37. Preston Wilson (6.2)
Preston Wilson is a right-handed centerfielder from Bamberg, SC, and a first round pick of the New York Mets in 1992. Six years later, he went six-for-20 in eight games for his major league debut with the Mets. On May 22nd, 1998, they sent him with Geoff Goetz and Ed Yarnall to the Florida Marlins for Mike Piazza. With the parent club in Florida, Wilson was just two-for-38 for the remainder of the campaign.
1999 stands as Wilson’s official “rookie” year, and he made the most of it, finishing second in the National League Rookie of the Year Award vote. In 149 games, he slashed out a .280/.350/.502 line with 26 round-trippers and 71 RBI, along with 11 stolen bases. The lone offensive downfall of Wilson was his 28.7 percent strikeout rate, or 156 whiffs in 543 plate appearances.
Wilson’s slash dipped slightly through his 2K season, with a .264/.331/.486 mark and an NL-high 187 strikeouts. He also set a new career-high with 31 homers and an NL-eighth 121 RBI in a team-high and NL-fourth 161 games. Wilson also ranked sixth in the circuit with 36 stolen bases.
In 2001, Wilson slashed .274/.331/.494 with 23 homers and 71 RBI, along with 20 stolen bases in 123 games for the 76-86 Marlins. 2002 represented a nadir in Wilson’s South Florida career – a .243/.329/.429 slashline along with 23 homers and 65 RBI in 141 games. After the season, the Florida Marlins traded Wilson to the Colorado Rockies with Vic Darensbourg, Charles Johnson, and Pablo Ozuna for Mike Hampton, Juan Pierre, and cash.
Wilson set new career-highs in his first season in Colorado, hitting 36 homers and an NL-leading 141 RBI. His .282 average and .537 slugging percentage were both the best marks of his career. For his efforts, he made the all-star team for the first and only time in his career.
Wilson played another season and a half with the Rockies, and later played for the Washington Nationals, the Houston Astros, and the St. Louis Cardinals.