One of those guys we’ve always wanted the Braves to get — and now they got him! Pretty cheap, too. Wilson was drafted by the Blue Jays, traded to Pittsburgh after a year and a half. The Pirates spent several years trying to move him and probably asking for an insane amount of talent; they wound up sending him to the Yankees at midseason last year, in exchange for Shawn Chacon. Your Pittsburgh Pirates, everyone!
Wilson used to be a catcher, but the Pirates had Jason Kendall and didn’t like Wilson’s defense anyway, and made him a first baseman/outfielder. They didn’t like his defense in those positions either, so they kept jerking him around, playing guys like Randall Simon instead. Remember, these are the Pirates. I wouldn’t be surprised at this stage if Wilson was actually the second coming of Johnny Bench but they moved him because they didn’t like his catching stance. Anyway, Wilson has never played more than 89 games at one position during his major league career, mostly splitting time between right and first. His defense in right has gotten poor reviews, but his range factors are solid.
As a hitter, Wilson’s career line is .265/.354/.480. This is deceptive. He is in fact a righthanded platoon player who has not been platooned. In his career, he has hit .296/.395/.543 against lefthanders, but only .253/.338/.455 against righthanders. Nevertheless, more than seventy percent of his career PA have come against righties; he’s so good against lefties that it’s not realized that he’s pretty ineffective used this way. The Braves apparently intend for him to play some first base and some
right left field, hopefully starting all the time against lefties and getting spotted the rest of the time.
Runs better than you’d think, though not that often. Still, his 14 of 21 career basestealing is better than most of this team’s record. We have a real case of the slows, have you noticed?