A kid from Odessa, Texas, with a dream of being a Major League Baseball Player: that was Creed Willems just a few short years ago.
If you weren’t already aware, Willems is a six-foot, 225-pound left-handed catcher in the Orioles’ farm system, the consensus top system in all of baseball.
I was given the honor and privilege to sit down with Willems to discuss his journey being an MLB prospect, the importance of his faith in both his career and personal life and the interaction between him and his fellow prospect teammates.
Willems started his baseball journey at Aledo High School, where he would eventually earn an offer to play D1 baseball at Texas Christian University, his dream college.
“Growing up in Fort Worth, Texas, I was always a diehard TCU fan,” Willems said. “So it was one of those things where as soon as they offered, it was January of my junior year, and I knew instantly I wanted to go to TCU.”
Though TCU was enticing, Willems would be drafted in the eighth round of the 2021 MLB Draft. He would have a life-altering decision on whether to play baseball at his dream school or start his professional career.
“After COVID that summer leading into my senior year, everything started to click,” Willems said. “And my agent says, ‘you have a chance to get drafted.'”
Willems made his difficult decision official when he took to social media on July 14, 2021, and announced that he was foregoing his collegiate career to be a Baltimore Oriole.
“I got drafted on July 12, which was pretty special just because my mom’s birthday is July 11, and we knew I wasn’t going first-round, so I wasn’t getting drafted on her birthday,” Willems said. “It was a little belated birthday gift.”
Willems will be entering his second season in the Orioles organization after finishing the 2022 season with the Low-A Delmarva Shorebirds. So far in his minor league career, the 19-year-old has slashed .188/.266/.310 with a .577 OPS in 78 games.
One thing that most players will agree on is having great teammates around them for support and advice during the grind of a season. Willems said that he likes to soak up as much knowledge as he can by hanging out with the likes of Adley Rutschman, Heston Kjerstad and Jackson Holliday.
“You try to understand what they (his teammates) are thinking in the box,” Willems said. “With Adley, you try and see what he’s thinking behind the plate and how he goes about his work.”
Willems and Rutschman have a great relationship on and off the field, so much so that Rutschman praised Willems in an interview last season.
Willems has openly expressed his faith via social media, posting scripture and sharing the love of the Lord in any way he can. He balances his faith with a taxing schedule by leaning on those around him who share the same lifestyle.
“Joey Ortiz, Connor Pavolony and I every morning would go down to the lobby before we would go to the field and do a Bible study and just talk about it throughout the day.”
Willems said that he and his teammates would pray over every one of the staff and do whatever they could to spread God’s word.
He also loves to interact with younger fans, and no matter what type of game he has, he will not let it affect the way that he approaches them.
“I don’t like to leave the ballpark until every kid there has an autograph,” Willems said.
A sign of maturity from a 19-year-old that most his age don’t possess. Speaking from personal experience, if you have the chance to go see Willems play, take a day and do it.
We want to thank Creed for taking the time to sit down with us. We wish him the best, as the 2023 season is just on the horizon.
Make sure to follow Creed on Twitter – @CreedWillems11
What do you think of Creed Willems and his journey through his professional career and his faith? Let us know in the comments below! And make sure to follow The Baltimore Battery on Facebook and Twitter, and use the hashtag #baltimorebattery when sharing our content!
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One thought on “Sitting down with O’s prospect Creed Willems”
Great article! I love to hear how an individuals faith impact their daily lives and relationships!