Jett Williams excelled on the high school showcase circuit last summer, with scouts raving about his hitting ability. His performance has positioned him as a must-watch player entering this spring season.
Even though he isn’t physically imposing, the Rockwall-Heath (Texas) High School senior shortstop has an exciting toolset that intrigues scouts. Williams added strength to his frame in the offseason, putting on an additional 25 pounds, and now is 5-foot-8 and 185 pounds.
Some people might initially overlook Williams due to his size. But he is an elite talent who thrives off the skepticism.
“I feel like I get a little underlooked because I am not the prototypical 6-2 guy,” Williams said. “I feel like I play with a little bit of a chip on my shoulder and try to prove everyone wrong. Size shouldn’t matter, and I feel like I am one of the best players in the country.”
After his success last summer, Williams has put himself in the conversation as one of the top shortstops in the 2022 prep class. Scouts believe he is a potential early-round pick in the 2022 MLB draft with the potential to solidify himself as a first-round pick with a solid senior season.
“It’s a fun experience,” said Williams on the draft attention. “Just getting more people to come to the games because, in high school, we don’t get too many people that come to the games. The biggest thing is not to change anything because they are there. But my goal is to go out there and enjoy my senior year.”
Williams has proven experience squaring up premium pitching and projects as a top-of-the-order hitter in pro ball. The right-handed hitter has a quick and compact swing and drives the ball to the gaps with ease. He doesn’t swing-and-miss a lot and hits for some power.
Defensively, Williams is a high school shortstop with good arm strength and above-average speed. He moves well side to side, allowing him to have plenty of range and make plays in the hole.
Scouts believe Williams has a chance to stick at shortstop long-term. But they feel he can handle second base and center field in pro ball if he doesn’t remain at shortstop.
“My biggest strength is my consistency at the plate,” Williams said. “I don’t strike out, really, and my bat-to-ball skills are really good. I don’t miss my pitch usually, and very rarely will I swing and miss at bad pitches out of the zone.”
Besides his status as a top draft prospect, Williams is a Mississippi State commit. In October, he committed to the Bulldogs after initially committing to Texas A&M.
After decommitting from Texas A&M, Williams visited Mississippi State, Tennessee, Arizona State and Arkansas before picking the Bulldogs.
Mississippi State’s coaching staff and track record developing talent stood out to Williams during the recruiting process, he said.
“There were a lot of great schools I visited, but I felt the biggest thing that stuck out with Mississippi State was that it just felt like home,” Williams said. “The coaching staff is amazing. They care about you during baseball and outside of baseball.”
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Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for seven years. He has interviewed 356 of the top draft prospects in that period, including four No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today, MLB.com and The Arizona Republic, have quoted his work, while he has appeared on radio stations as a “MLB draft expert.” Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.