The details have yet to be worked out but the most famous minor leaguer in the Texas Rangers system is slated to make a return appearance to Surprise this spring.
Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson, who made a brief appearance last year at the team’s complex, will do so again this spring.
Texas general manager Jon Daniels said the specifics of the visit haven’t been worked out yet for Wilson, who quarterbacked the Seahawks in a 28-24 Super Bowl loss to the Patriots February 1st.
The Rangers drafted Wilson in the Rule 5 draft in 2013 and put him on the Double-A roster. He was put on Triple A roster this offseason in an effort to keep teams from drafting Wilson in the Rule 5 draft. If they would have done so they would have had to put Wilson on the major-league roster.
Wilson hasn’t played baseball since 2011, when he hit .228 while playing Class A ball for the Colorado Rockies. Wilson was drafted by the Rockies in the fourth round of the 2010 draft as a second baseman.
Wilson spent a day in camp with the club last spring, taking infield, talking with minor leaguers and watching the team play an exhibition game.
A few baseball evaluators said they felt sure he’d make it to the big leagues despite obvious early flaws and uninspiring minor-league stats.
“There was no doubt in my mind — and some call me crazy — that he would someday have worn a major-league uniform,” Joe Mikulik, Wilson’s manager in 2011 at the Rockies’ South Atlantic League (Class A) affiliate in Asheville, N.C., said in a phone interview.
There were flaws, like a little loop on his swing. But he had barely played. He needed to become acquainted with the spin of the breaking ball. There was a long way to go.
But, as Mikulik said, “From the git-go, you could see the real passion and desire and work ethic. He was really driven to be the best baseball player he could possibly be.”