Local player signs with Arizona Diamondbacks
Fri. June 21, 2013 at 10:30 a.m. | By Kelly McElroy/Staff Writer
Former Terrebonne High standout Justin Williams signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks. (Photo by Submitted)
Justin Williams is officially a professional baseball player.
Baseball America reported Wednesday that the former Terrebonne High standout and the Arizona Diamondbacks agreed to terms on a $1.05 million signing bonus, slightly more than the $1,049,200 recommendation for his No. 52 overall selection.
Justin's father, Mike Williams Sr., confirmed that his son had signed with Arizona via a phone interview on Thursday with The Courier and the Daily Comet.
"We sat down and discussed it, and he said he was ready to go to the next level," Williams Sr. said. "We came to an agreement and decided to go that route. It is just a blessing to have a son that came out of Houma, La., and is on that stage. It's a blessing for him and us. We will just continue to say prayers and just hope it works out for the best for everyone."
Williams Sr. said Justin, who was taken in the second round of the draft, will likely begin his career with the Diamondbacks organization in the Arizona Rookie League. That league starts today.
"I decided to sign because I thought I was ready for pro baseball, and I love the Diamondbacks organization," Justin Williams said. "I'm glad I made this decision. I think it was good for me and my family."
Williams Sr. said his son is ready to play.
"Justin was hungry to play ball," Williams Sr. said. "He was trying to get on the field before he even signed."
Williams, who has projected as an outfielder, is 6-foot-3, 215 pounds and had signed with LSU prior to the draft.
"I really want to thank (LSU) Coach Paul Mainieri and LSU for offering him the scholarship like they did," Williams Sr. added.
Justin Williams was one of the highest draft picks to ever come from the area and is believed to be the highest player ever selected out of high school from Terrebonne or Lafourche Parishes.
Williams earned honorable mention honors on the Louisiana Sports Writers Association Class 5A All-State team as a senior at Terrebonne.
Using a wooden bat, he capped his high school career with a .333 batting average with four home runs, seven doubles, 20 walks, 18 runs and 13 RBIs.
Williams caught the attention of major league scouts and general managers by winning the home-run derbies at two nationally televised summer all-star baseball events (Under Armour and Perfect Game) last summer.
"I am elated for him, just really happy for him because I know he loves the game," Terrebonne baseball coach Gus Brown said. "He has a great opportunity, and now he has a job that a lot of baseball players wish they would have growing up. He's excited. I spoke with him (Thursday morning), and he's ready to get started."