SF Giants top prospects: No. 15 — Infielder Will Wilson
Highest Level: Rookie (AZL)
Acquired: Trade (2019)
Future-Value Grade: 40+
The Giants agreed to pay the final year of Zack Cozart’s contract to acquire Will Wilson from the Angels last offseason. Given the Giants’ payroll flexibility, it was an easy way to flex their spending muscles and acquire the 15th overall pick in the 2019 draft.
Wilson isn’t as toolsy as one might expect from a first-round pick, which probably made it easier for the Angels to part with him. With that said, Wilson was a strong performer in college and was particularly favored by teams, like the Giants, that rely more heavily on statistical models.
Most scouts don’t think Wilson has star upside but could have above-average tools across the board at second or third base. Currently a primary shortstop, he’s unlikely to be more than a 45-grade defender there. Still, the Giants are purposely developing him at multiple positions to give him the flexibility to move around the diamond.
Wilson’s first pro performance, in the summer of 2019, was underwhelming. He posted a .275/.328/.439 triple-slash line even with substantial batted-ball luck (.343 BABIP) against younger competition. Most concerningly, he struck out in nearly a quarter of his plate appearances. However, the Giants saw his 2.33 groundout-to-flyout rate as an obvious area for growth.
Even without a minor-league season, Wilson might have gotten more official team-sanctioned reps than anyone else in organized baseball. He was a part of the Giants winter instructs last January, the team’s 60-man camp at the alternate site, and participated at instructs in the fall. If he can begin elevating the ball consistently, he could quickly move through the system and make a push to be the long-term answer at second base.