Detroit Tigers sign Paul Wilson over-slot.
The Detroit Tigers continue to work through their draft class and check off names as they ink contracts with their draftees. The latest domino to fall in the slew of Detroit Tigers draftee signings is third-rounder Paul Wilson, the Lake Oswego, Oregon native.
The Detroit Tigers agreed to a deal with Wilson, bringing him in on an over-slot contract but locking up another one of their top-five choices from the 2023 MLB Draft. Wilson's slot was set at $945,100 for the 76th overall pick. The Tigers and Wilson agreed at $1,697,500 on their contract, coming in about $750,000 over the slot value.
However, this does mean that the Tigers were able to Wilson away from his college commitment, as he was slated to stay in-state, attending Oregon State University. However, the Tigers were able to woo him away from going the college route, for the right or wrong of it. The team is banking on their player development staff being able to mold Wilson into a future pro.
With all of this in mind and Wilson's signature on the dotted line, let's talk through what makes Wilson so intriguing. Here's the report on Wilson...
Wilson is a left-handed pitcher who works from a 6-foot-3, 180-pound frame with a lean build to it. He's got a higher-set waist with longer levers in the lower half. He has a good feel for his actions on the mound, though he can be a little inconsistent in his move down the slope.
He throws from a higher-three quarters release. The arm slot can be shorter and deceptive, but it's a higher release that can be of benefit, as we'll discuss when we talk through his stuff. But in terms of the delivery, he extends well when he's on a good pace. He opens the front side on time with adequate hip-shoulder separation, showing a clean move down the mound overall when he stays in sync, but he can get off-tempo at times, which should be improved in the Tigers organization.
Beyond the makeup on the mound, Wilson is neighbors with Miami Marlins first-round pick Noble Meyer, and the two turned out to be the best right-hander and left-hander, respectively, in the state of Oregon. Wilson was the ninth overall ranked left-handed pitcher in the country on the prep side, per Perfect Game. On top of that, he was 65th in the country on the prep side, according to Perfect Game's rankings, and he was selected 76th.
On top of that, Wilson is the son of former big league reliever Trevor Wilson, who spent time in the Giants for the most part. So, the makeup of a quality arm is there, and signing him away from the Beavers program seems to allude to the fact that the Tigers organization agrees.
When it comes to his make-up, Wilson has a full four-pitch mix that he works with. It's mostly a fastball/slider mix, but there's real feel for all four offerings to really round out the repertoire. Likely something the Tigers are going to aim to develop further.
Fastball: The fastball works into the low-90s and has been up into the mid-90s, with more likely in the tank down the line. The pitch spins above the 2,000 RPM mark, which may not be the most exciting, but it will indeed miss bats. At the Perfect Game National Showcase in 2022, Wilson was showing the fastball with over 20 inches of IVB, which speaks to how well he can use the pitch to be deceptive. It carries well, and he can change eye levels well to mess with hitters.
Slider: The slider works the upper-70s and creeps into the low-80s with spin up around the 2,100-2,200 RPM range, with a shorter and tighter break at times, being able to show it in the mid-70s with plenty of horizontal, seeing it get that sweeper look to it. It's his go-to offspeed, and he plays well off the fastball out of the hand.
Curveball: The other breaking ball that Wilson shows is the curveball. It's a low- to mid-70s pitch and more of a get-me-over pitch, or just one with a bigger break and depth, landing the pitch for strikes. It's one that could use work, but it's made strides from 2022 to 2023, being able to garner more feel for the pitch.
Changeup: A bit abnormal, but Wilson is a lefty who does not have some sickening changeup. It's an average pitch that he can throw working into the low-80s with straight depth to it. It's nothing super special, but when we're talking about a high-IVB fastball, the changeup should tunnel well off the pitch. Again, another area for the Tigers to continue to improve upon.
Paul Wilson's Projection
The Tigers signed Wilson away from his Oregon State commitment, and they feel they can develop him within the organization. For the Tigers, I think that Wilson will be one of those players who slots in as a future reliever down the line. He's got an interesting pitch mix that projects to be solid down the line after some time in the Tigers organization.
Wilson is one of those prospects that will take some time to get to the big leagues but has the makeup to be a pro if the Tigers Player Development staff can clean things up with him as he works through the levels of affiliated ball.