No, Russell Wilson will not be the Texas Rangers’ starting second baseman for the 2014 season…as cool as that would be! Texas picked up Wilson off of the Colorado Rockies’ roster last week in the Triple-A portion of the Rule 5 Draft.
For everyone unfamiliar with the Rule 5 Draft here is what that signing entails:
1) The Rangers paid $50,000 to the Colorado Rockies to “buy” the rights to Russell Wilson, should he come play in the MLB.
2) The Rangers must keep Wilson on their 25-man roster for the entirety of the 2014 season.
3) Wilson must remain active (not on the disabled list) for at least 90 days.
4) If the Rangers decide to cut Wilson, the Rockies have the opportunity to buy him back for $25,000. If they decline, the Rangers may waive Wilson.
Russell Wilson was selected by the Baltimore Orioles with the 5th pick in the 41st round in the 2007 MLB draft. Instead of signing with Baltimore, Wilson elected to attend North Carolina State to play both baseball and football.
Russell Wilson was drafted a second time, this time by the Colorado Rockies with the 140th pick of the 2010 MLB Draft. He played Class A ball for the Tri-City Dust Devils in the Northwest League during the summer of 2010. He finished the short summer season with 2 home runs, 11 RBI’s, and a .230 batting average.
The next summer, Wilson played Class A ball for the Asheville Tourists in the South Atlantic League. He hit .228 with 3 home runs and 15 RBI’s. In January 2012 Wilson told the Rockies that he was going to commit to playing in the NFL and would not be attending spring training for the 2012 season.
While not posting very impressive numbers, I think that Russell Wilson could make it as a second baseman in the MLB, should he choose to try. His biggest fault is his subpar batting average; but with a little bit of work I think he could be a .250 hitter. He has shown that he can use his football strength at the plate by blasting a few home runs each season as well.
As far as playing for the Texas Rangers goes, it seems more than unlikely. To win a starting role Wilson would have to outplay Jurickson Profar while continuing to lead the number one team in the NFL, the Seattle Seahawks, to victory. However, that shouldn’t stop anybody from daydreaming about how incredibly awesome it would be if Russell Wilson were to become the next Bo Jackson…because it would be.
Rangers assistant general manager A.J. Preller commented, “We decided if he ever wanted to play again, he’d be a guy that we’d want with us. The biggest thing that intrigued us on Russell from afar is the makeup, the way he goes about his business, the professionalism, the competitor. It’s the message we try to preach throughout our organization. For us to at least have that as part of our organization, at the end of the day he obviously has a lot bigger things he’s working on right now. We don’t want to interrupt that aspect of it…if at some point down the road he decides he wants to do baseball again, we felt like it would be a positive to have him with us.”