Wilson earned his nickname "The Buffalo" from Nationals teammate Ian Desmond…after a particularly demanding day behind the plate, Desmond quipped: "I don't know how you do that. No matter what, you're always ready to play. You're like a buffalo."... He and his wife, Yely Escalona, have a 3-year-old daughter, Antonella, and newborn son, Wilson Jr. …their daughter was frequently seen around Tropicana Field last season wearing a Rays jersey with his No. 40 and Buffalita on the back, meaning "Little Buffalo."... Wilson began playing baseball as a 5-year-old, almost always as a catcher…as a youngster, he would often accompany his mother to the ballpark, as she worked security at Venezuela's winter ball stadiums... Wilson grew up idolizing and emulating Iván Rodriguez, and he got a chance to be Pudge's teammate for his final two seasons in the majors (2010-11), calling the opportunity to learn from him "nothing short of a dream come true"… he says Pudge's biggest impact on him came in learning how to call a game…when Ramos took over Rodriguez's starting job in 2011, Pudge was fully supportive... Wilson is the second of eight children…two of his younger brothers played in the minors: David was a right-handed pitcher in the Nationals system, and Natanael was a catcher in the Mets organization…their uncle, Miguel Campos, was a catcher in the Cubs system whose career ended as a 20-year-old after being hit in the face by a pitch.
Returned from a torn right ACL in late June to appear in 64 games, including 57 starts at catcher…spent the first 76 games of the season on the disabled list as he recovered from the injury sustained the previous September.... Despite the missed time, recorded 11 HR and 35 RBI while playing catcher, the most by a Ray since Kelly Shoppach (11) in 2011 and Dioner Navarro (52) in 2008, respectively... Is one of six catchers with double-digit homers in each of the last five seasons, along with ATL/ NYY/HOU Brian McCann, PIT/TOR Russell Martin, SF Buster Posey, KC Salvador Pérez and HOU/MIN Jason Castro.... Helped Rays backstops combine for a clubrecord 28 HR…previous record was 20 HR in 1999…they recorded 91 RBI while playing the position, 2nd in club history behind 1999 (98)… Ramos, Derek Norris (9) and Jesús Sucre (7) made the Rays the third AL team with three catchers (min. 50 pct. of games there) with 7 HR or more, along with the 1994 Yankees and 1970 Athletics.... In only 33 games vs. AL East opponents, hit .340/.374/.670 (36-for-106) with 10 HR and 27 RBI…the 10 HR were a club record for a catcher against the AL East, ahead of Toby Hall (6) in 2006…they ranked 2nd in the majors to NYY Gary Sánchez (16)…among players with at least 100 AB vs. the AL East, his .340 avg. ranked 5th and his .670 SLG ranked 1st... In 31 games against non-divisional opponents, hit .176 (18-for-102) with 1 HR and 8 RBI... Made his Rays debut on June 24 vs. BAL after appearing in 13 rehab games between Class-A Charlotte and Triple-A Durham…hit his first 2 HR as a Ray in back-to-back games, June 30- July 1 at BAL... Hit 3 HR in his first 7 games with the Rays, but then went 25 games and 74 AB without one… through Aug 13, he was batting .170 (17-for100)…from Aug 14 through season's end, hit .343/.371/.593 (37-for-108) with 8 HR and 22 RBI in 32 games (29 starts), raising his season avg. from .170 to .260…min. 100 AB, led major league catchers in avg. over this span and his 8 HR tied for 2nd behind Gary Sánchez (14)... Recorded 7 games with at least 3 hits, all coming over his last 31 games beginning Aug 15.... Twice homered off Chris Sale, both go-ahead shots at home, on July 6 and Sep 15.…on July 6, his RBI double and 2-run homer off Sale keyed a 4-1 victory…on Sep 15, his 2-run homer off Sale gave the Rays a 3-2 lead and he added another homer in the 8th inning off Matt Barnes en route to a 13-6, 15-inning loss…it was his fifth career multi-HR game, first since June 16, 2015 at TB, a Nationals 16-4 win…in that 2015 game, both homers came off Rays position players (Jake Elmore, Nick Franklin)... On July 24 vs. BAL, suffered a head laceration and received six staples…the injury was sustained in the 5th inning on a broken bat by Ruben Tejada…was used as a pinch-hitter the next night vs. BAL and returned to the starting lineup on July 26 vs. BAL, hitting a 5th-inning double against Ubaldo Jiménez.... On Aug 25 at STL, snapped career-high streaks of 5 multi-hit games and 6 multi-hit starts, both club records for a catcher…the 5 straight multihit games tied Corey Dickerson for the longest such streak by a Ray in 2017…the 6 straight starts with multiple hits was the longest by any catcher since SF Buster Posey (6) from Aug 21-29, 2014 and was the longest by a Ray since Corey Dickerson (6) from Sep 7-14, 2016…he hit .600 (15-for-25) during this 7-game stretch from Aug 15-23... On Sep 22 at BAL, tagged Ubaldo Jiménez for his third career grand slam, first since Sep 7, 2015 vs. NYM…it was the sixth grand slam by a catcher in club history, first since Kelly Shoppach on Aug 14, 2010 vs. BAL.... Finished the season with an active streak of 6 consecutive games with at least 1 RBI, matching the longest streak of his career (also July 2-8, 2011) and the longest streak by a Ray in 2017 (Logan Morrison, Aug 27-Sep 2).
