings.

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