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2021 report card: Luke Williams

We remember the walk-off HR...but anything else?

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Making his MLB debut this season, Luke Williams was hardly a factor for the Phillies in 2021. Most fans will remember him for his walk-off two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the Braves. Aside from that one moment, there wasn’t much production in 108 plate appearances. In his rookie season, Williams developed into a super-utility player, appearing at every position, besides behind the dish (but apparently, he can catch if needed). With six games at first base, eight at second and third base, five at short, seven in left, fifteen in center, and three in right, Williams was useful as a bench player for the Phillies. However, he wasn’t Ben Zobrist or Brock Holt, but he did his job in some aspects.

2021 Stats

.245/.315/.316, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 2 SB, 2 CS, 23:10 (K:BB), 74 wRC+, -0.1 fWAR

The Good

The versatility of Luke Williams is something the Phillies had hoped Scott Kingery would be able to accomplish. Being that versatile is valuable to have in a bench piece. Playing seven different positions is no easy task and to only commit two errors while doing so is rather impressive. Williams made some decent contact in his 58 games played, posting a BABIP of .287. The contact didn’t necessarily translate into hits, but hey we’re trying to find the positives at the plate.

The Bad

An OPS of .631 is not ideal even for a utility player off the bench. A 9.3 BB% is rather poor, especially when we examine the fact that Williams’s strikeout percentage sat at 21.3%. Not great. He came off the bench, made weak contact, struck out far more often than walked, only hit one home run, and just didn’t provide much at all. A wRC of 10 continues to add on to a lackluster stat-line. Williams may not be an MLB caliber player offensively.

The Future

Williams will likely remain in the Phillies organization as a depth piece. Depending on how the 2022 roster transforms, Williams could see major league playing time, thanks to his versatility defensively. Scott Kingery is still under contract, but it remains to be seen how he will be used. If Kingery returns to his super-utility role, expect Williams to be a mainstay at the AAA level.

Final Grade: C-

Williams’s defense was appreciated and noted. There was just so little production offensively, it makes it difficult to give a utility player a high grade only playing 58 games. The walk-off HR was a thrilling moment and should have a chapter on the Phillies 2021 disappointing documentary. Otherwise, it is very easy to forget anything Luke Williams did in 2021.