Elected to the NL All-Star Team, his first career selection, after establishing career highs in several categories including games (131), runs (58), hits (148), doubles (25), home runs (22), RBI (80), avg. (.307) and SLG (.496)…had a .354 OBP, only pct. points lower than his injuryshortened 2012 season...Won the NL's Silver Slugger Award among catchers and received two eighth-place votes for NL Most Valuable Player, tying for 17th in the overall balloting...Signed with the Rays on Dec 12, the second time under Stuart Sternberg's ownership group the Rays signed a player who was an All-Star the season prior…also Grant Balfour, who was an AL All-Star in 2013...Among NL catchers, ranked 1st in SLG and tied for 1st in RBI, along with SF Buster Posey…was 2nd in avg., 2nd in home runs to LAD Yasmani Grandal and tied for 2nd in extra-base hits (47)…his .307 avg. ranked 9th among all NL qualifiers...Entered the All-Star break leading qualified catchers in avg. (.330), OBP (.382), SLG (.536) and RBI (48), while his 13 HR led the NL and ranked 3rd overall to NYY Brian McCann (14) and KC Salvador Pérez (14)...Had 9 HR in 103 AB vs. left-handed pitching (11.44 AB/HR)…among NL players with as many at-bats vs. LHP, only CHC Kris Bryant (11.14) and MIL Chris Carter (11.17) had a higher ratio...Led the majors with a 3.45 catcher's ERA… threw out 33.3 pct. (16 of 48) of attempted base stealers, his highest since 2013 (75.6) and 5th in the majors…the MLB avg. in 2016 was 24.4 pct...Tore his right ACL after leaping for a throw to home plate on Sep 26 vs. ARI...Had a career-high-tying 4 hits, April 11 vs. ATL and June 24 at MIL…entered the season with two 4-hit efforts in 454 games...Underwent Lasik surgery during spring training to help improve his vision…credited his improvements at the plate to the procedure
ALL-STAR GAME: Elected by player vote to his first All-Star Game and played 3 innings at catcher…played in front of his wife, daughter and brother…his wife also arranged for his parents to fly in from Venezuela without his knowledge.
Set career-highs in games played (128), hits (109) and RBI (68)...Fell just short of matching a career high in home runs with 15 (16 in 2013)...Ranked second among National League catchers with 68 RBI...Trailed SFG's Buster Posey (95) and was ahead of SDP's Derek Norris (62)...Posted a career-best 19-game hit streak from April 24 to May 19...Started the year strong, hitting .327 (32-for-98) with five dubles, one homer, 13 RBI and eight runs scored in the first 26 games of the season...Second-longest streak in the National League in 2015...Clubbed second career grand slam, Sept. 7 vs. NYM...Led National League catchers with a career-best 36.2 catcher caught stealing percentage, throwing out 17 of 47 potential base stealers...His 17 caught-stealings were his most since he threw out 19 in 2011...According to FanGraphs.com, he led NL catchers in Defensive Runs Above Average (11.2) and was tied for first with SFG's Buster Posey in Defensive Runs Saved (9)...He ranked second, behind Posey, in SABR's Defensive Index (8.6)... Was behind the plate for both of Max Scherzer's no-hitters (June 20 vs. PIT and Oct. 3 at NYM).
