Phillies OF prospect Nick Williams pulled again for not hustling


Updated: 9:51 p.m.

Nick Williams, the Phillies' most advanced outfield prospect, has been on a roll lately, but Monday saw the end of his 11-game hitting streak and a premature end to his night.

Williams was removed again by IronPigs manager Dave Brundage after not running out a grounder back to the pitcher in the eighth inning of a 5-3 Lehigh Valley loss. It came less than two weeks after his previous punishment, a two-game benching for not running out a flyball that was dropped.

When asked about it after the game, Brundage told reporters including the Allentown Morning Call's Tom Housenick to ask Williams himself.

Williams told reporters he didn't have much to say.

In an interview Tuesday afternoon with Comcast SportsNet's Marshall Harris, Williams dismissed the notion that he doesn't play hard.

“There was a play earlier this year, I struck out on a ball in the dirt and I made it to second [base]," Williams said. "They can’t ever say I don’t play hard."

As for the latest incident, Williams admitted he was wrong, but ...

“That situation, I mean, it was just weird," Williams said. "I hit the ball, like bam, bam, in the pitcher’s glove. It’s just hard to say I see anybody running that ball. It just happened too fast.”

Williams' time at Triple A this season, his first with the IronPigs, has been rocky at times. Aside from the two benchings for lack of hustle, Williams also excessively celebrated a game-winning home run on May 3 and attempted a bunt with his team up eight runs early in a 16-1 Lehigh Valley win on June 11. The bunt was not received well by the Durham Bulls and it led to two ejections and some animosity between the teams.

This is Williams' first full season in the Phillies' minor-league system after coming over last summer from the Rangers in the Cole Hamels trade. In 287 plate appearances with the IronPigs, he's hit .285/.329/.460 with 17 doubles, four triples, seven home runs and 36 RBIs. He has 12 extra-base hits this month after totaling 14 in April and May combined.

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