I am counting down my personal list of the top 25 Pirate prospects. You can follow the countdown here, or by clicking on the “Top 25 Prospects” link in the site header.
Date of Birth: 8/18/1987
Weight: 210 pounds
Drafted: 5th Round, 2008 (Fresno State University)
When the Pirates took Justin Wilson in the fifth round of the 2008 draft, it looked like a bit of an overdraft. He was expected to sign quickly for slot money after Fresno State’s season concluded. However, Wilson was outstanding in leading his team to a national championship, and his stock rose after performing so well on a large stage. His bonus demands rose, but the Pirates were not interested in increasing their offer. He eventually signed for slot money near the August 15 deadline.
Wilson’s fastball sits around 90 MPH with good movement, and he throws a decent slider and curveball. He clearly needs to improve his control, after walking 142 in 242.2 collegiate innings. His walk rates have decreased every season, but so have his strikeout numbers. Wilson projects as a potential back of the rotation starter down the road, and good control will be key for him to reach that level. You can take a look at his mechanics in the video below.
Expected arrival in Pittsburgh: 2013