The Athletics have agreed to terms with first-round pick Jacob Wilson, reports Jim Callis of MLB.com. Wilson will receive a signing bonus of $5.5MM, well below the $6.63MM slot value for the sixth overall pick.
Wilson, 21, is the son of Jack Wilson, who played in the majors from 2001 to 2012 and was an All-Star with the Pirates in 2004. The younger Wilson is a shortstop who attended Grand Canyon University. He hit .412/.461/.635 in 49 games for the Antelopes this year, stealing eight bases in the process. Elite contact ability is a standout trait of his, as he was only punched out in 4.4% of his college plate appearances.
Coming into the draft, he was a consensus top 25 guy in the draft class, though none of the major outlets ranked him as high as he was chosen. Baseball America was the most bullish, ranking him #9, while both MLB.com and FanGraphs had him at #10, ESPN at #17 and Keith Law of the Athletic placed Wilson 24th. All outlets generally consider him strong enough defensively to stick at shortstop. The hit tool gets the highest praise while his power potential is the greatest unknown at the moment.
Although none of those outlets had Wilson as high as sixth in the class, where he was selected, but his $5.5MM bonus is closer to the value of the 10th overall pick. By saving over a million on their first-rounder, perhaps the A’s will have more cash to spread around to their other selections.