Williams was the Blue Jays' first-round pick in the 1981 Major League Baseball Draft and the fifth pick overall out of Rice University. He debuted for the Blue Jays in 1983, but pitched just 8 innings in 4 games before returning to the minor leagues. After another two years in the minors, Williams was traded to the Rangers as part of a deal to acquire Cliff Johnson. Williams pitched six games down the stretch for Texas, including three starts, with an ERA of 2.42. Despite this impressive showing, he never again played in the major leagues.