Case Williams claims the decision he faced wasn’t tough.
Williams, a Douglas County High School right-handed pitcher, was the fourth-round pick and the 110th overall selection by the Colorado Rockies on the second day of the Major League Baseball draft, June 11.
Williams was the first player from Douglas County to be selected in the draft since 2008, and he was forced to decide whether to attend Santa Clara University where he committed or to sign a professional contract with the Rockies.
“Some will say it was tough, but I really have a decision in mind,” Williams said after the draft. “I am definitely planning on signing. It’s tough, though, to let Santa Clara go, but I’ve been given the opportunity of a lifetime to make a dream come true, so it’s just right. I’m definitely going with the Rockies.”
The 6-foot-3, 210-pound prospect signed with the Rockies on June 17. No details were announced, but it was reported that he agreed to a $450,000 signing bonus.
Although he has signed, there is uncertainty ahead.
“Right now it’s pretty uncertain,” said Williams. “I haven’t got a full schedule yet from the Rockies. One, we don’t know truly what teams are left in the minors after being cut and whatnot and where they are being moved to, so it’s just kind of a waiting game.”
Minor League seasons have been canceled because of the pandemic. There have been discussions about creating some kind of workouts for draft picks and team prospects already in the organization. And the Arizona Fall League could possibly have a team from each MLB organization or an extended instructional league could play games against other organizations.
Williams has become used to waiting, since that’s all he did last spring when high school baseball was never played because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I will never know was truly might have happened if we had played in the spring,” said Williams. “Not having thrown a pitch this year really makes me feel confident with my decision with the Rockies especially. This season would have been really fun with the team we had. We had a chance to make a little run. But what happens, happens and you have to make the best of it.
“During the quarantine, I was able to get weights from where I usually work out. I was able to work out a couple hours a day and that really helped. I didn’t have anything else to do anyway. I worked out and did the videos.”
Williams, who was 8-1 with a 1.81 earned run average and 79 strikeouts for Douglas County as a junior in 2019, played last fall on the Rockies Fall Scout team with director of scouting Marc Gustafson and director of scouting operations Sterling Monfort.
“With playing on the scout team in the fall, having Gustafson and Sterling be coaches of that team, the area code and videos helped,” he related. “I was super grateful to be drafted.”
Williams’ fastball velocity has improved and he was clocked at 96 miles per hour but he’s still trying to become a more versatile pitcher.
“In the off season I was working on changeup and curveball,” Williams explained. “I was really able to develop the changeup by switching grips. I really got a feel for that. The curveball has always kind of been there. I started to build off what I already had. It will be nice to put all three pitches together for my repertoire.”
Willams watched the MLB draft on TV with his dad, mom, sister and dog.
“Oh man, it was crazy. Being drafted by the hometown team was real special to me,” he said. “I really thank everybody through the process, especially the Rockies for giving me the opportunity to do so. I’m really excited and grateful for the opportunity. I just can’t wait to get after it.
“We got the call and were watching the draft on TV. I started to tear up along with my dad. It was super exciting. That’s the goal, to get to Coors Field one day.”
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