Keeping all his cards on the table is something Isaac Williams seems to be comfortable doing. As an uncommitted 2021 left-handed pitcher and outfielder out of Wake Forest High School (NC), the theme appears to be in play not only with colleges he’d consider committing to, but also in the position he’d play for those programs.
Considered as a two-way performer by some of the schools with whom he’s been in contact, Isaac candidly admits the ultimate decision will come down to where he feels is a best fit. Williams could surely find some of those programs may want to add his skills at the plate as a right-handed hitter. Still others may be attracted to the left-hander due to his abilities on the mound.
But for now, Williams is taking advantage of opportunities to do both and see where it takes him. Doing both at a high level has been what’s kept him as a dual threat recruit for some. The evidence was quickly apparent when he joined the Dirtbags in the summer of 2019 and was placed on the Bad Company squad coached by Brent Haynes.
Haynes says he noticed the skill sets right away and went further by saying, “Isaac is a legitimate two way prospect at the next level. At the plate he has some juice in the bat and could hit in the middle of the order at the next level. However, he might be even better on the mound! On the mound he’s a low 80’s lefty who really understands how to pitch and has plus off-speed stuff.”
According to Haynes the production was non-stop from both spots throughout the summer and into the fall of 2109. He went on to say, “He put that all on display in the round of 32 at the underclass world championship in the fall when he threw four great innings of relief and got the go ahead hit to send us to the round of 16.”
Wanting to show those skills with the exposure was what drove Williams to becoming a Dirtbag. Once getting connected he found the organization was able to also let him grow those skills.
Isaac remarked that Haynes had initially told him that if he “hit” he’d been in the line-up. This was all he needed to be motivated to do the work, get the reps and be able to stay on the field. And making the most of opportunities is how Williams seems to operate.
Citing the personal touch in respect to the coaching by the Dirtbags staff, Williams says he was able to improve his game across the board. This was due to the tips and instruction on skills of play, but also motivated by how Haynes consistently followed through when it came to contacts and reaching out to college programs who showed at the games.
It appears the work didn’t stop in the fall, but continued through the winter and showed up in the spring where his outings , particularly on the mound were nothing short of impressive. Prior to the shutdown of the 2020 high school baseball season due to COVID-19, Isaac had pitched 7 innings in two appearances (1 start, 1 in relief), giving up one hit, tallying 13 K’s and issuing 0 walks.
As for his game on the bump, Williams knows how to pitch. When asked to describe how he attacks hitters, he articulately described how he uses his mid 80’s two-seamer with sink to set up hitters, whom he keeps off balance with his change and his “out pitch” slider. His understanding of the process of how to pitch was evident in the precision at which he unpacked the tactics and strategy of his craft.
Matter of factly, Williams stated, “Pride myself to be a pitcher and not a thrower.”
Clearly. And while programs looking to recruit Isaac for his pitching prowess can use those skills, his plate approach is one that could benefit any team as well. Whether it be moving a runner, cashing in on RBI’s, or even getting it started, Williams is comfortable in any of those situational demands.
Whether making a clutch pitch, or getting the timely hit, Williams is sure to compete. And this is driven by one goal; to help the team.
All of which made his transition into being a Dirtbag such an easy one. Since becoming part of the organization, Williams saw a lot of matches of who he is in his teammates. He says he has found Dirtbags, play with a lot of pride and are driven to work harder. The Dirtbag mentality to be the best is a clear message.
The notion that he belongs on the field with the Bags is also clear to Haynes, who said, “Isaac is a coach’s dream as he will do whatever he needs to do to help his team win. He did just that with the Dirtbags last year as he played some first base, outfield and pitched in the summer and fall.”
And such a player will surely make his way to a worthy college program and continue the same, as suggested by Haynes who finished by saying, “Isaac is going to be a great pick up for whatever university lands him at the next level.”
That university will also get a student-athlete who takes great pride in doing well in the classroom. Crediting his mom for impressing this upon him, Isaac knows having great grades additionally opens up even more options.
When asked to name some potentials he’d consider for a destination, Williams kept the cards close but instead rattled off a number of schools, covering a spectrum of levels and locations with whom he has had contact. Another display the junior has his eyes wide open and is keeping his options open