The Seattle Mariners clearly went into the draft looking for power.
After taking University of New Mexico slugger DJ Peterson with the 12th pick, the Mariners took Stanford’s 6-foot-5, 245-pound right-fielder Austin Wilson with the 49th pick.
He didn’t produce quite like Peterson (team-best .288 batting average, compared to Peterson’s .408) but Seattle’s scouting director Tom McNamara saw big potential.
“He is just scratching the surface,” McNamara said. “He needs to go out and play professional baseball.”
Wilson was taken by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 12th round of the draft in 2010 out of Harvard Westlake, Calif., where he was a two-time Louisville Slugger All-American, but didn’t sign and went to Stanford.
He hit .285 with 10 home runs as a sophomore at Stanford last year and .288 with five homers this year.
McNamara said he believes Wilson can be a five-tool player.
“He runs, throws, has raw power, has aptitude, obviously to be a student at Stanford you have to be pretty intelligent,” McNamara said. “We’ve seen him since high school and the improvements are steady. We are really looking forward to getting him in uniform.
“We were happy he was there to pick.”
Wilson suffered a stress reaction near the tip of his elbow, forcing him to miss some time this season, but the Mariners didn’t seem thwarted to draft him
“We are really thorough on medical,” McNamara said. “He is fine.”
The MLB First-Year Player Draft continues Friday and Saturday.