The Arizona Diamondbacks have a significant number of players in their outfield. Ender Inciarte, A.J. Pollock, David Peralta and Yasmany Tomas are all everyday-worthy players, so much that Peter O’Brien, whose best spot might be in a corner spot, is now being moved back to catcher. Socrates Brito impressed in a September callup, and at best he could be the team’s fifth outfielder, barring injury. Lower in the organization sits a young player who hopes to roam Chase Field in a couple of years that has a tremendous amount of raw ability. Let’s take a look at Marcus Wilson.
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How he came to the organization: Wilson was taken with the 69th pick in the 2014 Draft from Serra High School in Gardena, California. He had made a commitment to Arizona State University before the D-backs signed him to a $1 million dollar bonus. He was one of the youngest players drafted in 2014, having not turned 18 until August 15th. Wilson was named one of the top 100 Baseball Seniors by MaxPreps after scoring 25 runs in 25 games and hitting .359 with a .534 on-base percentage. MaxPreps also listed him as the fourth-best high school outfielder in the Draft.
Minor League career: Upon joining the organization, Wilson was assigned to the D-backs’ Rookie League affiliate. He received 148 plate appearances and had 27 hits and 16 walks. Playing in Missoula of the Pioneer League in 2015, Wilson doubled his hit output slightly to 55 in 101 more plate appearances. He also raised his OBP to .357 as he grew more into his frame and acquired more baseball instincts. Wilson has had nearly 400 professional plate appearances before his 19th birthday, something that should help his development greatly.
Where he will be in 2016: Wilson is one of those raw talents that scouts believe has the potential to develop into a five tool player. In other words, don’t pay too much attention to the less-than-underwhelming numbers he has put up through the first season and a half of professional ball. Wilson probably won’t see the Majors for at least another two years and should progress slowly but steadily through the Arizona Minor League system. It wouldn’t be a shock nor be an indictment if he spends all of 2016 in A ball, first with the Hillsboro Hops of the Northwest League before finishing with the Visalia Rawhide of the California League. As long as his OBP continues to rise along with his power numbers, management will be comfortable with where Marcus Wilson is in his development.