The 2021 All Star Game is one that the Swiss baseball community, and their national team player Noah Williamson, will not soon forget.
Williamson, born in Las Vegas, was the 569th pick in the 19th round of the 2021 draft making him the first Swiss citizen to ever be drafted into the MLB.
In 2019, Williamson played for the Zurich Challengers and represented Switzerland on the national team in their quest to win the European Championship B-Pool.
Selected by the Marlins, Noah was drafted out of Everett Community College in Washington. The 6’4”, 220 lb., 20-year old outfielder is signed to play for the Oregon Ducks baseball program in 2022. He’s spending the summer in Yakima Valley playing for the Pippins in the West Coast League.
In June Williamson was named Player of the Week after he went on an offensive tear the week of June 7th. He went 11-26, including five for extra bases, and a 422-foot home run. Noah scored 10 runs and had 8 RBIs on the week. He twice tripled in a 12-inning win, becoming the first player in the club’s history to record two in a game. He also scored the winning run in that game. Coming out of that week, Williamson lead the team in runs scored, RBIs, hits, doubles, triples and he was more than 5 runs ahead of the next closest player in runs created.
When he was just 18 years old, Williamson became a member of the Swiss National Baseball team, spending the summer of 2019 in Zurich playing locally for the Challengers. The outfielder was looking out his window as the plane he was taking to Switzerland for a vacation passed over the ball field in Zurich. As the national team head coach Chris Byrnes tells it, shortly after landing the enterprising young man reached out to the Federation and then to Byrnes himself. In no time at all Williamson was suiting up with Suisse across his chest. Williamson was a contributor, on both on his local and national teams.
For Zurich he had 39 putouts and 4 assists over 43 chances for a perfect fielding percentage over 118.2 innings of work. At the plate Noah had 21 runs off 20 hits, including 4 doubles and 4 homeruns, over 68 plate appearances. He drove in 18 and struck out 20 times for a .333 batting average, .412 OBP and a .600 slugging percentage as well as a 1.012 OPS.
Though listed as an outfielder, Noah also took turns at 1B. In fact, he made the league’s leader board in fielding the position. He had 26 putouts and 1 assist over 21.2 innings, fielding the position perfectly. In the outfield he had 11 putouts and 1 assist over 85.0 innings of work and landed on that leader board as well.
During the European Championship B-Pool, Switzerland placed in the middle of the pack, 4th out of eight teams, but Williamson lead the tournament in nearly every offensive category.
Williamson finished the tournament with a .421 batting average over 5 games, all of which he started. The next closest batter was hitting .357. Over 19 at bats he had 8 runs off 8 hits, including 2 doubles and 3 homeruns, for 8 RBIs and a perfect slugging percentage.
He was walked once and was hit once, striking out just 4 times. He was also hit more than once during Switzerland’s regular season indicating he might like to hug the plate a bit. His OBP was .476. On the field he was perfect putting out 10 over the same number of opportunities.
Williamson topped the leader board in games played, batting average, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, runs scored, hits, runs batted in, doubles and home runs, as well as total bases, for the tournament.
Noah’s average against lefties was 1.000, against righties, .389, placing him atop both those boards as well. He also tied for second in percentage reached as lead off at .600. His average with runners on was .400, top of that board, and he was hitting .444 with the bases empty. Williamson averaged 1.60 hits/game, the most in the tournament, 1.60 runs/game, also tops, doubles/game .40, and homers per game .60, as well as RBI’s/game 1.60. Not surprisingly, he was also in the #1 spot for fielding percentage at perfection, though 9th in chances and 5th in putouts.
For those interested in following Williamson’s progress through the Marlins' system, remember to check out our In The MLB pieces run regularly throughout the year.