Akron Rubberducks pitcher Gavin Williams had himself a night in his last start, shutting down the visiting Harrisburg Senators over five innings. The Guardians pitching prospect did not allow a hit over five innings while striking out eight batters. This performance from Williams was more than good enough to warrant Eastern League Pitcher of the Week honors.
Considering how Williams has pitched this season, it is clear that this is not an outlier performance. Williams has been equally impressive in all three starts, allowing just one run and six hits in 14.1 innings of work. Strikeouts are also coming at an impresive rate, striking out at least eight in two of his three starts for Akron this season. It is performances like this that have people excited for the future of the Guardians pitching rotation.
The 23-year old 2021 first round draft pick has progressed nicely through Cleveland's minor league system. Williams has made 28 starts across two leagues in just over a year and has been able to put his stuff on his display at each stop. In 129.1 innings Williams has allowed 26 runs on 75 hits while striking out 169 and walking 43. That's good for an ERA of 1.81 and WHIP of 0.912 over that span.
There is one early metric that is not looking great at the moment and that is fly-ball percentage. Williams' currently sits at 64.3% per Fangraphs, by far a career-high. While line-drive and ground-ball percentages are at 14.3% and 21.4% respectively, both career-lows, a little more volume will see these numbers balance and provided a more accurate representation of batted-ball outcomes.
If Williams is able to keep pitching like this it will not be too long before the Guardians are moving him along through their system and maybe even get the call up to the majors. Considering the state of flux that the Guardians pitching staff is currently in, that day may come sooner rather than later.