Mac Williamson is headed back to the big show. Or at least headed back to an audition for the big show.
The #Nationals sign outfielder Mac Williamson to minor league deal worth $700k if he reaches the major leagues. He will be in their big-league training camp.— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) January 15, 2020
Williamson had a tumultuous 2019. Potentially still feeling the effects of a concussion that derailed what was looking like a strong 2018, the 2012 3rd-round pick couldn’t find any rhythm in San Francisco.
New President of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi didn’t appear particularly high on Williamson, giving many players MLB shots while Mac was relegated in the Minor Leagues, where he tore the stitches off baseballs. Williamson hung in Sacramento for a while, slashing .378/.459/.756, with 9 home runs in 98 plate appearances.
Finally Zaidi had no choice but to give Williamson one final chance.
It didn’t work so well. Williamson had just 6 hits and 5 walks in 57 plate appearances, with 18 strikeouts. He was swiftly designated for assignment, ending his time with the only team he knew.
The Seattle Mariners picked him up, but unfortunately he didn’t fare much better. Williamson hit .182/.276/.299 for the lowly Mariners, before packing up and heading to South Korea.
He did okay in the Korean Baseball Organization, slashing .273/.327/.409 in 168 plate appearances with the Samsung Lions. That’s not great, but at least a step in the right direction.
Making the Nationals will likely be a long shot for Williamson. But he’ll likely have some supporters on the West Coast, especially those who wonder how his career might have looked had the Giants eliminated their on-field bullpen mounds a few years earlier.