WELCOME, Minn. (KEYC) — A shortened spring training impacted a couple of professional baseball players from our area.
Welcome native Brandon Williamson was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the second round of the MLB Draft last season out of TCU.
The pitcher went on to start nine games for the Everett Aquasox, a Class A Short Season affiliate.
Williamson posted a 2.35 earned run average with 25 strikeouts in 15.1 innings pitched.
Fast forward to this season, and the southpaw headed to his first spring training with the Mariners organization improving his craft before that all came to a halt on March 13.
“I was going to throw my first live BP to hitters the day after we left. So I just got to the point where I would start pitching, then we got news that we were leaving. It’s actually kind of funny, when we got told we were leaving it was Friday. They called us in, we came in groups. We were going to do social distancing, we were all going to come in small groups. Then the GM of the team came in said we aren’t leaving, we’ll come in small groups. You’ll have separate times to get your work done, then the next group will come in. They’re like you have the next three days off, we’ll get this figured out. Two hours later, they call everybody in, and said alright, we have new information, you’re all going to have to go home. They just told us all to pack up, we’ll pay for you to go home. We don’t know when you’re coming back, so take all of your stuff,” said Williamson.
More than a month later, baseball is still waiting to resume team activities. Whenever or if the season is able to begin, it will most likely look like a version of 2019 for Williamson who played a shortened season after throwing almost 80 innings to close out his collegiate career with the Horned Frogs.
“It’s weird, so when you get drafted, you go to a short season. You start your season June 15 and play until September. That’s short season, then now, this year would have been my first full season which goes from April to September. It’s a lot longer, more stress, this is where they find out if you can handle pro ball. A lot harder, a lot longer. Now, I’m pretty much having two short seasons instead of one full. It’ll be weird getting used to a full season next year. Next year hopefully will be closer to pitching in higher levels, pitching in the big leagues, so that’s going to be different too,” said Williamson.
Right now, Williamson is back home in southern Minnesota continuing to prepare and be ready when the season begins.
We’ll take a look at what that training looks like next week on KEYC News Now.