Williams whiffs 10 in debut with San Jose

Giants No. 20 prospect follows Melancon with six shutout frames

Garrett Wiliams sported a 2.25 ERA and 58 strikeouts over 64 innings in the South Atlantic League. (Tim Cattera/MiLB.com)

By Chris Tripodi / MiLB.com | August 2, 2017 9:06 PM

Garrett Williams is used to coming out of the bullpen. Just not in the second inning.

San Francisco's No. 20 prospect struck out a career-high 10 batters over six innings in his California League debut Wednesday, leading Class A Advanced San Jose to a 3-0 victory over Visalia at Municipal Stadium. He allowed five hits and three walks.

Gameday box score

"I just treated it like I was coming out of the bullpen," Williams said. "I came out of the bullpen in college so I was used to it. [Rehabbing Giants closer Mark Melancon] came in and got his work done, and I came in in the second and changed my mind to a starting mentality and went after hitters. I think [that experience helped] a little bit, just knowing how to get myself ready for the game. The second inning isn't as deep as I was used to in college."

Williams (1-0) retired the first two batters he faced before walking Seth Spivey on four pitches and giving up a single to Jorge Flores, moving Spivey to third. The Oklahoma State product struck out Galli Cribbs on three pitches to end the frame, the first of five consecutive strikeouts.

Video: San Jose's Williams ends outing with 10th strikeout

"I really just got ahead in the count. My curveball was working today and I was able to throw that where I wanted to," Williams said. "When I got ahead, I was able to bury the curve and they were swinging at balls in the dirt. I was able to get into a groove, stick to my strengths and attack the zone."

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Williams put a runner on third with two outs in each of his final three innings, facing second-and-third situations in the sixth and the seventh. The 22-year-old left-hander was able to bear down in each frame, inducing inning-ending groundouts in the fifth and sixth before striking out Jason Morozowski, the final batter he faced in the seventh.

"It just comes down to my bullpens and progression through the games," Williams said. "[Coming out of] the stretch is what I work on the most, just having the mentality that these guys aren't going to score, making big pitches when I need to and keeping the ball in the infield. The situations are ones I put myself in with walks and a hit by pitch, so it was a little extra effort making sure those runs didn't get in and keep us ahead."

San Francisco's 2016 seventh-round pick had to make his way to California from the South Atlantic League for a 12:30 p.m. PT first pitch.

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"I was feeling pretty good, got a little tired from the overnight trip and early game, but I was able to get enough energy and put a good outing together," Williams said. "I just continued what I've been doing in Augusta, I had a good groove ... I'm not really worried where I'm at or what level I'm at."

San Jose managed five hits as a team, two off the bat of Giants No. 5 prospect Bryan Reynolds, who blasted a two-out homer in the first.

Bo Takahashi (6-7) took the loss for the Rawhide after allowing three runs on four hits and five walks over 5 2/3 innings.

Chris Tripodi is an editor for MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @christripodi. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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