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Mariners high on second pick's athleticism

Out of Stanford, hulking outfielder Wilson combines power with intelligence

SEATTLE -- Austin Wilson, a big right fielder out of Stanford who can run and hit with power, was selected by the Mariners with their second-round pick in Thursday's First-Year Player Draft.

Wilson, 6-foot-5 and 245 pounds, hit .288 with seven doubles, five home runs and 26 RBIs during a junior season that was limited to 31 games after being sidelined more than a month at the start of the year by a stress reaction in his right elbow.

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"He's a guy we've been scouting since high school," said Mariners scouting director Tom McNamara. "He's a big guy. We talk about tools -- he's a five-tool guy, and we think his better days are ahead of him. He's got power. He came here to our pre-Draft camp, and it was pretty exciting, the show he put on."

After hitting .285 with 10 home runs and 54 RBIs in 59 games as a sophomore, Wilson was a preseason First Team All-America selection by Baseball America. In three seasons at Stanford, he batted .295 with 26 doubles, 20 home runs, 110 RBIs and 13 stolen bases in 145 games.

The 21-year-old originally was drafted in the 12th round of the 2010 Draft by the Cardinals out of Harvard-Westlake High School in Los Angeles, but he opted for Stanford, where he's working on a degree in science, technology and society.

"I think he's just scratching the surface," McNamara said. "He needs to go out and play professional baseball. We've seen him in the Cape. Each year, he's shown steady improvement. He's 6-foot-5, he runs, he throws, he's got raw power and he's got aptitude, obviously. To be a student at Stanford, you've got to be pretty intelligent. We've seen him since high school. The improvements are steady. We're really looking forward to getting him in uniform."

Wilson was the 49th overall selection on Thursday. The Mariners will have eight picks on Friday, when Rounds 3-10 of the Draft are held, then finish up with 30 picks from Rounds 11-40 on Saturday.

Greg Johns is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog.

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