CLEARWATER, Fla. - Mason Williams is a fleet, young outfielder, the Yankees' fourth-round draft pick last June.

Thanks to a high throw by young Venezuelan catching prospect Francisco Diaz, Chase Utley got a chance to execute another baseball move he needs to prove he can do: leap for a high throw over a sliding runner.

This extended spring-training game yesterday was in Tampa at the Yankees' minor league complex. Like Saturday's 5-for-7 debut against the Blue Jays in Dunedin, Utley was facing pitchers destined for the rookie, short-season Gulf Coast League. To go lower than that in professional baseball, you have to be assigned to an academy team in the Dominican Republic or Venezuela.

First inning, Williams was on first and looking runnerish, as Rich Ashburn liked to say. Diaz has a rocket arm and was a 20-year-old catcher on last summer's Gulf Coast League champions. Francisco has been having trouble with accuracy this spring. A good throw might have nailed Williams. But the throw was high, and Utley had to leap to keep the ball from sailing into center.

Holy LeBron James. That was some pretty good ups for a one-legged man. On that play, the worst part of going up is coming down. But the gimpy-kneed second baseman survived his brief launch into inner space.

Utley ended the first inning with another check mark on his to-do list: doubleplay pivot? Check. He turned one routinely to end the inning.

"I feel good, I got to go back-to-back in the field a couple of different times," he said later. "So far, so good. I'm just trying to get as many reps as I can."

And the leap. Was it routine, or a leap of faith? Any pain?

"Not yet," he said.

Once again, Utley batted every inning. There was no 5-for-7 this time. Saturday, the Jays fed two lefthanders to Chase. One was a 27th-round draft pick coming back from Tommy John surgery. The other was a kid who has yet to pitch in an official professional game. They were dead meat.

I have seen the Yankees' extended teams a half-dozen times and they keep trotting out large, hard-throwing studs with an idea of how to pitch. You can tell it's a well-regarded crop by the number of scouts with radar guns baking in the sun.

Utley was 1-for-7 yesterday. But the lone hit provided more evidence that his knee is functional. With a lefthander on the mound, he legged out a swinging bunt for his second infield hit. Other than that, the All-Star got only one ball out of the infield, striking out twice, popping out twice and grounding out to first. His first AB, he flied out to center.

The Phillies' extended teams are home today. There is some ambiguity on whether Chase will play a second straight day. It is probably his call, based on how he feels after taking batting practice in the morning and going through his stretching and running routines.

"I'm not sure what the plan is," he said. "I've got to see what the next step is."

"Whatever Lola wants," as the devil's assistant sings in "Damn Yankees." *

Daily News correspondent Joe Wombough contributed to this report.