Williams finds his way to 'The Wall'
The tradition with the Mt. Hood Community College baseball program is simple: If you make it to the majors, you will get your name and number placed on the home run fence at Oslund Field.
And in September of 2017, Taylor Williams was added to that wall.
The former Saints pitcher made his debut for the Milwaukee Brewers back in September, making him the fourth Mt. Hood player to reach the big leagues — with the other three being Brian Burres, Dan Carlson and Dave Veres.
"It's a huge honor," Williams said about having his name added to the wall. "The Mt. Hood program is well known throughout the Northwest and a ton of really good players have gone through that school. I'm really grateful for how the program helped me grow and move forward in my baseball career."
After signing with Washington Staten, Williams decided that he wanted to transfer to a junior college to help re-hone his skills — with the plan of returning to Division I baseball in the near future.
"I knew I wanted to go to a JC and the Northwest is really under the radar with what they have to offer," Williams said. "After I visited Mt. Hood, it just seemed like the right fit."
His impact was felt immediately.
"The first thing that stood out was that Taylor's work ethic was through the roof," Mt. Hood head coach Bryan Donahue said. "He was always a guy that utilized his time and resources in an effort to get better. We always had a lot of confidence in his ability."
After a season at Mt. Hood, he finished his collegiate career at Kent State in Ohio.
After a few seasons in the minors, Williams got the call to the bigs at the end of last season.
"That was such a huge moment for me," Williams said. "It has been something I have been dreaming of my whole life. With all the ups and downs that I went through, it only made it that much sweeter when I got the call."
He made six relief appearances and in four of those outings, he did not allow a run. He is starting this season in spring training with the Brewers.
"It's been really fun to watch him make as far as he has," Donahue said. "After what he did in his time (at Mt. Hood), it wasn't a shock at all to see him in the league."
Williams is currently in spring training with the Brewers in Phoenix, where is competing to win a bullpen spot on the 2018 team.
"My position is up in the air still, but I'm just trying to win a job on the team," Williams said. "I just want to give myself a chance and hope for the best."
Through eight spring training relief appearances, Williams holds a 2.25 ERA with nine strikeouts.