Williamson drafted 59th, to sign contract with Mariners

Brandon Williamson

TRIMONT — Like numerous elementary school kids growing up in towns and rural areas across the country, Brandon Williamson dreamed about the World Series as he played catch with his father Tod on the family’s farm in western Martin County.

The Seattle Mariners took the first step in making the Texas Christian University junior left-hander’s dream become a reality when they selected him 59th overall in the Major League Baseball Draft late Monday.

While ESPN baseball experts reported the Los Angeles Dodgers had shown interest in the Trimont native as an early third-round choice, Williamson’s agent received an offer from the Mariners at the 76th spot.

“We called Seattle and told them the slot was not good enough to sign at 76, and they said, ‘Let us reassess our offer and get back to you,'” Williamson said. “They called us back a short time later and said, ‘We’ll take you with the 59th pick,’ and it was a deal. Now we just have to work out the terms and price next.”

Williamson, who was driving back to southern Minnesota on Tuesday, will fly to Peoria, Ariz., on Sunday to sign a contract at the Mariners’ spring training complex.

While the former Martin County West High School three-sport standout’s maximum slot value in the latter part of the second round was estimated at a staggering $1.2 million by ESPN and CBS Sports analysts, the final fiscal figure for the former North Iowa Area Community College pitching standout is still being negotiated.

“The Mariners will call in the next couple of days and talk to my agent about all the logistics of the contract, and then we’ll see where we go from there,” said Williamson. “I’m totally fine with being drafted in a spot that’s right for us, and am looking forward to being a part of the organization.”

Williamson was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 36th round of the 2018 MLB Draft after earning all-National Junior College Athletic Association honors at NIACC, but opted to test his pitching skills against Division I opponents in Fort Worth, Texas, this spring.

“Honestly, after high school, I didn’t think I’d be playing baseball in college until I walked on at NIACC. Then I didn’t think I had a shot at the majors until after my sophomore year there,” said Williamson, who compiled an 8-4 record, a 3.14 ERA and 104 strikeouts in 66 innings pitched in 2018.

Williamson made 16 starts on the mound for TCU this spring, compiling a 4-5 overall record and a 4.19 ERA. The left-hander also used his 95 mph fastball to record the Horned Frogs’ second-best total of 89 strikeouts in 77 1/3 innings of work.

“It’s every kid’s dream to make it to this point, and I appreciate everyone who has helped me achieve everything that I have in baseball,” said Williamson.

Brandon Williamson is the son of Tod and Twyla Williamson of Trimont.