Among the prospects likely be selected in the first round of the upcoming 2010 draft, a player who stands out is Harvard-Westlake Outfielder Austin Wilson.
Wilson is a terrific athlete with a great swing currently projected to be selected somewhere in the mid-first round. I am normally cynical about selecting high school players too highly unless they’re rare talents like the Upton brothers. Nevertheless, I think Wilson is a wise investment.
There are tons of things to like about Wilson as an outfielder. First, the videos of Wilson are extremely impressive. He doesn’t have the youtube power of Bryce Harper, but I like how Wilson’s swing seems to be a little quicker. Harper is the better prospect, but Wilson could have an easier time adjusting to professional pitchers. He also apparently has a good background, gaining a reputation around Southern California as a great player while attending one of the best academic high schools in the United States. The obvious comparison is Marlins’ prospect Mike Stanton, another great athlete who came from another prestigious private school in Southern California.
There are several concerns about Wilson. First, since he’s a high school player, it’s entirely speculative how good Wilson will end up being. Second, Wilson only has “B-quality” speed (15 steals). If he doesn’t develop power, he projects as a decent 4th outfielder on a major league team. The final concern with Wilson is signability. Since Wilson has a scholarship offer from Stanford, he might be perfectly happy getting a great education rather than entering directly into the major leagues.
Nevertheless, on the whole, aside from Harper, Wilson is my favorite high school prospect in the upcoming draft.