A talented hitter and one of the most tools-laden college players in this year's draft, Stanford outfielder Austin Wilson's biggest problem may be his college background. Hailing from a school notorious for altering swings and leaving players ill-prepared for pro ball, he'll need to break that stigma in order to reach his potential.
While Stanford may boast arguably the top prospect in this year's draft, pitcher Mark Appel, the Cardinals coaching staff has a well-earned reputation for meddling with hitters' swings. Emphasizing an approach that generally doesn't translate to big league ball, practically every Stanford hitter needs to completely retool his swing upon reaching the pros.
Because Wilson is such a talented athlete, some team will surely be willing to gamble and attempt to fix his swing -- the tools are tantalizing enough to project him as a very good player with some tweaks. However, most guys with his background end up failing, and teams know that. For a college bat, he's a fairly risky pick, albeit with serious upside.
|Pos||High School / College||Consensus Rank|
|B/T||Birthdate (age)||Height / Weight|
|R/R||2/7/1992 (21)||6'5" / 245|
What they're saying
- Jonathan Mayo, MLB.com: "A solid high school prospect in 2010, Wilson was deemed unsignable, though the Cardinals made a run at luring him away from Stanford. Now, three years later, Wilson is back as one of the toolsier college bats in the class. And he certainly looks the part, strong and athletic, with the ability to hit for power and run well."
- Allan Simpson, Baseball Prospectus: "The wild card of this draft class, the super toolsy Wilson is now back and healthy and is in play in the top 10 if he performs well."
- Keith Law, ESPN: "Wilson has easy plus power, but a stress reaction above his elbow kept him out for almost six weeks and he still doesn't appear to be 100 percent, hampering his ability to make contact right now."