This is my answer track to my Masahiro Tanaka sleeper. If that sleeper was on the shallow side, this is the polar opposite. As the Guru once said, this post is for leagues that are deep and much too complicated. Guru from Gang Starr, not Guru who used to write for this site. It’s funny how I came upon Trevor Williams. Not haha funny, because I’m not a clown. For our five lady readers, do you know the benefit of having sex with a clown? He can take the condom afterwards and make balloon animals. Any hoo! I noticed Trevor Williams when I was looking for Trevor Bauer. I told you, funny! That means, up next for a sleeper post, Ted Williams! Then I will talk about a Williams and Sonoma catalog. What’s that, you love Trevor Bauer and want to talk about him? #Metoo. I’m not using that right, am I? Carry on, Grey! Carry on! If Trevor Williams were just, say, Trevor Williams who we never want to talk about, and not Trevor Williams who I want to talk about, we still wouldn’t be here, if it wasn’t for this one little stat: 21.5. What is this 21.5 that I speak of? Soon answers will be revealed like the last five minutes of Law & Order. Clang-clang. So, what can we expect from Trevor Williams for 2018 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?
Since I can’t stand to see you in suspense, I’m just going to tell you what 21.5 is. Not that I empathize with your anguish over not knowing, it’s that your mouth is agape and that’s a problem for many reasons. Slack-jawed is no way to be, which sounds like John Lennon lyrics. 21.5 is Trevor Williams’ fastball pitch value. This isn’t everything, obviously. A great change, curve or other pitch can lead to a fastball looking better. He did throw the fastball a ton, however. 71.7% of the time Williams went to his fastball, which was the 4th most in the majors. The top 4 is nothing exciting, so I won’t even go there. Though, he was also top four for fastball value at 21.5, the three guys above him (with 130+ IP): Verlander, Sale and Paxton. So, now we’re talking. Also, the top 20 for fastball value is a lot more interesting of a group than the usage group. Williams can reach upper 90s with his fastball, which is enticing, but check this out — he’s a guy with good command too. Last year, his BB/9 of 3.1 is a little meh with a side of decent, but he had years in the minors where he had a 2 BB/9. Here’s a quick formula I just concocted — throws fast + has command = fro-yo. Okay, was supposed to equal “yum,” but I might’ve forgot to carry a one. His Hard Contact rate was 28.9%, which was the same as, ya know, Corey Kluber. There’s also PNC which won’t hurt Williams. At 26 years old in April, he’s about to enter his 2nd full year, which discourages me a little, because I like guys in their third full season, but Williams is so off the radar, he’s not even a beeping green dot on an air traffic controller’s screen, which looks like it’s from 1982. Ever notice this? Computer graphics are insane everywhere, except on air traffic controllers’ screens. “Airplane safety is our utmost priority, so here’s our newest air traffic controller screens that look like you should be playing Centipede on them.” Williams should be in the Pirates’ rotation, since he had the best ERA last year of any of the Pirates starters. If you take out two trouncings (eat a D, autocorrect, that’s totally a word!) against the Dodgers and Cardinals, he had a 3.20 ERA in 23 starts, across 132 2/3 IP. Yes, I’m a little concerned Glasnow will finally put it together, or Steven Brault will get a look and push out Williams, but Williams had a much better ERA (3.96) as a starter than a reliever (5.40), and a 3.35 ERA in the 2nd half. This is all whatevs since his draft day price is so dirt cheap, which means you won’t soil yourself drafting him. For 2018, I’ll give Trevor Williams the projections of 11-9/3.87/1.27/158 in 178 IP with room for upside.