Guardians prospect Gavin Williams promoted to Double-A Akron RubberDucks

CLEVELAND, OHIO - APRIL 20: The new Cleveland Guardians logo on the uniform of Myles Straw #7 of the Cleveland Guardians prior to game one of a doubleheader against the Chicago White Sox at Progressive Field on April 20, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OHIO - APRIL 20: The new Cleveland Guardians logo on the uniform of Myles Straw #7 of the Cleveland Guardians prior to game one of a doubleheader against the Chicago White Sox at Progressive Field on April 20, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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CLEVELAND, OHIO – APRIL 20: The new Cleveland Guardians logo on the uniform of Myles Straw #7 of the Cleveland Guardians prior to game one of a doubleheader against the Chicago White Sox at Progressive Field on April 20, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OHIO – APRIL 20: The new Cleveland Guardians logo on the uniform of Myles Straw #7 of the Cleveland Guardians prior to game one of a doubleheader against the Chicago White Sox at Progressive Field on April 20, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Gavin Williams was promoted to the Double-A Akron RubberDucks following a sensational start to his 2022 season with High-A Lake County.

As if the Akron RubberDucks rotation wasn’t already a Double-A juggernaut, it just got another dynamic starter added to its ranks. Flamethrower Gavin Williams was recently promoted to Double-A Akron following a prolific stint with the Lake County Captains.

The Guardians made Williams a first-round pick in the 2021 MLB Draft, with some scouts touting him as potentially being the best pitcher in the entire class (which included the likes of Jack Leiter, for reference).

Williams made his professional debut with Lake County this season, and has demolished hitters with the kind of stuff you’d expect to see in the higher levels of the organization, if not on the major-league roster itself. The 22-year-old started nine games, throwing 45 innings while compiling a 1.40 ERA. He was as tough to hit as anyone in High-A, allowing only a .167 BA and striking out 67 batters (good for 13.4 Ks/9 IP). He maintained an impressive WHIP of only 0.87, surrendering a measly 25 hits and 14 walks on the season.

Pitching in Akron will provide a couple of major benefits to Williams. As a member of the RubberDucks, he will get time to build a rapport with other starters he could fill out the rotation with in Cleveland some day. Getting to pitch alongside the likes of Daniel Espino, Logan T. Allen, Xzavion Curry and Hunter Gaddis will allow Williams to further connect with the organization, while getting to know some of the other guys pushing for time in the upper levels of the system.

Williams will also see much stronger competition in Akron, allowing him to test his stuff against more developed bats. He already possesses a lightning quick fastball with triple-digit potential, but also has a good curveball and slider in his arsenal, in addition to a developing changeup. Williams’ velocity, coupled with the movement on his breaking stuff, should translate well from High-A to Double-A, making it interesting to see how well more advanced hitters fare against him.

Williams has also shown good control of his pitches, avoiding any home runs in Lake County while only walking 2.8 batters per nine innings in addition to his gaudy strikeout total. It will be interesting to see how those figures parallel over as he gets his feet wet in Akron.

All in all, Williams getting promoted only seemed like a matter of time. Getting the exposure to better batters, while getting more integrated into Cleveland’s organization, will help him to prepare for the next step to Columbus, whenever it comes. With Williams, Espino, and the other developing arms in Akron and around the system, it’s hard not to be excited about the future of the Cleveland Guardians rotation.