Gavin Williams impresses in first Spring Training start

Cleveland Guardians v San Francisco Giants
Cleveland Guardians v San Francisco Giants / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

There is nothing quite like getting a strong start from a young pitcher making his Spring Training debut, and that is exactly what the Cleveland Guardians received from Gavin Williams on Thursday.

Williams would strike out four of the seven batters he faced, one of which was quite notable, Mike Trout. The Los Angeles Angels' perennial MVP candidate would end up watching the third strike come across for stirke three, and proceed to walk bat to the dugout. Even though it is just a start in Arizona, and the results mean absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things, striking out one of the best to ever play the game has to at least feel pretty good for Williams.

The second-year right-hander did not allow a hit in his brief outing, and the only baserunner allowed by Williams was a four-pitch walk in the Top of the 2nd to Los Angeles Angels third baseman Anthony Rendon. Williams would bounce back from walking Rendon by inducing a groundout to Brandon Drury, followed by back-to-back strikeouts of Taylor Ward and Logan O'Hoppe to end the inning.

Getting off to this type of start in Spring Training is going to help build confidence for a young pitcher who is expected to be a key member of the Guardian's pitching rotation this season. Williams compiled a 3.29 ERA and 1.256 WHIP in 16 starts last season, striking out 81 batters in 82 innings along the way. Seeing a slight uptick in these numbers over the course of a full season's worth of starts would put the Guardians rotation in a pretty good situation moving forward. Williams would be able to solidify his status as a future rotation anchor alongside Tanner Bibee, and this would make a few decisions the front office may have to make in the relatively near future a whole lot easier.