Devin Williams (baseball)

Devin Terran Williams (born September 21, 1994) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers of Major League Baseball (MLB). He made his MLB debut in 2019 and was named the National League's rookie of the year and relief pitcher of the year in 2020.

Devin Williams
Milwaukee Brewers – No. 38
Born: (1994-09-21) September 21, 1994
Florissant, Missouri, U.S.
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
MLB debut
August 7, 2019, for the Milwaukee Brewers
MLB statistics
(through 2022 season)
Win–loss record18–7
Earned run average2.03
Career highlights and awards


Early career

Williams attended Christian Brothers College High School until his sophomore year when he transferred to Hazelwood West High School in Hazelwood, Missouri. The Milwaukee Brewers selected him in the second round, with the 54th overall selection, of the 2013 MLB draft.[1] He signed with the Brewers for a $1.35 million signing bonus rather than enroll at the University of Missouri.[2]

During spring training in 2017, Williams tore the ulnar collateral ligament of the elbow. He underwent Tommy John surgery and missed the entire season.[3] In 2019, he was chosen to represent the Brewers at the All-Star Futures Game.[4]

Milwaukee Brewers

On August 5, 2019, the Brewers selected Williams' contract and promoted him to the major leagues.[5] He made his debut on August 7 against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park.[6] In 13 appearances with the 2019 Brewers, Williams pitched to a 3.95 earned run average (ERA) while striking out 14 batters in 13+23 innings pitched.

Williams was named the NL Reliever of the Month for September 2020. In 13 innings he surrendered just four hits, no runs and recorded 24 strikeouts.[7] On October 5, 2020, Williams was named MLB Reliever of the Year, capturing 12 of 17 votes. Williams had a breakout year finishing with an ERA of 0.33, surrendering just 18 hits in 27 innings and 53 strikeouts. He struck out over half the batters he faced in 22 appearances. On November 9, 2020, Williams was named the NL Rookie of the Year, becoming the first relief pitcher to win the award since Craig Kimbrel in 2011.[8] His 0.33 ERA was the lowest in a single season with at least 21 innings pitched since earned runs became an official statistic in 1913.[9]

Williams returned to the Brewers' bullpen for the 2021 season. After allowing only a single earned run in 14 relief appearances during August, he was named NL Reliever of the Month for the second time.[10] On September 29, 2021, it was announced that Williams would miss the remainder of the season after fracturing his pitching hand after drinking alcohol and punching a wall following the celebrations following the team's NL Central Division title clinch the Sunday before.[11]

In October 2022, it was announced that Williams intended to represent Team USA in the 2023 World Baseball Classic.

On January 13, 2023, Williams agreed to a one-year, $3.35 million contract with the Brewers, avoiding salary arbitration.[12]

Pitching style

Williams has two primary pitches: 4-seam fastball and a circle changeup with screwball-like movement while rotating the ball off the ring finger during release, which is also similar to a cricket leg-spinner bowling a googly, but at a much faster pace of around 85 mph and with a very high spin-rate of 2852 rpm. He also has a rarely-used cutter and sinker.[13] In 2020, due to the increased movement on the changeup, he increased its usage and often used it as a strikeout pitch.[14] He refers to his changeup as the "Airbender," a nickname coined by Rob Friedman.[15][16]


  1. Meyer, Brendan. "Cubs select Mizzou's Zastryzny, Brewers select Williams in MLB Draft". Retrieved June 30, 2019.
  2. Latsch, Nate (June 15, 2013). "Hazelwood West standout pitcher Williams signs with the Brewers | High School Baseball". Retrieved June 30, 2019.
  3. "Devin Williams, Brewers' top pick in 2013, still has major-league dreams". August 21, 2018. Retrieved June 30, 2019.
  4. McCalvy, Adam (May 24, 2018). "Devin Williams picked to play in Futures Game | Milwaukee Brewers". Retrieved June 30, 2019.
  5. Tom Haudricourt (August 5, 2019). "Zach Davies heads to injured list; Brewers call up relievers Jake Faria, Devin Williams". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved August 5, 2019.
  6. Jake Crouse (August 7, 2019). "Hiura leads rout of Bucs with first multi-HR game". Retrieved August 8, 2019.
  7. "Brewers' Williams named NL Reliever of the Month". September 28, 2020.
  8. "Williams first reliever to win ROY since 2011". November 9, 2020. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
  9. "Player Pitching Season & Career Stats Finder". Sports Reference. Retrieved June 21, 2022.
  10. Adler, David (September 2, 2021). "Clase, Williams tabbed top August relievers". Retrieved September 2, 2021.
  11. Matt Snyder (September 29, 2021). "Brewers' Devin Williams out for playoffs as reliever breaks hand by punching wall after NL Central celebration". CBS Sports. Retrieved September 29, 2021.
  12. "2023 MLB Arbitration Tracker". MLBTradeRumors. Retrieved January 13, 2023.
  13. "Pitch Arsenal". Retrieved October 2, 2020.
  14. "Devin Williams - Stats - Pitching | FanGraphs Baseball". Retrieved October 2, 2020.
  15. "Dodgers must contend with the unhittable 'Airbender' pitch of Brewers' Devin Williams". Los Angeles Times. September 29, 2020. Retrieved October 3, 2020.
  16. Carig, Marc. "The legend of 'Airbender': Devin Williams' — and baseball's — most absurd pitch". The Athletic. Retrieved October 3, 2020.
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