By Nick Patterson Herald Writer
EVERETT — The Everett AquaSox have had the fortune of receiving just about every college player the Seattle Mariners picked high in this year’s amateur draft, with one notable exception. But it appears that exception is on his way, too.
Outfielder Austin Wilson, Seattle’s second-round pick, is expected to join the Sox on Saturday, according to a source within the AquaSox.
The Mariners have not announced the signing of Wilson, but the source said it was “99.9 percent” likely Wilson would arrive Saturday.
Everett manager Rob Mummau wouldn’t confirm Wilson’s arrival, but did say, “I think there’s a chance he might come here, but that’s not official.”
Wilson is a big, strong, fast and very talented prospect who measures in at a mammoth 6-foot-5 and 245 pounds. He was considered a potential first-round pick, but fell to the Mariners at 49th overall after an injury-plagued junior season at Stanford University that limited him to 31 games. In those 31 games, he batted .288 with five home runs and 26 RBI.
Wilson’s imminent addition will round out an impressive haul from this year’s draft for the Sox. Seattle picked five players from four-year colleges in the first seven rounds of the draft. Four of those — third baseman D.J. Peterson (first round), pitcher Ryan Horstman (fourth round), shortstop Jack Reinheimer (fifth round) and pitcher Tyler Olson (seventh round) — are already on Everett’s roster. The Sox also have a high-profile name from the draft in 12th rounder Justin Seager, the younger brother of Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager.
All of which makes it an exciting time to be an AquaSox fan.
“I think it’s really nice, being that we’re so close to Seattle,” Mummau said. “Some of the fans can come out and check out some of these guys. I think it’s great for the community and the Seattle Mariners.”
This is the second straight year Everett has been the primary beneficiary from the draft. Last year, the Mariners drafted six college players in the first 10 rounds, and all six began their professional careers in Everett. That included catcher Mike Zunino, who was picked third overall, had a monster month with the Sox and is now in the majors.
The past two seasons are a complete departure from the previous years since Jack Zduriencik was hired as Seattle’s general manager in October of 2008. In the first three seasons under Zduriencik, Seattle drafted 20 players from four-year colleges in the first 10 rounds. Just five of those played for the Sox as the majority began their professional careers at higher levels.