Speculation keeps swarming around what the Phillies may do with the pick. The organization has a history of taking "toolsy" guys with high upside but, with a lack of depth in the farm system, some suggest the Phillies should take a player who doesn't have as high of an upside but is closer to the Majors right now. CSNPhilly noted that the Phillies also should look at taking a hitter instead of a pitcher.
One player that has seen his stock rise in recent days is Stanford outfielder Austin Wilson, who is a "toolsy" hitter who has some more experience than some of his peers.
The 21 year old outfielder can hit the ball for average as he hit .311, .285, and .288 in his three seasons in Palo Alto. He has the ability to work the pitcher and do whatever he can to get on base. He walked 24 times in 59 games last year and has walked 13 times in 28 starts this season. In addition to walks, he isn't afraid to get hit by pitches. He has been hit by 26 pitches in his three years at Stanford, including an incredible 15 hit-by-pitches last season.
Wilson's arm is above average as some scouts have him 70 or higher on the 20-80 scale for arm strength. He missed six weeks this season with a bone bruise and stress reaction in his elbow which has some scouts concerned about his arm moving forward. In addition to a strong arm, Wilson also has a quick first step that allows him to get a good jump on balls.
That quick first step also extends itself to the base paths as well. Most scouts agree that Wilson could steal 15-20 bases right now in the big leagues if he doesn't improve a lick on the bases. He didn't run much at Stanford (15 attempts in three seasons) but went 13-for-15 is his attempts including a perfect 7-for-7 in 2012.
Grades (20-80 Scale)
Fit with the Phillies
The Phillies love "toolsy" players and Wilson fits the bill. He has the measurables of a high-upside guy but the experience of a player who could get to Philadelphia sooner rather than later. The team has also been linked to high school shortstops J.P. Crawford and Tim Anderson along with pitchers Ian Clarkin and Phil Bickford.
Wilson was not projected to be a first round pick in Keith Law's mock draft but MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo has Wilson as the No. 27 overall prospect saying, "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."
Could Wilson be the perfect match for a team that needs help soon but also sticks to "toolsy" guys? We will find out on Thursday.
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