B.J. Rains of Fox Sports Midwest reports on the Cardinals' latest attempt to attract Austin Wilson, their 12th round draft pick and a likely Stanford undergrad this September. Tonight Wilson and family got the full Busch Stadium tour:â†µ
"Clearly Austin and his family wouldn't be here if they didn't have interest in signing or weren't seriously considering it," Luhnow said. "I'm not going to give you any odds yet because I don't know. We haven't gotten to that point of the discussion but this has to be a thrill for him and certainly it's going to give us an opportunity to see him in a different light."â†µ
The Cardinals fitted Wilson with a batting practice uniform, complete with a jersey that had his name on the back. He met virtually the entire team and chatted with several players before going out to right-field to take fly balls and make throws to second base. Outfielder Allen Craig served as his ‘host', walking him around and introducing him to several of the players.â†µ
First rounder Zach Cox is the surest bet of the team's 2010 draft to reach the majors and contribute, but few players in the draft not named Bryce Harper possess more raw power or difficult-to-quantify upside than Wilson, a high school superstar who stands 6'4", has a right fielder's arm, and, well, is smart enough to feel more compelled by a chance to study at Stanford than $2 million.â†µ
A BP jersey and a chance to meet the players isn't going to wrap up one of the three or four best prospects in the 2010 draft—this is approximately what I got for my elementary school band playing the Star-Spangled Banner before a Cardinals game in 1999—but this is as much for the fans as it was for Wilson, who probably is reminded on a daily basis that the team is serious about signing him. This says to Cardinals fans (and Zach Cox, who's also played hard to get) that the team is willing to be big spenders in the draft again.