Jett Williams has had New York connections from a very young age. From 2-4, Williams and his family lived on Long Island before they had to move to Texas to accommodate his father’s job. His father and brother both attended Stony Brook University. Jett’s love of baseball is something that has been there since he was very young.
In a story he told us on The Mets Pod, early in elementary school he would not write his name on his papers. Perhaps to his teachers’ dismay, he instead wrote “Jacoby E” for Jacoby Ellsbury, who was his favorite player growing up. In his early years playing the game, he wore the number 46 for Ellsbury. He has since updated his favorite players to Mookie Betts and Alex Bregman.
Williams jumped onto the national scene in the spring of 2021 when he performed at Rockwall-Heath High School and then went to the Area Code game showcase, where he made consistent hard contact against some of the top-level high school pitchers in the nation. At the event, the 5-foot-6 shortstop registered similar swing speeds and exit velocities as the likes of Druw Jones – who went No. 2 overall in the 2022 draft to the Arizona Diamondbacks. At the time, an NL scout told me, “[Williams] simply didn’t swing and miss at Area Codes, who cares how tall he is?”
Texas is one of the most competitive baseball states in the country, along with California, Florida and Georgia. Leading into the spring of 2022, Williams was ranked as the No. 1 high school prospect in Texas and was committed to Mississippi State if the draft had not worked out.
He had been told by his agent that he should expect to go somewhere between No. 8 and No. 20 overall in the 2022 draft. He had not heard from the Mets at all during the process except for a private workout that he attended but could not participate in due to his high school team being in the playoffs.
The moment finally came when he received the call that the Mets were drafting him No. 14 overall. Williams signed with the Mets at Citi Field on July 22, 2022 for $3.9 million and then reported to St. Lucie to begin his professional career.
Williams is listed at 5-foot-6 and a strongly built 175 pounds. With the success of smaller players like Betts, Bregman and Jose Altuve, as well as the larger presence of data and analytics on batted balls, teams are much less concerned about the “typical” profiles than they were just a few years ago.
He possesses plus bat speed and well above-average bat-to-ball skills. At draft time, he ranked behind only Termarr Johnson in the high school class when it came to pure bat-to-ball skills. One thing that I was not aware of coming into his first pro season was that he has borderline elite plate discipline. He made some adjustments early in the season, but since June 1, he is hitting .281/.445/.475 (.920 OPS) between Low-A St. Lucie and High-A Brooklyn, where he is currently playing.
While he is a strong kid, home run power is not a big part of his game; his visions are to spray the ball gap-to-gap and utilize his speed and aggressiveness on the basepaths. He is known as a baseball rat and a big-hustle player. He will bust out of the box on a basic groundball to second base or a pop up because, as he told us, “You never know if it will drop”.
He has plus-speed that he utilizes well on the basepaths. When he draws a walk, he has it in his mind he is going to take second base if the situation is there. As of this writing, he is at 38 stolen bases on the season and has only been caught once in his last 25 attempts.
In the field, he is instinctual and has played both shortstop and center field. There are some questions on the arm strength, which leads many scouts to believe he will best fit at second base long term, but he certainly has the athleticism to profile at a few spots on the diamond.
Williams came in as my No. 2 prospect in the Mets system in my latest top-20 rankings for SNY. After a very strong first year of pro ball, he is a unanimous top-100 prospect in the sport, with ESPN ranking him inside the top 50.
He has a chance to be an exciting top-of-the-order spark-plug player who can create absolute havoc on the basepaths. He will hit his doubles and triples and could have double-digit home run potential in his future, but I think he’d be better off not trying to sell out for home runs and stick to his game.
The Mets have Francisco Lindor entrenched at shortstop for the long term, but Williams could profile at a couple of different defensive positions where you can figure out his best fit as he gets closer to the big leagues.
Williams will play the entire 2024 season at 20 years old, and I suspect he will either start the year with Double-A Binghamton or back with High-A Brooklyn until he gets the amount of at-bats the Mets desire for him to reach the upper minors. His advanced approach at the plate may give him a chance to beat the major-league ETA of 2026 that some public folks (myself included) may have projected for him.