To continue this series about Virginia baseball stars in the making, we turn to the Orioles system and look at Midlothian-native and UVA alumni P Tyler Wilson.
Wilson was 21 when he was drafted out of University of Virginia in the 10th round of the 2011 draft by the Baltimore Orioles, but signed quickly enough that he got some work in that season, with the GCL and then Aberdeen. He finished that first pro season with a 1.91 ERA in a combined 8 starts between the two levels. He notched 27 strikeouts and 5 walks in 33 innings.
The next season, he started out at Low-A Delmarva, where he posted a bloated 5.06 ERA, but went 3-3 with 29 SO in 32 innings over 6 starts before being promoted to High-A Frederick. The organization decided to try stretching him out a little bit, and he went 7-7, but posted a 3.49 ERA with more strikeouts (114) than total innings pitched (111), walking only 19!
In 2013, he opened at Frederick, where he posted a 4.48 ERA over 11 starts, but impressed the organization enough that he was moved up to Double-A Bowie. With the Baysox, he posted a 3.83 ERA in 16 starts to finish the season.
Wilson would open up 2014 with the Baysox, and really began to impress. He won 10 games with Bowie, over 16 starts, and posted a 3.72 ERA, with 91 strikeouts in 96 2/3 innings. This earned him a promotion to Triple-A Norfolk, which would allow him to pitch less than 2 hours from home.
With the Tides, Wilson went 4-3 in 12 starts, but posted a 3.60 ERA. He threw 70 innings over those 12 starts, and got 66 strikeouts. He also started to prove to be an innings-eater at Norfolk, throwing at least 6 innings in 8 of his 12 starts with the Tides. He had 2 starts at Norfolk where he gave up 4 or 5 runs in no more than 4 innings-take out those starts and his ERA at AAA plummets to 2.72.
For his entire 4-year minor league career so far, Wilson is 32-24 in 88 starts, with a 3.73 ERA. He has notched 445 strikeouts in 494 1/3 innings pitched, with 125 walks, an average of about 1 walk per 4 innings.
The Baltimore Orioles have become a very competitive team again, thanks in part to their farm system producing players. Tyler Wilson appears to be a part of the future in Charm City, and just three hours away, his friends and family in Midlothian could not be prouder.