The brand new Baseball United league is set to kick off in Dubai, United Arab Emirates in 2023 and held its first ever draft Monday afternoon. The league currently has four franchises spanning three countries and some familiar names were taken Monday ranging from former New York Yankees star infielder Robinson Cano, to eccentric hurler Bartolo Colón.
One former member of the St. Louis Cardinals even was selected as former Cardinals outfielder Justin Williams was selected with the 13th pick in the second round to the Mumbai Cobras, the league announced.
With the 13th pick, the (Mumbai Cobras) select Justin Williams, outfielder, from Houma, Louisiana, USA,” the league said. “Williams played for the Tampa Bay Rays and the in St. Louis Cardinals 2021.”
Williams was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the second round of the 2023 Major League Baseball June Amateur Draft. The 28-year-old was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays in 2014, where he rose through the ranks of the farm system. Williams was finally called up to the major leagues for the first time in 2018, but appeared in only one game.
The outfielder was traded to the Cardinals in 2018 along with relief pitcher Génesis Cabrera in exchange for outfielder Tommy Pham. He made his major league debut with the St. Louis Blues. Louis in 2020 and saw more time in 2021. In all, Williams appeared in 54 total games with the Cardinals and hit four home runs, drove in 11 runs and hit .161/. .273/.258 before hitting free agency.
Williams signed a minor league deal with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2022 but hasn’t been able to make it back to the big leagues ever since.