Limited to 88 games thanks to two stints on the disabled list...Suffered a fractured left hamate on Opening Day causing him to miss approximately two months...Returned on May 7 and hit .270 with seven doubles, one home run, 11 RBI and 11 runs scored in 23 games before suffering a strained right hamstring on June 11...Returned on June 26 and hit .269 with 10 HR & 36 RBI in 64 games following reinstatment...Posted a career-high 14-game hitting streak, June 9 to July 11...Went on paternity leave, Aug. 5...Homered in last game before (Aug. 4 vs. Baltimore) and first game after (Aug. 8 at Atlanta) daughter, Antonella's Aug. 5 birth...Excelled defensively in 2014 (34.7 caught-stealing%, 3 catcher pickoffs)...Clubbed two of Washington's six home runs, Aug. 29 at Seattle...Was behind the plate for Jordan Zimmermann's no-hitter, Sept. 28 vs. Miami...Hit .224 (15-for-67) with two doubles, one homer, six RBI and four runs scored in 18 games for Tigres de Aragua of the Venezuelan Winter League.
Missed 59 games (left hamstring, 2 DL stints), but hit 16 homers in just 287 at-bats in breakout offensive campaign...hit career-high 16 home runs to set a Nationals single-season mark for catchers...bested own mark (14 in 2011)...paced all MLB catchers in home run rate (one HR every 17.94 at-bats)...Brian McCann ranks 2nd (HR every 18.72 at-bats)...when starting, Washington went 48-29 (.623)...posted catcher's ERA of 3.26 (all other Nationals catchers: 3.86)...from Aug. 22-Sept. 17, started 24 straight games at catcher to set a '13 MLB season high (trumped Yadier Molina, 22)...in first game back from 44-game stint on the DL, snapped a 5-5 tie with a game-winning 3-run shot in the 7th inning to cap the scoring in an 8-5 win, July 4 vs. MIL...also finished with a career-best 5 RBI in the Independence Day victory…hit first career grand slam off Carlos Torres in a 14-1 win vs. NYM, July 28.
Hit .265 with 2 doubles, 3 home runs and 10 RBI in just 25 games with Washington as season ended prematurely due to a right medial meniscus tear sustained on May 12 at CIN...in that game, homered before injuring the knee while chasing a passed ball in the 7th inning...had surgeries performed by Dr. Richard Steadman in Vail, CO on June 1 (medial meniscus repair) and July 18 (right knee ACL healing response)...capped an 11-inning, 4-3 win on May 4 vs. PHI with pinch-hit, 2-out, RBI single off Michael Schwimer.
Posted strong offensive numbers in one of finest rookie campaigns by a catcher in recent vintage ... finished 4th in NL Rookie of the Year voting ... defensively, provided sturdy target and used powerful arm to keep opposing runners at bay ... 14 home runs set new Nationals ('05-present) mark for homers as catcher (Brian Schneider, 10 homers in '05) ... established franchise record for homers by a rookie catcher, topping Barry Foote's 11-homer effort with the '74 Expos ... on April 26 vs. NYM, posted just the 2nd multi-homer game turned in by a Nationals catcher since baseball returned to DC in 2005 (also Brandon Harper, 2 homers on Aug. 20, 2006 at PHI) ... belted first career pinch-hit homer off Pat Neshek, June 9 at SDP...down 5-2 with two outs in the 9th, hit game-ending 3-run homer off David Pauley as Washington shocked SEA, 6-5, June 21 at Nationals Park ... with Braves clinging to lead in the NL Wild Card, hit game-winning homer-4th-inning solo shot-in eventual 3-0 win, Sept. 25 vs. ATL ... went 3-for-4 with a triple, home run, 2 RBI and a franchise-record 5 runs scored in a 17-5 win, May 20 at BAL ... posted season-high 10-game hit streak from Aug. 22-Sept. 6, batting .368 (14-for-38) with 6 doubles, 2 homers and 7 RBI during that stretch ... batted .319 in 56 games at Nationals Park, compared to .222 in 57 road games ... gunned down 28% (19 of 67) of would-be basestealers, which ranked 3rd among qualifying NL catchers.
