Player: Marcus Wilson
Drafted by: Arizona Diamondbacks
DOB: 8/15/1996 (Age: 17)
Height/Weight: 6'3", 170 lbs
School: Junipero Serra HS (Calif.)
College Commitment: Arizona State
Players like Marcus Wilson make draft and scouting development fun and infuriating at the same time. He's an incredible athlete with the potential for five average-or-better tools.
Of course, as you can tell by his age, Wilson is also one of the youngest players in this draft, which comes with a lot of volatility. He's still got a lot of refinement to do as a baseball player, but you can see flashes of upside at various times.
On the plus side, Wilson is peaking at the right time. He was the star of the Major League Scouting Bureau Southern California Invitational Showcase in February with two doubles and a stolen base.
The raw package is very impressive and could make Wilson one of the best bargains in the 2014 draft.
Full Scouting Report
Note: Numerical scores are on the conventional 80-point scouting scale, with the current score first and projected score second.
Wilson's ability with the bat comes and goes right now, though he's got above-average bat speed to put a solid charge into the ball; keeps his hands back and shows good weight transfer; bat path is inconsistent; soft contact happens more than it should with a swing as pretty as his can be; inability to recognize off-speed pitches is a concern.
Because of Wilson's bat speed and leverage in the swing, there's more power than he's shown throughout his high school career; 170-pound frame right now and will fill out that frame in pro ball, making pop easier to come by; better approach and more consistency with the lumber will also help.
Plate Discipline: 30/50
Here's where Wilson needs the most refinement, as his ability to read and react to pitches is poor; a free swinger and needs to tone that down, so the raw hit and power tools are able to playl pitchers will be able to take advantage of him, even with average breaking stuff, early in his career; work and experience will go into making him effective.
Easily Wilson's best tool, speed is going to be a huge part of his game; not an elite runner but gets down the line in a hurry, steals bases and covers a lot of ground in the outfield; put speed in center field, then let the legs do all the work.
Wilson is still learning to read the ball off the bat but is able to make up for lost time due to his speed; range in center field will be above average, because he runs so well, and could eventually turn to plus with experience and proper routes.
The arm is adequate for center field; not going to win any throwing competitions but can make all the necessary throws; accuracy is above average, consistently hitting the cutoff man and not making careless mistakes; not sexy, but it plays.
MLB Player Comparison: Desmond Jennings
Marcus Wilson has all the tools to be an impact outfielder on a playoff team akin to what Desmond Jennings was doing when he came up through Tampa Bay's system. Wilson isn't as refined in the outfield as Jennings was but offers a similar ceiling in every area.
Projection: Everyday center fielder on first-division team
MLB ETA: 2018
Chances of Signing: 70%
Even though Wilson would benefit from professional coaching right away, it's not hard to imagine a scenario where he goes to college for three years trying to build up his stock and become a top-10 pick in 2017.
Of course, when the allure of playing in professional baseball and getting paid right away is there, how do you tell a 17-year-old not to take the chance?