"I don't know what kind of scouting report they had on me," McWilliam told The American-Statesman afterward. "They'd never seen me hit and probably didn't have much on me."
McWilliam went on from college to a five-season career in the pros where he briefly made AAA, but not the majors.
McWilliam, though, would become well acquainted himself with the role of a scout as he turned to a career in the role, first with the Padres and then with the Tigers.
McWilliam's career in baseball began that year in 1988, signed by the Padres as an undrafted free agent out of Texas A and M.
Before heading to the Aggies, McWilliam played at Pima Community College. In one May 1985 Junior College World Series game, he hit two doubles and a triple all on little rest after a late night loss the night before, The Arizona Daily Star wrote.
"It was hard to think about last night or about being tired because now it's one-loss-and-you're-out," McWilliam told The Daily Star then. "You can't be depressed in that situation."
McWilliam started with the Padres in 1988 in the rookie Arizona League. He hit .451 in 48 games. He then moved to single-A Riverside for 1989, where he hit .283 over the season.
He made AA Wichita for 1990, then briefly saw AAA Las Vegas for 1991. He went 1 for 5 there. But he played that season and the next largely at Wichita. He it .233 in 48 games there in 1992 to end his career.
McWilliam then quickly turned scout. By 1994, he worked in that role for the Padres and spoke to his hometown Daily Star about about a local late-round draftee, Antonio Fernandez. McWilliam also went to serve that year as a coach at short-season Spokane.
"I think Antonio has a great opportunity," McWilliam told The Daily Star. "With me being in Spokane, I'll be pulling for him behind closed doors. I really respect the kid."
In 2018, he spoke on the team's YouTube page about the impact of analytics on scouting.
"It's all about making the best decision possible," McWilliam said in the video, "and I think the analytics going forward, and I still have a lot to learn about that, is going to make us better scouts and just make better decisions so I'm excited about it."
- Arizona Daily Star, May 28, 1985: Aztecs defeat Connors State
- Austin American-Statesman, May 20, 1988: Aggies nip Razorbacks after finally solving Harris
- Arizona Daily Star, June 5, 1994: Sunnyside grad is picked in 47th round by Padres
- YouTube, May 28, 2018: McWilliam on the impact of analytics on scouting
Made the Majors:1,220-34.8%
Never Made Majors:2,281-65.2%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:507
10+ Seasons in the Minors:299