Marcus Wilson Looks To Build Off Strong Finish
As outfielder Marcus Wilson slumped through last season, he brought his struggles at the plate home with him, beating himself up over his poor results. It wasn’t until the second half of the season that teammate Jason Morozowski managed to snap him out of his funk.
"He was like, ‘Man, you cannot let this game affect you on and off the field,’ ” Wilson recalled. "He always makes a joke: ‘Do people in Korea really care about what you did today? Then why are you taking it so seriously? It’s just a game. You’re good at it. You shouldn’t beat yourself up about it. Just get back to what you normally do.’ That kind of got me back on track.”
A year earlier, Wilson, 22, had put together one of the more impressive seasons of any Diamondbacks position player prospect, swinging the bat well at low Class A Kane County. He could not carry the success to high Class A Visalia.
Wilson’s final .235/.309/.369 batting line was even more disappointing because it came in the hitter-friendly California League, but he swung the bat well over the regular season’s final couple of weeks. He followed that with an excellent postseason, which gave him something positive to take into the winter.
The 2014 supplemental second-round pick out of high school in California spent the offseason in Arizona working with new hitting coach Darnell Coles to simplify his approach at the plate and his swing as well.
"(Last season) I was just thinking everything but, ‘Hit a fastball,’ ” Wilson said. "We worked on having a level bat plane through the zone,” Wilson said. "It’s really self-explanatory. No launch angle or anything like that. I just want to have my bat in the zone for a very long time. I feel like I was just in and out, so I had to be perfect to hit it. It’s good when your timing is right, but when it’s not it’ll show.”
The D-backs say Wilson’s batted-ball numbers from last season indicated that he swung the bat a little better than the results would suggest. In Wilson's mind, there’s nothing he can do to change last year, but there’s plenty he can take from it.
“Everybody goes through it,” Wilson said. “You’ve just got to keep your head up and keep playing hard every day. That was big for me, coming off a good year and then going back to that year. It was just a learning experience for me.”
— Infielder Blaze Alexander was diagnosed with a fractured bone in his left wrist in January. He’s not sure when the injury occurred—he recalled feeling soreness in his hand at one point during the season—but isn’t expected to set him back much to start the year. The injury required only a soft cast. Alexander is expected to open the year at low Class A Kane County.
— Righthander Nick Green got off on the right foot in his quest to win a spot on the roster as a Rule 5 pick. Green tossed five scoreless innings over his first two appearances in the Cactus League.