Jacob Wilson becomes GCU baseball’s highest drafted player, picked by Athletics
Jul 9, 2023, 4:47 PM | Updated: 10:17 pm
(Photo by Zac BonDurant/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Grand Canyon baseball’s Jacob Wilson was selected with the No. 6 overall pick in the MLB Draft by the Oakland Athletics on Sunday.
The standout shortstop is now the first player in program history to be picked in the opening round of the MLB Draft.
GCU has had a pair of second-rounders and four third-rounders, including AL Rookie of the Year and Silver Slugger Tim Salmon.
Wilson contributed to three straight WAC regular season titles for GCU and the program’s first two NCAA Tournament appearances in 2021 and 2022.
He was Grand Canyon’s youngest scholarship offer in its Division-1 era, committing as a sophomore in high school from Thousand Oaks, Calif.
During his visit to the Valley after receiving an offer from GCU, Wilson went to a local Dave and Busters where he won an autographed ball by Salmon, which he saw as a sign, according to GCU.
At GCU, Wilson became one of the nation’s premier defensive shortstops and toughest players to get out.
Wilson earned the 2023 WAC Defensive Player of the Year after earning conference All-Defense honors in 2022.
He hit .411 this past year, setting a program D-1 record and finishing 10th in the country.
The righty struck out 12 times in 438 at-bats (2.7%) over the last two seasons, the lowest clip in the nation.
Jacob Wilson, the second-highest ranked Draft prospect at the Desert Invitational, wasted no time for @GCU_Baseball.
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) February 17, 2023
His father, MLB All-Star and Silver Slugger Jack Wilson, joined the Antelopes coaching staff ahead of the 2023 season.
Wilson called it special to have his dad on the staff for his final year during an interview with MLB Network. The former major leaguer said he wanted to pass on everything he knew.
The 21-year-old Wilson was projected to land anywhere in the first round from No. 6 into the 20s. MLB Pipeline’s Jim Callis wrote that Wilson had the best bat-to-ball skills in the draft but there were concerns about his exit velocities.
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) July 10, 2023
The Athletic’s Keith Law echoed the sentiment on Wilson’s offense but called him one of the best defensive shortstops in the college class.
He is someone who projects to play in the big leagues with very, very high probability, but who may not have the ceiling of a regular.
He joins an Athletics farm system that has only two top 100 prospects on MLB Pipeline and ranked No. 22 in the league entering the season.
Wilson was one of seven players to attend the draft in Seattle and hear his name called in person.
The scene in Seattle, Rob Manfred announcing A’s first pick Jacob Wilson, sixth overall. pic.twitter.com/Vcbc0iHgPU
— John Shea (@JohnSheaHey) July 9, 2023