It is not surprising that Jett Williams, a 5-foot-8-inch infielder, was a first-round MLB draft pick from his own home field, a warehouse to which he had dedicated all his efforts the last two years in Rockwall County.
On July 17, the state champion and the offensive player of the year witnessed his dream turn into a reality after the New York Mets selected him in the first round as the 14th overall pick.
“I feel like if you put in all your hard work, sometimes it will pay off,” Williams said. “My ultimate goal was to get drafted in the first round since I was a freshman.” He continued, “Knowing all this hard work paid off is really surreal.”
Wiliams was the third high school baseball player from Texas to be selected in the first round of the last four drafts. He is set to join Jesuits alumnus Jordan Lawler, selected in 2021, and Colleyville Heritage’s Bobby Witt, Jr., selected in 2019.
William is also only the third player since 2012 to be selected with a height of 5 feet, 8 inches or shorter. The other two were pitcher Marcus Stroman, who joined the Blue Jays in 2012, and Nick Madrigal, who joined the White Sox in 2018.
It turns out height didn’t matter, as Williams successfully helped the Rockwall-Heath Hawks win the state title in 2021. Dominating the entire season, he finished with an average of .411, 43 RBIs, 24 stolen bases, and seven home runs.
A loud cheer emerged from the 7AR Academy clubhouse when the draft broadcasters called him “the shortest among the top participators.” To Williams, this distinct descriptor has been replaced by “the first-round MLB draft pick.”
Williams may never be able to change his height, but that does not matter to the scouts, who believe he will acquire the position at second base or perhaps in the outfield.
Being selected by the Mets has been a goal of Williams since he was a freshman at Rockwall-Heath, something he used to write on his goal board back then. Though his family knew it would be difficult to achieve that goal, they nevertheless supported him.
Williams’ older brother R. J. Williams said he often told his younger brother that he had big goals, but he needed to reach even higher. He even said if people were not laughing at the goals he had set, then they were probably not high enough.
The elder brother described how the new Mets player used to join him during practice when he played at U.T. Arlington.
“I’m like, man, he could come play for us right now. He was just that kind of dude. His height never mattered,” R. J. Williams said.
Jett Williams had previously committed to Mississippi State University to play shortstop, but he will likely sign with the Mets in the next few weeks.