A key SF Giants middle infield prospect is now just one call away from the majors after receiving a promotion to Triple-A. No Giants draftee since 2019 has reached Triple-A yet, and this trend continues in an odd way even with the latest promotion.
Top SF Giants middle infield prospect promoted to Triple-A
Will Wilson joined the Sacramento River Cats on Tuesday and recorded one hit in four at-bats in his debut. The Giants originally acquired Wilson along with veteran infielder Zack Cozart from the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for pitching prospect Garrett Williams in December of 2019.
The concept behind this deal was that the Giants would assume the remainder of Cozart's three-year, $38 million deal and receive a prospect in Wilson in return. In essence, the Giants bought a prospect from the Angels
The Giants had interest in taking Wilson in the first round of the 2019 draft but opted for outfielder Hunter Bishop instead. As a result, the middle infield prospect was not an original Giants draftee.
This is a move that could pay dividends for San Francisco in the near future. Due to the cancelled 2020 minor league season, Wilson did not debut for the Giants until 2021. He got off to a hot start for Single-A, slashing .251/.339/.497 (120 wRC) with 10 home runs, 26 RBI, and 37 runs in 224 plate appearances before receiving a promotion to Double-A.
His first stint in Double-A did not go as planned as he struggled to the tune of a .587 OPS in 221 plate appearances with the Richmond Flying Squirrels. He was invited to the Arizona Fall League (AFL), but he tallied just 11 hits in 67 at-bats with the Scottsdale Scorpions.
The 23-year-old infielder returned for a second stint with the Flying Squirrels and looked like a different hitter. In 121 plate appearances, the right-handed bat posted a .233/.347/.505 line (132 wRC+) with eight homers, 18 RBI, and 22 runs in a tough offensive environment.
Wilson looked like he had a more balanced approach at the plate in 2022. In 2021, the righty was pulling the ball at too high of a frequency, whereas he sprayed the ball all around the field more effectively this year.
Kevin Goldstein and Tess Taruskin of Fangraphs like Wilson's power potential:
""Wilson’s most promising skill is his combination of power and the ability to play up the middle. He has the strength and bat speed to produce 20-plus home runs annually, but that’s going to take more contact..."- Kevin Goldstein and Tess Taruskin
In the field, he has considerable pro experience at shortstop, second base, and third base. He played some outfield in the AFL, but he confirmed that the experiment was not expected to be long-term.
The Giants hope that Wilson can develop into an important contributor and he has proven to be that type of player thus far in his career. Given that he is eligible for the Rule 5 draft in December, Wilson is a candidate to debut for San Francisco sooner rather than later.