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Yankees 2014 Roster Report Card: Mason Williams

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Once one of the Yankees' most highly thought of prospects, Mason Williams could be playing his way out of baseball entirely.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Grade: F

2014 Statistics: .223/.290/.304, 5 HR, 21 SB

2014 Level/Roster Status: AA/Non 40-Man

Woe is the tale of Mason Williams. An outstanding start to his minor league league career had him positioned as one of the top prospects in the entire Yankees system. His blend of speed and fielding prowess indicated him as one of those "toolsy" talents that scouts gravitate towards. Unfortunately it's been a precipitous decline for the young prospect since he left A-ball, and this season was his worst yet. Turns out hitting is one of the tools he hasn't quite figured out yet.

Williams managed only a putrid 66 wRC+ with the Double-A Trenton Thunder over the 2014 season. A depressed BABIP is partly to blame as it was 50 points lower than the year before. Maybe there was a little bad luck involved, but the general consensus among scouts seems to be that Williams just isn't capable of making solid contact on a consistent basis at this point. With a so-so walk rate and little power to speak of, Mason's going to have to hit for a much better average if he wants to have any sort of a future. He was somewhat better in the second half of the season, so perhaps he's figuring something out.

Also on the plus side, Williams still looked the part of an exceptional outfielder. When I saw him this past year I noticed his good timing and very natural approach in the outfield. His speed is also an asset, so not all is negative for the former Yankees top prospect. When he was at the plate, I thought he looked pretty lost. More like he was chopping wood than trying to hit a baseball. Obviously take this with a grain of salt since I'm still not technically a scout.

As for Williams' outlook, assuming the Yankees don't opt to part ways with him in the offseason, the time is now for him. The outfield at Double-A is already pretty crowded and top prospect Aaron Judge is waiting in the wings. If Williams doesn't show that he at least has the potential to hit well enough to be a fourth or fifth outfielder at the highest level, the Yankees aren't going to keep him around for much longer.

Williams is still only 23 years old and obviously possesses a lot of natural talent. He certainly wouldn't be the first esteemed prospect to drop out of the Top 100 rankings and still turn into a capable major leaguer. So good luck to the young man in 2015. Hopefully it won't be his last in the organization.