Seahawks’ QB Russell Wilson Drafted to Play Baseball for Texas Rangers – Publicity Stunt?
The minor league drafting process -- normally a snooze -- had some holiday spice this morning when the Texas Rangers organization drafted Seahawks QB (and former Tri-City Dust Devil) Russell Wilson as its 5th-round pick. Wilson still "belongs" to the Colorado Rockies organization (which owns the Dust Devils) because the Rangers had to "purchase" him for $12,000. Even though he is in the NFL, the Rockies still owned his professional baseball rights.
Before the draft, the Rangers called Wilson and told him of their intentions. According to ESPN, the Rangers said they planned to respect his NFL contract, but wanted to know if he was interested in also being a part of their organization. Apparently he told them yes. He may even show up for spring training.
Is this Wilson just keeping his options open, or is he paving the way to "retire" from the NFL into a 2nd baseman career?
I believe this is Russell's FOURTH draft. While in high school, he was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in 2007 but turned them down. He was drafted by Colorado Rockies in 2010, then by the Seahawks in 2012, and now the Texas Rangers in 2013. If you recall, he played for the Tri-City Dust Devils a few years ago in the Rockies system, and while he had decent numbers, did not put up the stats necessary to promote a quick elevation to a higher level. Usually, players have to hit well over .300 or like in the case of Rockies Outfielder Charlie Blackmon, hit a ton of homers in the dead air of GESA Stadium to get moved up. Blackmon also was hitting a stunning .729 when he was sent to Long A Modesto, then was in "The Show" within a year. Earlier this year, in August, he was chosen as the National League Player of the Week for his performance.
He is one of 3 former Dust Devils who are starters for the Rockies.
Wilson is obviously a talented athlete, but it's doubtful he will ever play professional baseball. Most experts are viewing his draft selection as a publicity stunt designed to capitalize on his popularity. The ONLY modern athlete to ever play in the NFL and MLB and become an All-Star in both sports was Bo Jackson.