Gavin Williams, one of the nation’s top prep baseball pitchers, got ready for his senior season by throwing from a chair.
Williams, from Cape Fear (N.C.), had surgery March 1 to repair a torn meniscus and missed the first half of the season.
However, not allowing a hit in 23.2 innings pitched is a pretty good way to make an impactful return. The 6-6 righthander has thrown consecutive no-hitters and is scheduled to pitch Thursday in the regular season finale.
“When I first came back, I didn’t think I would have been as ready as I was because all I could do was throw from a chair,” he told USA TODAY High School Sports. “I wasn’t able to throw any bullpens and work on my mechanics. But now I’m getting back in the grove of things by working on the things I need to.”
Williams (3-0) had 11 strikeouts and walked three in a 2-0 victory against Jack Britt on April 26. That followed a 16-strikeout performance with two walks in a 2-0 victory against Scotland on April 19. He was pulled with a no-hitter going in his first start of the season. Overall, he has 48 strikeouts on the season and is 3-0.
“At first it was hard to watch at the beginning of the season because it’s my senior year and I just wanted to play,” he said. “It got easier when I knew it would only be a couple weeks until I would be cleared and able to play.”
Williams hit 95 mph in his last outing, including 93 in the seventh inning, and has mixed in his off-speed pitches to keep hitters off-balance.
“The things that have been working the best for me are my fastball and curveball,” he said. “But going forward I need to still work on my change-up.”
Williams has been pitching in front of scouts at each outing and that group only figures to increase as he puts together strong outings.
Williams is an East Carolina signee who committed in September 2015, but also has been projected among the top 100 high school prospects eligible for the Major League Baseball draft in June.
For now, though, Williams, says, “I haven’t really thought that much about the draft.”