For the first time since 2010 the Cleveland Indians selected a college pitcher with its first overall pick in the MLB draft, drafting RHP Gavin Williams from East Carolina University with the 23rd overall pick in the first round of the 2021 draft.

Williams, just shy of his 22nd birthday (July 22, 1999) pitched for four season’s at ECU with a 2.65 ERA in 149.1 innings, striking out 200 batters and walking 56.

The 6’6 RHP was a SP for the Pirates, finishing with a 1.88 ERA in 81.1 innings, striking out 130 and walking 21. He was a finalist for the Dick Howser and Golden Spikes award.

in a Super Regional matchup with eventual champions Vanderbilt in the 2021 College World Series, Williams struck out 13 in 7.1 inning, allowing seven hits, two runs and two walks in the eventual loss.

From IBI’s draft guru Willie Hood’s draft board earlier this year:

In 2019 as a sophomore, Williams struck out 10.2 batters per 9IP and walked 4.2 batters per 9IP. In 2021 those numbers were 14.4 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 while jumping from. 49.1 innings to 81.1.

The slot for the 23rd pick is $2,296,800 and could sign for under that total to save Cleveland some bonus pool money to spend in other rounds.

Arsenal: Fastball, Slider, Curveball, Changeup

Throws: 94-96; touches 100-101

IBI’s draft guru Willie Hood on the pick:

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