Minor League Mondays: Jett Williams Starts 2023 In St. Lucie

Jett Williams, New York Mets.

The 2022 draft has the potential to be a transformational one for the New York Mets’ farm system. Thanks to a few extra compensatory selections in the first few rounds, the Mets stockpiled a lot of talent for their future, headlined by catcher Kevin Parada, who was the 11th overall pick in the draft. That pick was the compensation for the Mets’ failure to sign Kumar Rocker in 2021, but the Mets may have found a gem with their own pick in the first. That gem is shortstop Jett Williams and he is the focus of this week’s edition of Minor League Mondays.

Williams was the 14th overall pick in the 2022 draft out of Rockwall-Heath High School in Texas. Scouts fell in love with Williams over the course of the pre-draft process thanks to his outstanding hit tool, which has led to comparisons to Jose Altuve due to Williams’ short stature. The Mets assigned Williams to the Florida Complex League after he signed a year ago and he flashed immediate potential, posting an .806 OPS in 10 games. That production led the Mets to give him some time at big league camp with a lot of the team’s regular position players at the World Baseball Classic.

Williams was assigned to Low-A St. Lucie after spring training and has had a bit of a learning curve at the new level, batting just .207 with a home run and 10 RBIs in his first 28 games. St. Lucie has seen Williams’ OPS dip from .806 to .702 and he has struck out 30 times in 92 at bats, a very high percentage. One very encouraging sign is that Williams has already drawn 25 walks, demonstrating a solid eye at the plate that belies an advanced approach.

The future is very bright for Williams, who MLB.com rates as the team’s third-best prospect. Williams was drafted as a shortstop and has been playing there for St. Lucie but has enough athleticism that he could move to second base or center field in the future if necessary. With a boatload of prospects at the upper levels, not to mention a dynamic middle infield duo at the big league level in Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil, the Mets can afford to be patient with Williams’ development.

The Mets will undoubtedly let Williams spend most of this season with St. Lucie to get acclimated to professional pitching. The 19-year old Williams will have to increase his batting average and demonstrate some more power to earn a promotion to Brooklyn, the next rung on the minor league ladder. Either way, few prospects in the Mets’ system have more exciting potential than Williams.

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