With the 2019 MLB Draft in less than a month, every team has a list of needs. With MLB being the only league to draft in the middle of the season, teams have already been able to evaluate their organization and assess their needs. By the time of the draft, front offices will have had two months of the 2019 season to assess their team. One prospect teams will likely be looking at late in the first round is Will Wilson.
Will Wilson 2019 MLB Draft Profile
Wilson is a junior out of NC State and was a pivotal piece in the Wolfpack’s 19-0 start. Not only is he a leader on a team with no true seniors, but Wilson is also having the best season of his collegiate career. He is currently slashing .333/.410/.656 with 14 home runs and 49 RBI.
His freshman year, both Collegiate Baseball and D1Baseball named Wilson a Freshman All-America in addition to receiving ACC All-Freshman Team honors. He continued to rack up the accolades his sophomore season when he was named to the All-ACC First Team, Collegiate Baseball Second Team All-American and finished as a Dick Howser Trophy Semifinalist, the award given to the best player in college baseball.
At 6-foot tall and weighing 184 pounds, Wilson is the size of a standard shortstop. Wilson is one of the best defensive shortstops in the draft this year with only four errors in 2019, giving a high floor right off the bat. He has shown decent range and soft hands in the field.
At the plate, Wilson has shown an ability to put the ball in play, hitting .300 and .307 his freshman and sophomore seasons. With a steady approach at the plate, Wilson also has shown that he has a little pop too, hitting 37 home runs (95 total extra-base hits) in three years. This kind of raw power at the plate is somewhat surprising given his build.
Wilson’s biggest weakness is his speed. He stole four total bases out of seven attempts in his career at NC State. With average to below-average arm strength, a move to second base might make him more appealing. Wilson played second his freshman year at NC State.
Another knock is his eye and patience at the plate. He drew only 75 walks in 736 plate appearances (just over 1%) in his collegiate career. Per Fangraphs, the MLB average is around eight percent, with four percent being considered “Awful.” With 129 strikeouts in 661 at-bats, Wilson sports a strikeout percentage of 19.5%. This is just below the MLB average of 20%.
If Wilson gets drafted in the first round this year, he will be the second shortstop out of NC State drafted in the first round since 2014. However, Wilson is almost the exact opposite of the other, Trea Turner.
If Wilson makes the move to second base, he resembles Jonathan Schoop. Schoop is a plus defender with the ability to get on base. The two have similar pop from the right side. Schoop only has seven career stolen bases, making him a good comparison for Wilson’s speed. Schoop is currently 6-foot-1, 225 pounds, but was only listed at 187 pounds when he was Wilson’s age. If Wilson remains at short, he becomes comparable to Tim Beckham for the same reasons.
Will Wilson is currently ranked 23rd among draft prospects by the MLB Prospect Watch and is the third shortstop overall.
Embed from Getty Images