New York Yankees 2013 MLB Draft Preview: Stanford Outfielder Austin Wilson
The New York Yankees own picks 26, 32 and 33 in the first round of the 2013 MLB Draft. Given the state of the Yankees farm system and the injuries and down years that have effected many of their top prospects the Yankees would like to come away with at least two potential stars from this draft. One intriguing prospect is Austin Wilson, an outfielder from Stanford.
Wilson is a pretty big guy at 6’4”, 235 lbs. and has the power you would expect from a prospect of his size. He was originally drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 12th round of the 2010 Draft but the Cardinals couldn’t pry him away from his commitment to Stanford.
Wilson has a lot of tools but power and his arm in the outfield might be his best attributes. He possesses a lot of speed and has the instincts to steal a base but he will not be a burner on the base paths. A lot of Wilson reminds me of Austin Jackson the former Yankee prospect now starring for the Detroit Tigers. The major differences in their game is Jackson has more speed and Wilson has more power.
Like Jackson, Wilson’s swing can get a little long and he will strike out from time to time as he struggles to make contact. That could be a result of trying to change his swing to suit the coaches at Stanford who stress line drives. If Wilson can make consistent contact he could be a star at the MLB level who is capable of hitting 25-35 home runs. His arm and good instincts in the outfield should, at the very least, give him a chance as a fourth outfielder with some pop.
Wilson should develop into a star. His right-handed power should be a welcome addition to the Yankees and he has the ability to move quickly through the minors. Interestingly, most draft experts have Wilson being available when the Yankees draft with the 33rd pick. Most have him going in the second round though he will not fall to the Yankees in that round. He should be an easy sign and could start making an impact in two years or sooner.
It is important that the Yankees draft players who will sign. They cannot afford to have a player not sign, like what happened in 2008 with Gerrit Cole. This is the year the Yankees need to take full advantage of their three first round picks and come away with players who will make a difference. Of course, there is no greater crapshoot than the MLB Draft where first round picks are never guaranteed of making the Show. This draft will test the mettle of the Yankees scouting and player development department.