On February 7, 2018, the New York Yankees acquired infielder Russell Wilson from the Texas Rangers in exchange for “Future Considerations.” Wilson was formally a fourth-round draft pick of the Colorado Rockies in the 2010 Draft out of North Carolina State University and signed for $200,000. In 2013 he was selected by the Texas Rangers in the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 draft.
While playing his first two seasons he returned to school to continue to play football and was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the third round of the NFL Draft and has since been focusing on football, becoming four-time pro-bowler, a Super Bowl champion, the NFL Rookie of the Year in 2012, the NFL’s passing touchdowns leader in 2017, the 2015 Pro Bowl Offensive MVP as well as earning several other accolades.
Wilson played in 106 games for NC State in 2008 and 2009, hitting .282/.384/.415 in 241 at-bats while playing second base. He also appeared in 10 games as a pitcher, he had a 5.84 ERA with eight strikeouts in 12 innings pitched.
After signing with the Rockies, Wilson was assigned to the Tri-City Dust Devils of the Northwest League. In 32 games he hit .230/.336/.377 in 122 at-bats with four doubles, four triples, two home runs and 11 RBIs. He also drove in 11 RBIs. After the season ended he was ranked as the Rockies 19th best prospect by Baseball America.
In 2011, Wilson appeared in 61 games for the Ashville Tourists of the South Atlantic League. With the Tourists, he hit .228/.366/.342 in 193 at-bats with five doubles, four triples, three home runs, 15 RBIs and 35 walks.
While there is almost no chance Wilson will play with the Yankees, he was at one point a legitimate minor league prospect. He has plus speed, range, and arm strength but with as with all two-sport athletes he was not as refined at the time he was drafted. Combine that with the fact that he has not played baseball since 2011 he s still raw.
That being said, over the last couple of years he has worked out with the Rangers coaches during spring training and will do so with the Yankees, so he is not completely rusty either. Wilson is a pure athlete, and no doubt with coaching could become a solid infielder if he were to focus on baseball.
After being traded to the Yankees, he was assigned to the roster of Double-A Trenton Thunder, but will not play this season. Wilson will join the Yankees for spring training, working out before games and spending time with the young players to act as a mentor of sorts. He will not appear in any games.