The Rangers selected current Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson from the Rockies with the 15th pick and now control his baseball rights. Because of the way the minor-league phase works, Texas essentially bought him from Colorado for the $12,000 fee.
The Rockies drafted Wilson in the fourth round of the 2010 draft out of North Carolina State. He had previously been selected by the Orioles in the 41st round of the 2007 draft out of high school. Wilson did sign with the Rockies for $200,000 and yes, he did play in their farm system for a portion of the 2010-11 seasons. He hit .229/.354/.356 with five home runs, 19 stolen bases and 118 strikeouts in 93 Class A games as a second baseman.
Wilson's baseball career came to end in 2012, when he was drafted by the Seahawks in the third round and given close to $3 million. He had to repay the Rockies a portion of his $200,000 bonus and has since gone on to become one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. Wilson has been sitting on the minor league restricted list the entire time.
While the Rangers have no expectations of Wilson — they are hoping he can still have an impact on the franchise.
“From a baseball standpoint, we feel like if he ever decided he wanted to come back to play again that he’d be a guy we’d want in our system,” Rangers assistant GM A.J. Preller told the Fort- Forth Star-Telegram. “The biggest thing that intrigued us on Russell from afar is the makeup, the way he goes about his business, the professionalism, the competitor, the message we try to preach throughout our organization, for us to at least have that as part of our organization.”
Wilson’s love of baseball played a partial role in his exit from N.C. State in 2011. He was recruited by coach Chuck Amato, who told him he could play both football and baseball, but Amato was fired before Wilson came to Raleigh and new coach Tom O’Brien wasn’t thrilled with his quarterback dabbling in two sports.
When Wilson announced his plan to attend Rockies spring training in 2011, O’Brien and N.C. State granted him a release from his scholarship. With one year of eligibility remaining, Wilson transferred to Wisconsin, where he did not play baseball but developed into a third-round pick in the NFL draft.
His numbers in the NFL — a 22-7 record through the first 29 games of his career with 49 touchdowns and a 64.3 completion percentage. He's led Seattle to a Franchise best 11-2 Record this season, including 10-0 at home.