Texas Rangers sign Team Italy U18 sensation Williams Wong
17/01/2023 3 Minute Read

Texas Rangers sign Team Italy U18 sensation Williams Wong

The young and talented second baseman begins his journey with the Texas Rangers at their Boca Chica training facility in the Dominican Republic

On a busy day of international player signings for Major League Baseball, Williams Wong represented Team Italy when executing a contract with the Texas Rangers at the BC Settimo press office. He will depart for the Dominican Republic next month to engage in preseason activities before the start the championship in May.

Piemonte native Williams Wong exclaimed, "I'm happy! This contract represents a starting point and not an arrival point. I am aware that I will have to work a lot with the Texas Rangers. I will find a group of elite athletes who are all motivated to play ball professionally for the American franchise. But it is a dream come true since I was a baby when my dad put a ball in my hand. I've dreamed of getting to play in MLB".

Williams Wong was born with baseball in his blood. He is the proud son of a Sardinian mother and a Cuban father, who was a former player in his native country as well as a baseball icon in Settimo Torinese (where he currently serves as the Serie A manager).

Williams Wong was weaned on the diamond from an early age when he played from minibaseball to the youth level. He was known for his commitment, passion and discipline. As a result of his excellence, he was selected to play for Team Italy U12 squad and landed a gold medal at the 2017. Williams Wong was a standout for Team Italy while competing for the U15 and U18 squads as a 2019-20 product of the Italian Baseball Academy in Rome.

"Willy" made his debut in the Italian Serie A championship with BC Settimo as the everyday second baseman at the age of 14 in 2020. During 2022 regular season, he was one of the best performing infielders in Serie A with .378 batting average and a 1,083 slugging+on-base percentage.

As a member of the Team Italy U18 squad, Williams Wong competed in European Championship and the U18 World Cup in Florida, where he finished with a .429 batting average (9-for-21 with six runs scored). Commenting on the level of competition he faced in the European and Youth World Cups, he said: "I saw the excellent talent pool from the other national teams. After my first two games, some scouts contacted me. From that point on, I really understood that if I wanted to have a chance that I had to focus 100% on what my goal was. The recipe for me to attain my dream was based on a precise routine, technique and application."

The road to MLB became even clearer when the Texas Rangers invited Williams Wong to their Domincan Republic Baseball Academy for two weeks of intensive physical and technical tests before deciding if he was a signable prospect. At the official signing in Settimo Torinese, he wore a Texas Rangers hat and thanked everyone who made this memorable moment possible. Willy said, "If I'm here today, I have to thank many people: my family, my mom, my dad and my grandparents who have always encouraged and helped me along this path. My club, where I spent more time on the diamond than in my bedroom. Settimo is a family, a right size where you can grow as an athlete without external pressure. You can work with everyone, grow by watching athletes older than you and have an eye for the little ones. Special thanks to Federazione Italiana Baseball Softball for trusting me while playing for the U12, U15 and U18 national teams. I am hopeful that my signing will be helpful to increase the quality and the experience of the Italian baseball movement."

Williams Wong is the first Italian player to sign for the Texas Rangers and is currently the youngest affiliated with a major league franchise. He is also the only Italian position player in the MLB system given that the other prospects are pitchers Claudio Scotti, Daniele Di Monte, Ettore Giulianelli, Alessandro Ercolani and Nicolò Pinazzi. With the new FIBS College Pipeline in full effect, more Italian players are expected to be added to that growing list of MLB prospects.


by Roberto Angotti

(Photo of the Williams Wong and his parents at the BC Settimo press office after signing with for the Texas Rangers)