MLB News: Earlier this week Milwaukee Brewers closer Devin Williams was nominated for his second career All-Star game. The former 2020 Rookie of the Year and Trevor Hoffman Reliever of the Year has excelled in his first season as the Brewers full time closer for he formerly was the setup man for Josh Hader.
So far in 2023 Devin Williams has 17 saves, a 1.52 ERA, and a 0.978 WHIP. His strikeout numbers are slightly lower than normal, but he is again pitching at an exceptional level. Throughout his five year career he has accumulated 35 saves and has struck out an impressive 289 batters in 185 innings pitched.
Following his selection to the 2023 All-Star game his manager Craig Counsell had some strong words regarding Devin Williams career so far as well as previous elite closers who have been in the organization.
MLB News: Milwaukee Brewers closer Devin Williams receives Hall Of Fame praise from manager Craig Counsell
“It’s been quite a run for this organization. Trevor Hoffman was the first guy that I was fortunate to play with, and there’s been excellence in that position. We’re very lucky. And I think Devin belongs up there with those names…Now, he’s got a long way to go in his career, but that’s how his career has started. He’s pitching at the level those guys pitched at in their career.”
Currently, there are eight Hall of Fame pitchers who were enshrined primarily for their accomplishments as closers. They are Mariano Rivera, Trevor Hoffman, Dennis Eckersley, Rollie Fingers, Goose Gossage, Hoyt Wilhelm, Bruce Sutter and Lee Smith. This is not a lengthy list and some very exceptional closers like Billy Wanger and Francisco Rodriguez are currently not Hall of Fame members.
If Devin Williams continues to pitch at his current level, remains a closer throughout the duration of his career, pitches another dozen years, and builds a post season resume there is a possibility that he could join this list.
At 28 years old he has a lot of career left, but so far his dominance has positioned him to be considered one of the best closers in today’s era of baseball. Being inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame as a closer is a tough task, but that’s not to say it’s impossible.