MOBILE, Ala-- The Texas Rangers made University of Mobile product and Bellwood, Ala. native Jeremy Williams the 1,104th pick of the 2011 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft Wednesday.
The Rangers nabbed the 6-2, 220-pound outfielder with the 23rd pick in the 36th round. When Williams signs on the dotted line, he will be the 29th University of Mobile baseball player to ink a pro contract. He is the first draftee since Kyle McPherson was selected in the 14th round by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2007.
"I was really excited when I got the call," Williams said. "I haven't been playing the game as long as a lot of other players, but God led me to play and he has never led me wrong."
The Geneva County HS product is expected to sign next week and then begin his career in Rookie ball with the Rangers' Arizona League team.
Rams' Head Coach Mike Jacobs said Williams has all of the skills teams look for.
"He's a really talented kid with alot of tools," Jacobs said. "He had everything that teams looked for. He has good size, he ran well, hit for power, has a decent arm and has a great eye at the plate. He didn't get fooled very often."
In his only season with the Rams after transferring from Lurleen B. Wallace, Williams hit .429 in 51 games, with 46 runs scored, 10 doubles, six home runs, 38 RBI, a .587 slugging percentage and a .473 on base percentage. He was ranked 15th in the NAIA with 1.588 hits per game and 20th in batting average. His .429 batting average ranks as the 3rd best mark in school history.
"He's going to have a chance," Jacobs said. "He just has to go out there and work hard every day."
Williams enjoyed his time at Mobile.
"I liked Mobile because the coaches not only stressed to us about being better athletes, but also about making a difference in life," Williams said. "It's a Christian university and it allows you to strengthen your relationship with God. I enjoyed my time at Mobile."