The Texas Rangers drafted Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson during the minor league portion of the Rule 5 Draft at Major League Baseball’s Winter Meetings. The pick cost the Rangers $US12,000.
Prior to entering the NFL, Wilson was drafted by the Colorado Rockies and played two seasons in the minor league system while he was still playing football at the University of Wisconsin. Wilson played second base and hit .229 with five home runs and 19 stolen bases in 93 games.
While Wilson does have a baseball background, it is unlikely that he is going to give up on football anytime soon. Wilson’s agent also made it clear that the All-Pro quarterback is not likely to pursue a two-sport career, saying “I think Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders’ legacies are secure” (via Jon Morosi).
This suggests that the Rangers used the pick as a cheap publicity stunt.
Baseball’s Rule 5 draft is a process designed to protect players from getting stuck in one team’s organisation if he has a chance to advance in another organisation. In the minor league portion, players at lower levels that are not protected can be selected and moved to a higher level.
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