Drafted as a shortstop out of Rockwall-Heath High School, Texas, Jett Williams is on the fast track to making his major league debut for the New York Mets. Williams started the 2023 season in Single-A St. Lucie where he hit just .249 in 79 games, but his incredible plate discipline drawing 69 walks earned him a promotion to A+ Brooklyn.
From there, Williams hit for a much better .299 in 36 games while continuing to show his great eye at the plate with a .451 on-base percentage. While developing as an offensive force in Brooklyn's everyday lineup, Jett was asked to play both shortstop and centerfield given the organizations surplus of middle-infield talent. Evaluators for the organization have raved about his versatility, speed, and arm strength between the two positions.
Finally, Williams was promoted to AA Binghamton in September, joining other top prospects Luisangel Acuna, Drew Gilbert, and Blade Tidwell to assist them in their pursuit of the postseason. In a small sample size of just 6 games, the shortstop hit .227, though 6 games is not enough to make an evaluation. Between three levels, the 19-year old showcased his speed by stealing 45 bases in 52 attempts.
Considering this fast rise through the lower minors in 2023, is it possible we see Jett Williams in a Mets uniform next season?
When looking back at other high school prospects the Mets have drafted in recent years, the normal timeline is 3-4 years from draft day. Brett Baty was drafted in 2019 and debuted in 2022, Pete Crow-Armstrong was drafted in 2020 and was promoted this past September, and Jarred Kelenic was drafted in 2018 and called-up by the Mariners in May of 2021. If the Mets continue this trend, Williams will debut in 2025 given he was drafted in 2022.
Furthermore, the Mets have hired a new President of Baseball Operations, meaning David Stearns may be less hesitant than Billy Eppler in promoting prospects at a young age. Remember, none of Alvarez, Baty, Mauricio, or Vientos were on the opening day roster after performing well in spring training. Given Williams' versatility now playing centerfield and excelling at the position, there could be a path in 2024 with the lack of outfield depth.
I would expect Williams to make his debut in 2025 given his lack of experience at the AA level. The Mets would be wise to be patient with a 19-year old prospect and give him time to adjust with the increase in competition from Brooklyn to Binghamton. The Mets should continue to experiment with Williams at mutliple positions as he could become the right-handed version of Jeff McNeil: a high on-base threat that can play both the infield and outfield.