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MLB.com photo / Chattanooga Lookouts starting pitcher Brandon Williamson, shown last month at spring training with the Cincinnati Reds, is looking to build off last Saturday's performance in which he allowed one run in five innings.

Throwing left-handed and standing at least 6-foot-6 certainly proved to be the right combination for stellar Major League Baseball pitchers such as Randy Johnson, CC Sabathia and Chris Sale.

Brandon Williamson is putting that same good fortune to use for the Chattanooga Lookouts.

"It creates a good angle coming towards home," Williamson said of his 6-6, 210-pound frame. "My best pitch may be my fastball up in the zone. My curveball comes from way up high, so it plays up more. There's a reason tall pitchers are a commodity, and thankfully I'm tall and a lefty, too.

"It's definitely nice."

Of course, Madison Bumgarner, Steve Carlton, Clayton Kershaw and Andy Pettitte haven't exactly been lefty slouches in that 6-4 range.

Williamson will make his third start of the season Friday night, when the Lookouts continue their series in Mississippi. The 22-year-old out of Fairmont, Minnesota, will be looking to build off last Saturday's outing, when he allowed one run in five innings during Chattanooga's 12-1 thumping of Birmingham at AT&T Field.

There has been a whirlwind element to Williamson's season already, because he was still property of the Seattle Mariners five weeks ago until being traded to Cincinnati as the promising piece the Reds would obtain for sending big-league outfielder Jesse Winker to the American League. To describe that moment as abrupt for Williamson would be an understatement.

"It happened as quick as I could sit down," he said. "It really was just like 'Moneyball.' I sat down and they were like, 'See ya. Get out.' But it's been a good transition so far."

Williamson had been Seattle's second-round pick in the 2019 draft out of TCU, and the Mariners signed him for $925,000. Last month's trade not only reunited him with former Horned Frogs pitching teammate Nick Lodolo, who began last year with the Lookouts and is now with Cincinnati, but also with Lookouts first-year manager Jose Moreno.

Moreno guided Seattle's Single-A team in the Northwest League, the Everett (Washington) AquaSox, in 2019 and was Williamson's first professional manager.

"Small world, right?" Moreno said with a smile. "I'm very happy for Brandon, and I'm happy to have him in our rotation. I think it's going to be a big contribution for us every time he steps on the mound. Every game is going to be an opportunity for him to learn.

"He'll learn about the tendencies of the other teams, and I think those will be baby steps for him in order to get to the big leagues. He'll have the chance to get there."

MLB.com recently ranked Williamson as the No. 100 prospect in all of baseball.

Williamson arrived in Chattanooga with Double-A experience, having made 13 starts late last season with the Arkansas Travelers and posting a 2-5 record with a respectable 3.48 earned run average. He racked up 94 strikeouts over 67 innings in those 13 starts.

"I kind of know what it takes after last year," Williamson said. "It's cool that you're a phone call away, but it's still about going out and doing your thing, and that's no different from low-A ball. I try not to throw a single pitch to be my go-to pitch. I want to have multiple pitches I can count on and rely on at any time.

"I feel like I've been able to throw strikes with any count with any pitch that I want, and the more I'm able to do that, the better I feel."

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524. Follow him on Twitter @DavidSPaschall.

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