Red Sox prospect Marcus Wilson is better than you probably realize.
Anyone that has followed my Prospect Watch knows that I’m a fan of Wilson. I even have physical proof in tweet form of the day he turned me into an immediate fan.
Then the day he jumped up into my “favorites” category.
So first I found out he’s a Nispey Hussle fan, then that he’s a fan of the GOAT album (Get Rich or Die Tryin’). I really want to pepper in references to the album throughout this article now, but I’ll spare everyone from that.
That’s a good start. What about his game though? Why is Marcus Wilson better than most people probably realize?
It’s pretty simple actual. Wilson does not “excel” at any one thing. He does not have 40-plus steal potential, and isn’t going to hit that mark in home runs either. Meanwhile, he’ll hit for a good enough average and have solid run production – nothing over the top though, right?
Well that’s just the thing. You’ve heard of the phrase “jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none” right?
That does not apply to Wilson. He’s got everything down, and no maybe he isn’t going to be the “best in the league” at anything. But he’s going to be better than most at everything.
I’ve compared him to Jackie Bradley Jr. in the past. I think you could throw a few more names in there though, like Andrew Benintendi. Non-Red Sox names that come to mind are Rocco Baldelli, Grady Sizemore and Adam Jones. Personally, I love the Baldelli comp.
Those are guys that could give you a solid average, good power, great defense and steals/run production.
That’s who Wilson is. Most people don’t know that though because he is not a “70-grade” prospect in any category.
In fact, MLB has his highest grade at 55, and it’s in “run”. Wilson has a 50 in field, power and arm. Meanwhile, he has a 40 hit grade and a 40 overall. So you really are excused if you don’t see him as this great prospect.
That is, you’re only excused if you’ve never seen Wilson play.
Before even looking at his play, look at the numbers. In 2019, the right-handed hitter played for three teams. The Double-A Jackson Generals (Arizona Diamondbacks affiliate), the Advanced-A Salem Red Sox and the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs.
In 119 games between the three teams, Wilson slashed .269/.357/.492. That’s hard to do when you’re moving around that much.
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He ripped 28 doubles (career-high), two triples and 18 home runs (career-high). He also set new marks in RBI (58) and runs scored (65). Meanwhile, the steals were strong (13) but not nearly close to his previous high (25), which shows how dangerous he can be on the base paths.
Wilson’s also an incredible defender. He even robbed a home run to save a game in 2019. And on more than one occasion he made an incredible play or would show off a solid arm to halt a runner.
So imagine this. An outfielder that can give you above-average defense, and a .350-plus OBP with 20-20 (home runs and steals) potential and great run production. Not only will he hit a good amount of home runs, but could be an extra-base hit machine.
Now be honest. Is that how you’ve seen Wilson? Or even how he’s been portrayed?
To be fair, the media has given the outfielder some love in each area. But for some reason, they never put it all together.
It really is as simple as the 23-year-old not being seen as a star in any one category. But he’s above-average in all of them.
Remember how good Baldelli was when he was healthy? The potential he had. It may sound like hyperbole from someone that the MLB has ranked outside of his own team’s top-20 prospects. A team that they believe has one of the worst prospect systems in the entire league.
But look at the numbers. Look at the skill set. Wilson has everything going for him, minus the hype.
The Boston Red Sox could have a legitimate star-type player on their hands with Wilson. I just don’t think a lot of people realize it yet.