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Foothill baseball: Point of power

Valencia sophomore’s elite swing is commanding attention

Posted: April 24, 2010 10:01 p.m.
Updated: April 25, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Valencia sophomore shortstop Trey Williams is beginning to garner attention with his fluid swing and standout statistics. So far this season, he is batting .391 with five homers and 20 RBIs.

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Trey Williams' swing is like a wave.

It builds slowly.

The power increases.

Then it makes contact.

It's a unison of force, fury and beauty - a unison people clamor to see.

They sit on the edge of their seats every time Trey Williams steps to the plate.

Little kids get off their scooters and drop their toys.

They want to watch Williams swing the bat.

The baby-faced sophomore with the vice-grip handshake might just be the most exciting hitter in the Foothill League.

The numbers prove it.

He's batting .391 with five home runs and 20 RBIs. And if Valencia High owned a tape measure that could spread from home plate to beyond the outfield fence, that would prove it, too.

"His swing is violent, first of all, and having a violent swing, he's able to get very good backspin," says Valencia head coach Jared Snyder. "He stays through the hitting zone a long ways."

That backspin makes the ball travel and Snyder says no one in his program's history has made the ball travel that far at such an early age.

It's no secret in the Santa Clarita Valley, Williams has an advantage.

His father, Eddie, played parts of 10 seasons in the Major Leagues and was the fourth overall pick in the 1983 First-Year Player Draft.

Eddie worked with his son on that swing since the boy was 4 years old.

He parlayed advice from Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn to his boy.

And he learned from his path to the big leagues what it takes to get there.

Eddie says hard work and diet are a major reason for Williams' success.

"I think right now he's on track to do something special," Eddie says. "I really didn't have the understanding how this would come about (for me)."

Williams has become a quick study, thanks to hanging around ballparks his whole life.

In 2003, Eddie was a hitting coach for the Single-A Kane County Cougars, an affiliate of the Oakland A's.

Current Dodger and former A's farmhand Andre Ethier covered a young Williams, he says, in Saran Wrap and dumped him in a trash can after a game.

Seven years later, Williams is almost as big as Ethier.
"I'd probably break loose," Williams says if Ethier had the chance to do it today.

Williams realizes the upper-hand he has by having a father who reached baseball's top level. It gave him a taste of what he wants the future to be.

"It was fun going out on a baseball field, going in a clubhouse and seeing what it was like. Now I see what the big picture is like," Williams says.

"Obviously my dad made it, so I want to be at his level and be better than he was. It has been my dream since I was a little kid. I always wanted to be in front of the big crowd watching me."

In the future, it seems, the crowds will get much bigger.

Colleges will soon knock on his door. Major League scouts might soon come around to watch him play. And the first thing they'll notice is that swing.

"It seems so fluid and smooth," says Saugus head coach John Maggiora. "It seems beyond his years. It just looks complete. It's the same swing that will work at the next level."

That's not the only thing that Maggiora says is complete about Williams.

Maggiora says he considered Williams underrated as a third baseman last season.

But with the departure of highly touted prospect Christian Lopes to Edison High before the season began, Snyder pulled Williams into his classroom with a request.

"(I asked him), ‘Hey, are you comfortable playing shortstop,'" Snyder recalls. "(He replied), ‘Coach, I'll play wherever you need me. Wherever it helps the team win.'"

At 6-foot-1 and 205 pounds, Williams covers a lot of ground and has one of the best arms in the Foothill League.

The transition has been smooth.

Now Williams is facing a little adversity.

His eyes are big because of a quick start.

His timing is slightly off at the plate.

He hasn't hit a home run in 11 games, after homering five times in the first 10.

Maybe the swing is just building and the power is increasing.

And the anticipation is growing.

And then ...


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