The Texas Rangers surprisingly selected Seahawks QB Russell Wilson in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft on Thursday.
The Rangers are clearly holding out hope that Wilson would want to be a two-sport at some point in his career.
In case you’re unfamiliar with Wilson’s story, he left North Carolina State after being drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the fourth round of the 2010 draft. Wilson signed a deal with the Rockies that paid him a $200,000 signing bonus, but he returned a portion of that after being drafted by the Seahawks.
Wilson was a second baseman in the Rockies system where he hit .229 with five homers and 19 stolen bases in Class A.
Wilson ultimately made the right decision to return to football at the University of Wisconsin where he led the Badgers to the Rose Bowl before getting drafted in the third-round by Seattle.
Everyone raves about Wilson’s intangibles, work ethic and overall presence, which is exactly what Rangers assistant general manager A.J. Preller said following the draft.
“Everything you see and read about him and seeing him play on Sundays, you hear about the work ethic, the person,” Preller said, via ESPN.com. “I think that’s going to be a positive message for all of our players in our system, our coaches, everybody to have somebody like that around.
“At the end of the day, if he decides it’s not something he wants to come back and do full-time, just having him around, having him talk to a group, I think there’s definitely positives in all that.”
“We feel like if he ever decided he wanted to come back and play again, he’d be a guy that we’d want in our system with us and see him develop,” Preller said. “The biggest thing that intrigued us on Russell from afar is the makeup. I think the way he goes about his business, the professionalism, the competitor, [that’s] the message that we try to preach throughout our organization.
“At the end of the day, he obviously has a lot bigger things that he’s working on right now and we don’t want to interrupt that aspect of it, but if at some point down the road he decides he wants to do the baseball thing again, we felt like it would be a positive to have him with us.”
We’ll have to see if Wilson ever elects to get involved with the Rangers at some point, even he’s not a true two-sport player. That would make the $12,000 they paid to draft Wilson more justifiable.