“Baseball is ninety percent mental, and the other half is physical.”
“JP is not hitting.” *panic*
“Cozens is striking out at an alarming rate.” *panic*
“The Phillies won’t call up Alfaro and Hoskins even though they’re doing great.” *panic*
“The bullpen is horrible.” *panic*
But nobody’s talking about Billy Nicholas Williams. And that’s really, probably, OK.
After the team took yesterday off to return from their trip to Ohio, outfielder Nick Williams enters May hitting .276/.309/.447 with 2 HR and 7 doubles. He has 11 hits in his last 10 games.
So call him up? Not so fast. 23 strikeouts to 2 walks so far this season means that he’s still working on his craft. He’s working on not expanding the zone for the pitchers, and trying to put himself in good positions to get good pitches to hit. The next step is to continue to try to find those good pitches. Just because you can hit the ball, doesn’t mean you should–depending on the situation. Guys like Maikel Franco continue to work on the same ideas.
He’s still a work in progress, and he’s only 23 years old. It’s good that media, friends, family and fans aren’t constantly expecting the call. When he does go to the Phillies he’ll need a chance to play consistently to solidify his role on that level and he’s not ready for it yet. A creative outlet, to occupy the mind? Some off-season travel, to relax? Probably good ideas:
In the interview below, done on Media Day last month, I felt like questions about what happened last season–whether about benchings or poor play in August or whatever–were already “asked and answered” by Philly Media and otherwise, during Spring Training. So I tried to take another tack: After a disappointing end to last season, what did he do in the off-season? Did he develop any new hobbies? (Cheryl already knew the answer) And, how does he feel about having a bobblehead this season?
In the interview, I mention the bobblehead, as well as the photographs taken by our friend Steve Kiebach. Check it out:
So he’s not Superman, nor forgotten. Nick Williams will remain an important part of the IronPigs outfield going forward, until the ultimate promotion occurs. And it’s probably better that way.
See you at the park,
Special thanks to Steve for the images above, and congrats to him for having taken the pictures that rumor-has-it inspired the bobblehead. Special thanks to Cheryl Pursell for the videography, pre- and post-production on the above video.