Yankees outfield prospect Mason Williams made his major league debut on Friday night at Camden Yards against the Orioles. Batting ninth, he struck out in his first major league at-bat against Ubaldo Jimenez. He had much more success the second time around.
With a runner on second base and one out in the fourth inning with the Yankees trailing 5-1, Williams drove a 0-1 fastball from Jimenez into the seats in right-center for a two-run home run.
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Williams was considered one of the top outfield prospects a few years ago, but struggled in 2013 and ’14. He hit will with Double-A Trenton to start the season before earning a promotion to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on May 21. He hadn’t homered in 235 combined minor league plate appearances this season.
In March, Major League Baseball agreed to pay minor league players $400 per week while the sport is shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic. That provision is set to expire at the end of May. As Craig noted earlier, the Athletics will not be paying their minor leaguers starting on June 1.
Several teams are doing the right thing, continuing to pay their minor leaguers $400 per week through at least the end of June. Per The Athletic’s Levi Weaver and James Fegan, the Rangers and White Sox will each tack on another month of pay. The Athletic’s Dennis Lin reported earlier that the Padres will pay their players through the end of August. Craig also cited a Baseball America report from this morning, which mentioned that the Marlins will also pay their players through the end of August.
Frankly, if the Marlins can find a way to continue paying their minor league players, then every team should be able to do the same. The Marlins are widely believed to be the least profitable among the 30 major league clubs. Here’s hoping the rest of the league follows the Rangers’, White Sox’s, Padres’, and Marlins’ lead as opposed to the Athletics’.