In the range where the White Sox are picking in this upcoming MLB Draft, names fly around like the juiced baseballs of seasons past. Jett Williams is a guy who may be around when the Sox are on the clock.
NAME: Jett Williams
SCHOOL: Rockwall-Heath HS (Heath, TX)
WEIGHT: 178 lbs
COMMITTED: Mississippi State
Jett Williams is an intriguing high school prospect with a pretty complete skill set. In fact, one could argue his potential is as close to a five-tool player as any high schooler in the Draft. The skill that stands out the most for Williams is his ability to make contact — and hard contact at that. Despite his diminutive size, the ball just jumps off the infielders’ bat, leading to plenty of doubles and triples, with the occasional home run thrown in.
The elite contact skills can in large part be attributed to his polished plate approach and ‘quiet’ swing. Williams’ hands and head stay in the same position as he readies himself for the pitch, while his slight front leg kick gives him enough load-up to barrel up the baseball, without moving his entire body and throwing his swing out of whack. The very few ‘clicking points’ in his swing make it an easily repeatable one, which could explain why Williams makes contact at the rate that he does.
He pulls his hands through the strike zone with elite quickness, while never losing sight of the pitch; his head stays in the same position throughout the swing process. The explosion of the loaded up strength through his hips and legs gives him ample power.
As a fielder, Williams moves well at the shortstop position. He possesses a good arm and runs at an above-average pace. A minor shoulder injury during the summer of 2021 prevented him from throwing at full speed, but he appears to have fully recovered. He ranges about as far into the hole as you can go at times, and he posseses a twitchy quickness to balls off the bat. A steady infielder, he earned the trust of his pitching staff at Rockwall-Heath, as a guy who does not make mistakes, goes all out, and makes the plays he has to make.
The explosiveness of his swing, combined with the high contact rate, give Williams the profile of a well above average gap-to-gap hitter, who could easily tap into 15-20 home run power as a middle infielder, once the line drives turn into big flies. Even if he does not stick at shortstop, which he very well might, he could hit enough to be an everyday center fielder in the Major Leagues.
WHY WOULD THE WHITE SOX DRAFT WILLIAMS?
The White Sox could look at Williams for a variety of reasons. For one, he makes a ton of contact and barely strikes out, which very few players on the current Major League roster and in the high-minors are doing as of this moment. And before you say: “So he’s Nick Madrigal 2.0”, he is not. Williams has much more power and a much cleaner swing than Madrigal had when he was drafted.
Secondly, Williams is as defensively polished as an 18-year-old can be. He will not need a lot a coaching in that area, which is good — because the White Sox organization hasn’t been delivering defensive studs through the developmental pipeline for a while and are among the worst fielding teams in MLB.
Lastly, all reports point to Williams as being a phenomenal ‘culture guy’, an excellent teammate and a great example for the people around him. You can’t have enough of those guys around.
Sure, the White Sox just drafted a high school shortstop last year in Colson Montgomery, but Williams is plenty good enough to seriously consider if he’s still around at pick 26. And for those interested in what Williams would look like in a Sox uniform, the Texas Scout Association All-Star Game has got you covered.
MOCK DRAFT RANKINGS
Recent podcast guest and Baseball America draft writer Carlos Collazo sent Jett Williams to the San Diego Padres in his most recent mock draft. The latest projection at Prospect’s Live has AJ Preller nabbing the prep infielder as well. Keith Law of The Athletic projected Williams to the Oakland Athletics at #19 overall in his most recent mock draft.
Over at ESPN, Kiley McDaniel was the highest on Jett Williams so far as he projected the Texas prep to the New York Mets at #11 overall. Over at MLB Pipeline, Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo have released mock drafts every other week. Mayo’s latest projected Williams to the Toronto Blue Jays at #23 while the most recent update from Callis sends the infielder to the Cleveland Guardians at #23.
2019: .310 BA, .455 OBP, 18 RBI, 29 R, 16 SB
2020: .346/.460/.519, 3 3B, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 14 R, 7 SB
2021: .347/.514/.723, 5 2B, 9 3B, 5 HR, 37 RBI, 40 R, 15 SB
Cover image: YouTube video still