ELI WILSON, CATCHER
|Born: July 6, 1998
Drafted: 16th Round, 484th Overall, 2019
How Acquired: Draft
College: University of Minnesota
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|Wilson’s father, Dan, caught in the majors for 14 years. Eli played short and ran cross country in high school, then moved to catcher in college, so he doesn’t have a huge amount of experience there. Baseball America refers to him as improving but a “work in progress” defensively, with an average arm. He’s athletic and runs well, and may still have some power projection. He was the best overall hitter on a Minnesota team that appears to have played in a low-offense environment. As a junior he hit 294/382/453, with just an OK BB:K ratio of 25:45. That was a slight improvement over his sophomore line of 289/379/428. BA rated him the second best draft prospect in Minnesota, which as a far northern state obviously isn’t a baseball hotbed, and 385th overall in the draft class.
Wilson was the regular catcher at Bristol, showing good athleticism behind the plate and throwing out 39% of base stealers. He just held his own at the plate, with good patience and some power. He had a moderate platoon split, with an OPS of .784 against LHPs and .689 against RHPs.
Wilson opened the season at Bradenton as the backup to Endy Rodriguez. In the early going, though, he was the team’s best hitter and hit his way into a shared role behind the plate. Wilson hit for a high average with some power, and drew a huge number of walks, but there was also a lot of swing and miss. That showed up more after a promotion to Greensboro at the beginning of August. In Greensboro, he shared time with Blake Sabol. Wilson also caught the last game of Indianapolis’ season. On the season overall he threw out 20% of base stealers.
Wilson is a capable catcher with some offensive upside. He’s stuck in the midst of what’s turned out to be a lot of catching depth in the middle of the Pirates’ system. He opened 2022 at Greensboro, but with Henry Davis, Endy Rodriguez and Abrahan Gutierrez also there, it’s hard to see how he’ll get much playing time.
|2022: Minor league contract
|Signing Bonus: $125,000
MiLB Debut: 2019
MiLB FA Eligible: 2025
MLB FA Eligible:
Rule 5 Eligible: 2022
Added to 40-Man:
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|June 11, 2016: Drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 37th round, 1107th overall pick.
June 5, 2019: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 16th round, 484th overall pick; signed on June 12.