Just after 11 a.m. Friday, Taylor Williams got the phone call he had been waiting for his whole life.
The Milwaukee Brewers selected the 21-year-old Camas pitcher in the fourth round of the 2013 Major League Baseball Draft. Williams was the 122nd pick overall.
“It’s amazing and surreal,” said the 2010 Camas High School graduate. “Ever since I started playing baseball, this has been a dream and a goal in my life.
“I’ve worked so hard for this moment,” Williams added. “I thank my family and friends for being there with me every step of the way. I thank the community of Camas, as a whole. Every coach and every teammate I’ve had growing up have been a factor in me getting drafted today.”
Williams’ final start for the Papermakers came in the semifinal round of the state tournament, at Safeco Field. He tossed eight innings of one-run and five-hit baseball, while gaining nine strikeouts. Camas defeated Columbia River 3-2 in 11 innings.
Over the next three seasons, Williams pitched for Washington State University, Mt. Hood Community College and Kent State University.
“Sometimes, you don’t know where life is going to take you,” he said. “The opportunity to go to Kent State this year was a huge turning point. I got to work with great coaches and teammates who helped me blossom, not only as a baseball player, but as a person.”
Williams fit right in with the Flashes, going 10-1 on the mound with a 2.47 ERA and 110 strikeouts. He was named a first-team pitcher in the Mid-American Conference.
“This has been a big year for me in terms of growing up and becoming mentally tough,” Williams said. “Baseball is a game of failure. You have to learn how to deal with adversity and be able to come back even stronger. These last few years have been a great learning experience in helping me get to the point I’m at now.”
Williams will sign a contract with the Brewers Monday. More details will be printed in Tuesday’s Post-Record newspaper.
“The dream will never stop until it’s achieved. This is just the beginning of a new chapter,” Williams said. “I’m not going to stop until I make it to the big leagues.”