Spin Williams honored with Mike Coolbaugh Award

Many times over the years, if you were attending a Nationals minor league game, you would have a good chance of seeing Donald "Spin" Williams there.

Williams, the Nationals' senior advisor for player development, has been a part of the organization for 11 seasons and is beginning his 39th season in professional baseball.

Today, Williams was honored by Minor League Baseball as the recipient of the ninth annual Mike Coolbaugh Award.

Nationals-bag-bat-dugout-sidebar.jpgThe award was created in 2008 to honor the late Mike Coolbaugh, a professional player and coach. It is presented annually to "an individual who has shown outstanding baseball work ethic, knowledge of the game and skill in mentoring young players on the field."

"On behalf of the entire Washington Nationals organization, I am thrilled to congratulate Spin Williams on being named the 2016 Mike Coolbaugh Award winner," said Nationals assistant general manager and vice president of player personnel Doug Harris in a press release. "Spin's commitment to not only helping our players develop as pitchers, but also to mature as men, is second to none. For me, personally, it is an honor to know him and to work with him for as long as I have, and I'm so proud to see him earn the type of recognition he so richly deserves."

Williams has worked with and tutored all of the big name prospects in the Nationals organization, including Stephen Strasburg, Tanner Roark, Joe Ross, Blake Treinen, Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, Koda Glover, Sammy Solis, A.J. Cole, Rafael Martin, Matt Grace, Drew Storen, Ross Detwiler, Jordan Zimmermann, Aaron Barrett and Craig Stammen, among many others.

While with the Nationals, Williams has watched more than 40 pitchers under his mentorship and coaching reach the major leagues.

Williams was a left-handed pitcher in the minor leagues and eventually made it to Double-A before becoming a coach in the Pirates organization. At one time, he was the manager of the then Double-A Carolina Mudcats.

He was also a member of the Pirates' major league coaching staff for 12 seasons.

Last season's award recipient was John Shoemaker of the Dodgers.

Williams will receive his award at the Baseball Winter Meetings Banquet on Sunday, Dec. 4 at the Gaylord National Harbor Resort & Convention Center.

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