Jack Wilson, SS
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Bats: RightThrows: RightHeight: 6-0Weight: 200Age: 33
2010 salary: $5 million
2010 stats: Played in 61 games, batting .249 with a .282 on-base percentage and 14 RBI.
Wilson’s best offensive days are behind him, but he can still do the little things - like finishing second on the team with five sacrifice bunts, including a July 6 squeeze. “When he’s healthy, he’s still a plus-defender,” scout Ken Compton said. “He still has good range and a strong, accurate arm, and he’ll still make that acrobatic play.”
Injuries, injuries and then injuries. Wilson wound up on the disabled list twice, once for hamstring issues, then with a broken right hand. Wilson’s leg problems distressed him enough that he hinted his career might end prematurely - something that will bear watching this spring. If Wilson cannot stay healthy, he may walk away from the game. The 61 games played was the lowest total of his career since his rookie season.
Summing up Wilson’s 2010
Since coming to Seattle in trade at the deadline in 2009, Wilson has played only 92 games and batted .240 - 27 points below his career average. Last year was one of major frustration for Wilson, one in which he rarely stayed in the clubhouse after games - and missed 101 games with injuries. After spending much of the winter on a stretching program to keep his legs flexible, Wilson spent part of the spring second-guessing himself for stretching too much.
Looking to 2011
As long as the Mariners are built around their pitching, they’re going to need defense, and if Wilson can stay on the field he can still provide that. “At this point, he’s a No. 8 or No. 9 hitter, and that park doesn’t help him offensively,” Compton said. “But Wilson can do the little things at the plate, and he’s a high-energy player who can help you defensively.” More than any other Mariner, perhaps, Wilson’s health will be an issue from the day he reports to spring training. He could be a hamstring tear from retirement.