Detroit Tigers prospect Paul Wilson has a bright future.
In the 2023 MLB Draft, the Detroit Tigers decided to take a chance on a left-handed pitcher from Oregon. They selected Paul Wilson in the third round of the draft and signed him to a contract worth about $750,000 more than his allotted slot value. Although he wasn't a highly touted prospect, the Pacific Northwest native has real potential.
Although Wilson flew under the radar, this should not affect his value as a prospect. 2024 will be an important year for him to prove himself as a prospect in his first glimpses of affiliate ball, as he did not pitch in 2023 for the Detroit Tigers organization.
Frame & Delivery:
Wilson is 6-foot-3 and weighs 205 pounds with a lean build that allows him to add more muscle mass as he gets settled into the Tigers organization. His father, Trevor Wilson, is a former big-leaguer, so he has big-league bloodlines.
On the mound, he has a slower and more controlled operation, working from the left side. He takes the hands from up around the face to the belt before taking them back up around the chest, slightly away from the body. He lifts his leg and gets into a coiled and tucked leg lift.
He has a longer takeaway in the back, with more of a higher scap-load. His lower half makes its move down the slope, and he gets a ton of extension with his lengthy frame. He gets excellent hip-shoulder separation at heel strike and is able to create whip working downhill through release.
He has a lengthy arm action from more of a three-quarters arm slot. He can get disconnected at times, but as a prep arm, that's a simple mechanical change that can be made. He's generally on time, but he can overstride and tend to pull himself through the motion too quickly, causing his arm to lag behind in the delivery.
It's a clean operation for the most part, but there are some minor things to clean up, which he has plenty of time to do with the Tigers organization.
In terms of his arsenal, it's a full four-pitch mix. The fastball has ticked up to 94 mph as a prep arm and mostly lives in the low-90s from the left side. It spins above 2,000 RPMs and gets good IVB, making it a pitch he can throw at the top of the zone and miss bats at the prep level. Wilson has to prove he can do the same at the professional level.
He has a feel for a slider with a great shape to it, with sweeper qualities. The pitch spins up above 2,100-2,200 RPMs and works the upper-70s into the low-80s. He pairs that with a bigger breaking ball in the mid-70s and similar spin. The curveball has a bigger shape and depth to it, offering another look to mix in against hitters. It's a pitch that he does not release over the top all the time and can drag his arm slot up a bit, which he will need to clean up in the Tigers organization.
Wilson also has a changeup that gets into the low-80s. It's a traditional circle-change grip that he pronates at release and turns over nicely. He has a full four-pitch mix that he can use to attack opposing hitters. He shined and had success at the prep level, and he just needs to do the same in the Tigers organization.
Although some of the things mentioned above are "knocks" on Wilson, he has the traits to be an exceptional arm for the Tigers organization in the future. He just needs to get his feet wet in affiliate ball. He comes in at 21st on our countdown, and while I wanted to rank him higher, without any affiliate ball experience, I'd like to see what happens in 2024.
Wilson has great traits and the potential to be exceptional if the Tigers PD staff can help foster his development. If they can clean up a few things, there's something special to watch for in Wilson. He may be outside the Top 20 right now, but a big 2024 and introduction to affiliate ball could say a lot - keep an eye on him.