Combined to hit .278 with 7 doubles, one homer and 5 RBI in 22 games with MIN and Washington in initial big leagueaction...began year with Triple-A Rochester, but made MLB debut with the Twins via 4-for-5 effort, May 2 at CLE...first hit was a single off Aaron Laffey...in 2nd game, May 3 vs. DET, went 3-for-4 and became the first big leaguer in68 years to notch 7 hits in initial 2 contests...Nanny Fernandez of the 1952 Boston Braves was the last to do so....was optioned to Rochester on May 12...remained there until being acquired by the Nationals in late July...was recalledby the Nationals for a brief 3-game stint in Aug. and for all of September...first MLB homer was a 2-run blast off R.A.Dickey, Sept. 8 vs. NYM...gunned down 24 of 48 (50%) would-be basestealers in 72 minor-league games...dominatedthe Venezuelan Winter League (.322, 17 doubles, 9 home runs, 36 RBI, 47 games)...ranked among VWL leaders indoubles (tied first), extra-base hits (2nd, 26), homers (tied 2nd), RBI (tied 4th) and batting (5th).
Began season at Double-A New Britain...went 3-for-5 with his first home run of the season, April 11 at New Hampshire...homered in consecutive games, June 10 and 11 vs. Altoona...batted .400 (16-for-40) in 11 June games...placed on the disabled list, June 14 with a right hamstring strain...rehabed in five games with the GCL Twins...reinstated from disabled list, August 13...batted .326 (15-for-46) in 12 August games and .346 (9-for-26) in six September games...collected 21 multi-hit games, including seven three-hit games...batted .348 (23-for-66) vs. left-handed pitching and .302 (42-for-139) vs. right-handed pitching...was the Twins' minor league full season leader in batting average and on-base percentage...ranked the eighth-best prospect in the Eastern League by Baseball America...ranked as the best power hitter, bestdefensive catcher, and second-best prospect in the Twins organization by Baseball America, entering the 2010 season.
Played the entire season with Ft. Myers, going three-for-five with a home run and two rbi in his first game April 3 vs. Sarasota...second three-hit game April 23 at Tampa...third three-hit game May 2 vs. Clearwater...four-rbi game May 25 vs. Palm Beach...hit seven home runs in 27 May games...hit safely in 16 of 18 games from May 28-June 19...two-homer game July 9 at Vero Beach...fourth three-hit game June 5 at Brevard County, including three rbi...fourth three-hit game July 5 at Lakeland...sixth three-hit game July 28 at Dunedin...13-game hit-streak from July 18-August 8, batting .407 (22-for-54) with 12 rbi during that span...went 4-for-5 with five rbi July 31 vs. Clearwater...batted .352 (32-for-91) in 23 games in July...seventh three-hit game August 11 vs. Dunedin...drove in four on August 14 vs. Lakeland...second four-hit game August 21 at Lakeland...hit .337 (31-for-92) in 27 games in August...hit safely in each of his last 15 games of the season...hit .344 (43-for-125) vs. lefthanded pitching...led the team in home runs (13), hits (130), rbi (78) and doubles (23)...his 23 doubles ranked fourth in the Florida State League...was sixth in the Twins organization in rbi...participated in the Florida State League All-Star Game...ranked eighth best prospect in Florida State League by Baseball America and was named Florida State League Postseason All-Star...ranked best defensive catcher in the Florida State League by Baseball America...played for the Tigres de Aragua in the Venezuelan Winter League following the season...ranked third best prospect in the Twins' organization by Baseball America entering the 2009 season.
Hit .291 with 8 HR and 42 RBI in 73 games with Beloit of Single-A Midwest League...joined Beloit on June 2...placedon DL for remainder of season with sprained right thumb, August 28...played for Aragua in the Venezuelan Winter League.
Appeared in 46 contests with Rookie-level GCL Twins in first domestic campaign...fanned just 14 times in 154 AB...following season, played in 6 games for the Tigres de Aragua of the Venezuelan Winter League.
In first pro season, threw out 17 of 45 (37.7%) of would-be basestealers for the Twins' Dominican Summer League entry.