2013 Draft: Austin WilsonBy
The 2013 amateur draft will be held from June 6-8 this year, and between now and then I’m going to highlight some prospects individually rather than lump them together into larger posts.
Austin Wilson | OF
Wilson was a potential first round pick out of a Southern California high school in 2010, but signability concerns dropped him to the Cardinals in the 12th round. He followed through on his commitment to Stanford and has hit .314/.417/.529 with five homers in 27 games this spring while battling a bone bruise and stress reaction in his elbow. Wilson was also hindered by an oblique issue during a stint in the Cape Cod League last summer. During his first two years with the Cardinal, he produced a .296/.371/.460 line with 15 homers in 112 games.
Wilson is a physical freak with a chiseled 6-foot-4, 245 lb. frame and high-end athleticism. His best tool is his right-handed power — the ball explodes off his bat and carries to all fields — but excess pre-swing movement and poor pitch recognition limits how much he can tap into it. During his three years on campus, he’s struck out 115 times in 585 plate appearances (19.7%), which is way too much for the top college prospect. The athleticism gives Wilson above-average speed and a rocket arm, arguably the best outfield arm in the class, so he has more than enough tools for center field. He is expected to move to right field down the road, where he could play Gold Glove level defense. Wilson is a bit of a project but the raw ability and pure upside are outrageous. There are many, many more videos on YouTube.
Keith Law (subs. req’d) and Baseball America ranked Wilson as the 15th and 29th best prospect in the draft in their latest rankings, respectively. Law said the Yankees have “scouted Wilson heavily” in his latest mock draft, for what it’s worth. Stanford has a reputation of turning top position player prospects into mediocre ones due to their one-size-fits-all coaching philosophy, which turns everyone into a short-swinger geared to hit the ball the other way. Wilson is not that type of player, so any team that drafts him will be banking on their development personnel’s ability to unlock his potential. The Yankees have three first round picks (26th, 32nd, 33rd) and Wilson is the kind of super-high-upside prospect that is worth gambling on with extra picks.