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2021 MLB draft: Tampa Bay Rays select SS Carson Williams with the No. 28 pick

With their first pick Sunday, the Rays took a high school shortstop with power potential.


With the No. 28 pick in the draft, the Rays selected shortstop Carson Williams from Torrey Pines High School in California.

He’s a talented two-way player but improved performance at the plate had teams looking at him as a hitter.

Because of his two-way background, he certainly has the arm for the left side of the infield and has the ability to stay at shortstop. According to FanGraphs, he stole 33 bases in 29 games and is viewed as an average runner.

Most public rankings had Williams ranked in this neighborhood:

The Athletic: 101
Baseball America: 41
FanGraphs: 31 41

FanGraphs on Williams:

The total package has everyday shortstop possibilities, which could move him into the back of the first round. He turns 18 just two weeks before the draft, which also helps his stock.

Baseball America on Williams:

Williams won MVP of the WWBA Championships last fall and entered the spring as one of the top two-way players in the class. Most teams initially preferred him as a pitcher, but he added 10-15 pounds and began showing significantly increased power this spring to become one of the draft’s biggest risers as a position player. Williams now flashes above-average-to-plus raw power and shows the ability to get to it in games. He hit towering home runs that scraped the top of the trees beyond the left-field fence at his home stadium this spring, and even balls he mis-hit went out to his pull side. He has the ability to drive balls the other way for extra-base hits and frequently delivers in clutch situations.

CBS Sports’ R.J. Anderson on Williams:

Williams is another two-way player who has a promising fastball-slider pairing; alas, his future appears to be as a hitter, and only as a hitter. Even before he slugged more this spring, his boosters believed he possessed all the physical traits necessary for an above-average future power output: a projectable 6-foot-2 frame; good bat speed; and the ability to add loft to his swing.

He’s the first high school infielder the Rays drafted in the first round since Josh Lowe in 2016.

Videos are from MLB and 2080 Baseball.