Will Wilson, IF
BATS: R / THROWS: R
ACQUIRED: Traded for a PTBNL (Garret Williams) with Zack Cozart from the Los Angeles Angels, Dec. 2019 (Originally Drafted 2019, 1st Round by the Angels)
LAST LEVEL: Triple-A
GiantFutures 2023 Ranks: #13 Overall, #1 Second Baseman
2022 Performance: Will Wilson continued to see a strong push from the Giants in a season interrupted by injuries. After batting .246 for Richmond in April, Wilson missed much of May with a pulled muscle Wilson returned at the end of May to Richmond, but then was promoted to Triple-A in mid-June. The promotion lasted seven games at Sacramento, when he broke a hamate bone in his left hand, and missed nearly six weeks. After a brief rehab in the ACL, Wilson spent a month back in Richmond before joining Sacramento for the final three games of the season. It was thought that Wilson would try to get time at the Arizona Fall League to get extra playing time, but that did not materialize.
Unfortunately, Wilson did not get a lot of offensive traction on the year. He hit .225/.324/.445 over 52 games overall in Richmond, and hit just .182/.250/.242 in his ten games at Triple-A. Wilson did show an improved power stroke, with 13 home runs in 71 games, most of the home runs at Richmond. He had 15 in 2021, but that was over 100 games.
Wilson’s biggest challenge was against left-handed batters, as in Richmond, he hit just .195 (8-for-41) against them, with just one of his home runs coming against southpaws. He was able to hit better for average against them during his rehab stint, but his power had been mostly missing. He’d been generally better against lefties in his pro career. He also has had some significant swing-and-miss issues, especially in his Triple-A stint.
Wilson’s defensive versatility remained a big strength, although his brief fall flirtation with the outfield did not continue. Wilson played primarily at shortstop in 2022, but also played a lot at second base, and had four games at third.
Strengths and Weaknesses: Wilson remains a well-rounded player without any significant plus tools or weak ones. He has average offensive tools, both in terms of his hitting for average and power, and although he has some solid speed, he doesn’t use it on the basepaths much. Unfortunately he hasn’t been able to capitalize on either in games much.
Defensively, Wilson has a lot of versatility. The team plays him at shortstop a lot, but he’s probably not going to stick there full-time in the big leagues. He’s very capable at both second and third in terms of range and arm strength, and it’s likely he could find more time in the outfield int he future.
2023 Outlook: The team has been consistently aggressive with Wilson throughout his career, despite not having strong offensive output. It’ll be a surprise if he doesn’t start the year back at Triple-A, with a chance his defensive versatility could bring him to the big leagues sometime in the season, especially as the Giants are short on middle infield backup options here late in the offseason.
Future Profile: Wilson has the profile to potentially be an everyday second baseman, but if he can’t improve his hitting, he’s more likely to be a utility infielder, relying on his defense more than his offense.