Mitch Williams

Cubs fans would sing the rock song “Wild Thing” when Mitch Williams emerged from the Chicago bullpen in 1989, in reference to his explosive but uncontrollable fastball. Williams reached a career high in saves with 36 for the Cubs in 1989, but his control problems make him dangerous both to hitters and to his own teams (220 walks in 275 career innings through 1988), and his lunging follow-through leaves him in horrible defensive position after each pitch. Williams set an ML rookie record with 80 appearances for the Rangers in 1986, and he pitched 85 times in 1987, but saved only 14 games over the two seasons. In 1988 the flamethrower improved his control somewhat (only 6.2 walks per nine innings) and saved 18 games for the Rangers. An eight-player off-season trade made him a Cub.