Russell Wilson selected by Texas Rangers in 2013 MLB Rule 5 draft
Though there’s certainly no indication he plans to switch sports any time soon, Seahawks QB Russell Wilson was selected off the Colorado Rockies’ minor-league roster by the Texas Rangers during Thursday’s MLB Rule 5 draft.
Wilson, who played second base, was taken twice during the MLB amateur draft — once in 2007 by the Orioles before opting to attend college, then as a 2010 fourth-rounder by the Rockies. He played two seasons in Colorado’s minor-league system, one with the short-season Class A Tri-City Dust Devils and another with A-ball’s Asheville Tourists.
Wilson hit a combined .229 in that time, while also playing college football first at N.C. State and later at Wisconsin. He added five home runs and 19 stolen bases.
In 2012, though, after guiding Wisconsin to the Rose Bowl, Wilson informed the Rockies that he would be hanging up his glove to pursue a pro football career.
“We thought his future would be better in baseball, if he chose to pursue it,” Bill Schmidt, the Rockies’ vice president of scouting, told the Associated Press at the time. “But we always knew that football was there. We would’ve liked to have seen him stick with it a little longer and seen where it would’ve taken him. But I fully understand where he’s coming from with football.”
The Seahawks drafted Wilson No. 75 overall (Round 3) of the 2012 draft, making him their starting quarterback shortly thereafter.
It is not uncommon for MLB teams to draft two-sport college athletes, especially since baseball’s draft runs for 40 rounds. In fact, just this past draft, the Rangers also used a 15th-round pick on current Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston. Last season for the Seminoles, Winston batted .235 with nine RBIs while splitting time between left and right field. The Heisman Trophy finalist also made 17 appearances as a relief pitcher, posting a 1-2 record.
Players selected in the main portion of MLB’s Rule 5 draft must stay on their new team’s major-league roster all season or be offered back to the original club. Because Wilson was taken in the AAA-level section of the draft, the Rangers can stash him on their roster, in case he ever stuns the football world by bailing for the diamond.