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2022 Mets Draft profile: Jett Williams

With their first-round selection in the 2022 draft, 14th overall, the Mets selected Jett Williams, a shortstop from Rockwall-Heath High School in Heath, Texas.

“Man, if you were 6-2, you’d be a top-five draft pick,” Rich Williams recalls one scout telling his son, Jett.

Jett Williams has always been one of the smaller people on the field. As a youngster, he played on Little League teams with children who were older than him. At a teen, he simply did not grow as much as his teammates on the Rockwell-Heath High School varsity baseball team. Indeed, the biggest knock on Jett Williams is his size. Listed at present at 5’8”, 175-pounds but in likelihood even smaller and lighter, baseball has a bias against smaller players, despite the paradigm being broken to a degree in recent years with numerous highly productive players coming in at less than six feet. The doubters have only fueled Williams’ hard-nosed style of play, in fact. “I play the game the right way: play hard, play with a little bit of a chip on my shoulder, just knowing that I’m kind of an undersized guy,” he said. “I feel like I always have to prove everybody wrong and do the little things right: run out ground balls, run out fly balls. Then I feel like my hitting is really, really good. I have really good plate-disciplined bat-to-ball skills. Ready to get to work…Knowing that I was a smaller-framed guy, my mindset was that I always had to out-work everybody. I had to outwork people, because when I was little, people overlooked me because of my size. I just knew if I wanted to be the best, I had to outwork everybody.”

Williams made the Rockwall-Heath High School varisity baseball team as a freshman and helped lead them to state playoffs in virtually every season that he played for the Hawks. In his junior and senior years, arguably the most important for a high school player, he hit .347 with 5 home runs and 15 stolen bases and .411 with 7 home runs and 24 stolen bases, respectively.

At the plate, Williams has a very quiet setup. He stands square at the plate holding his hands low and his bat perpendicular to the ground. He strides to the ball using a slight leg kick, holding his hands back. He possesses plus bat speed, resulting in exit velocities that have been registered in the mid-90s, producing deep line drives with sprayed all around the field. He has a good eye and quick hands, allowing him to lay off of bad pitches and put good wood on both premium velocity and advanced spin.

Defensively, Williams makes use of his above-average, borderline plus speed. He moves well on the dirt, showing plenty of lateral range. He has soft hands and a smooth glove with the instinctive actions to stick at shortstop, though his footwork still needs more development. He was playing with an injured shoulder for parts of 2021 and 2022, resulting in scouts and evaluators failing to get a good read on his arm strength and accuracy. Some believe that his arm is solid average for the position when fully healthy, and as a result, Williams will stick at shortstop for many years to come, while others believe that his arm is more fringy, and as a result, he will wind up at a different position. With his speed, center field would be the most obvious second home.

Williams originally had a commitment to Texas A&M but decommitted and now has a commitment to Mississippi State University.