The Boston Red Sox used to be Javeyan Williams’ favorite team until the San Francisco Giants stepped in Wednesday an opened the door to his pro career.
The Giants drafted Williams, the Southern University senior center fielder, in the 22nd round with the 656th pick of the Major League Baseball draft.
“They’re my favorite team now,” Williams said in a phone interview. “I always did like the Giants. I rooted for them when they were in the World Series. My favorite team is the Red Sox but I’m excited to play for that organization. They’re a great ballclub.”
Williams, a native of Breaux Bridge, was one of the stars of Southern’s turnaround season under second-year coach Kerrick Jackson, who took the Jaguars from 9-33 to a 32-24 mark and a berth in the NCAA tournament.
Williams finished the season with a flourish, going 6-for-6 with three doubles, three runs scored and an RBI in losses to Mississippi State and Miami. He would up with a team-best .421 batting average, 12 doubles, seven triples and four homers and 42 RBIs. He also stole 26 bases without being caught and was a defensive stalwart, making the All-SWAC team.
“It feels surreal like I’m dreaming and I’m about to wake up and go to practice or something,” Williams said. “One of my teammates found out and called me before I finally got the call from the Giants. They congratulated me and are excited for me to go out there and play.
Williams said he wasn’t sure yet which Giants minor league team he would begin with but that he’d be leaving in a couple of days.
“When they called my phone was blowing up,” he said, “He told me to go enjoy my time and call them back. They’ll give me the details after that.”
Southern coach Kerrick Jackson said Williams has all the tools he needs to make it.
“With Javeyan, it’s all there,” Jasckson said. “Left-handed bat, a 6.4 (-second time) in the 60 (yard dash), he’s got strength. He’s got an average arm but he’s plus-plus defender. He needs to take better routes and reads, but he’s so athletic and he’s got that ball hawk skill, he can make mistakes and still go catch balls. If the player development is good enough then at some time we should be watching him on TV.”
Williams said being picked is the result of his hard work and he didn’t stop when the season ended.
“I’m just going to keep on grinding, putting in the hard work I’ve been doing since the season to sharpen my tools so I won’t be trying to get back in my groove when I get there,” he said. “Put my trust in God and live in the moment."