He said he was a bit shocked to be drafted by the Orioles. But now that he is here, he’s very grateful to be wearing the orange and black, and he added that he patterns parts of his game after O’s center fielder Cedric Mullins.
In one interview with low Single-A Delmarva outfielder Donta’ Williams this week, it is clear that he is a confident player and believes he can on day join Mullins as an Oriole. You have to admire the confident outlook of Williams (first name pronounced Don-tay), who, at 22, is a bit older than many of the O’s draft class from 2021.
Taken by the club in round four (overall pick No. 106) as a senior at the University of Arizona, he batted .342/.481/.538/1.019 in 62 college games this year. Williams produced more walks than strikeouts (50 to 40), was an All-Pac 12 defensive team member and was hit by a pitch 17 times.
Williams said the O’s draft class bonded quickly in the Rookie-level Florida Complex League and now has taken the close-knit approach to Delmarva.
“I’m from the West Coast and it was very different. Very humid out there (in Florida),” he said. “But got a chance to meet the new draft picks and guys from past drafts. You realize this is a life-changing moment. I’m finally living out my dream. It was great.
“We got to suit up a couple of games in the FCL. And even putting on those uniforms, you’ve got the Bird on the chest. It was just a moment where everything just changes. You feel happy for the guys you’re around. Everyone has gone their different routes to get to where they are now. To see the smiles on all the guy’s faces is really heart-warming.”
A 5-foot-10, 185-lb. lefty batter and thrower, he did not expect to be selected by Baltimore, based on pre-draft intel.
“We had conversations. (But) it came out of nowhere, kind of a shocker, leading up and everything. But I’m very grateful to get this opportunity and to be able to play the game I love for a great organization,” he said.
“Being on the West Coast is different than the guys on the East Coast and just sharing stories (helped us get close),” he said. “Relating different college stories. You know, College World Series. We clicked very well and the play on the field too, I think we all respect each other’s game. We respect where everyone came from. It’s something where we encourage and push each other. We are building a group where we help and push each other. Everyone is rooting for everybody. Iron sharpens iron. That is how we look at it.”
When Williams looks at the parent Orioles, he sees in Mullins not just a star talent, but someone to emulate. He said his style of play is similar to Mullins.
So something to shoot for.
“That is one of my favorite players. Electric. Same playing style. I’m on the lookout for him a lot,” Williams said. “You know I like to see his style as a Jackie Bradley Jr. (type of player). Has a lot of pop, runs the outfield, great arm. Can change the game with one swing of the bat and that’s how I see my game. So, yeah, I could compare us very closely. Not to his expertise and standards, but we’ll get there. We’ll get there.”
Williams is 4-for-12 in three games for Delmarva with two doubles, three RBIs and seven runs scored. He’s walked three times and fanned twice.
Shorebirds win again: Delmarva has now scored 10 or more runs in three of four games and the Shorebirds are 4-0 since those draft picks arrived Tuesday. The Shorebirds scored 11 runs in the first two innings last night and hammered Fredericksburg 17-1.
Cook, a round 10 pick out of Pepperdine, went 3-for-5 with four RBIs. Ryne Ogren added a three-run homer and Teter a two-run single.
Triple-A Norfolk beat Charlotte 4-1, as right-hander Cody Sedlock threw five scoreless innings with six strikeouts in his Triple-A debut. Right-hander Blaine Knight, in his first game with Norfolk, allowed one run in four innings. Ryan McKenna hit two solo homers.
Andrew Daschbach hit two homers, including a go-ahead two-run shot in the 10th, as Double-A Bowie beat Reading 5-3.
High Single-A Aberdeen scored twice in the last of the 11th to beat Wilmington 6-5. Lamar Sparks produced the walk-off single to end the game and went 3-for-5 with two RBIs.
It was a Birdland farm sweep Friday night, as Norfolk, Bowie, Aberdeen and Delmarva all won.
Elias speaks: O’s executive VP Mike Elias spoke with reporters before Friday’s game at Camden Yards, which resulted in a 16th straight loss for his team.
“I hoped that we would be able to avoid the kind of stretches of play like we’re in right now and seeing some of the things that we’re seeing,” Elias said. “I hoped that we would be able to avoid that, but I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t know it was a possibility at the beginning of this project or at the beginning of the season that we might find ourselves in these types of stretches and in this type of play. And whenever it happens, it always causes me to self-reflect about things that I could be doing a little bit better. Moves I should have made or things that we could do better on a day-to-day basis and we strive to do that and continue to do that.”
He said this losing streak “is not reflective of our large-picture goals that are very much way on track in my assessment.”
For more Elias, click here.