Bucs Sign 5th Round Pick Wilson

The Pittsburgh Pirates announced they have agreed to terms with lefthanded starting pitcher Justin Wilson, the club's fifth-round selection in the 2008 June draft.

Wilson, who will turn 21 on Monday, went 9-5 with a 4.14 ERA and 108 strikeouts in 23 games (19 starts) this year for the NCAA World Series Champion Fresno State Bulldogs. The lefthander ended his junior season as the winning pitcher in the deciding game of the NCAA College World Series on June 25 vs. Georgia, where he allowed one run in 8.0 innings while also striking out nine Georgia Bulldogs. For his efforts Wilson was one of two pitchers named to the College World Series All-Tournament Team.

"We are pleased that we have been able to come to agreement with Justin. He is an accomplished college left handed starting pitcher with a solid upside," said Greg Smith, Pirates Director of Scouting. "He is coming off quite the college season, especially after starting and being the winning pitcher in the College World Series final game."

The 6'3", 210-pound Wilson was a First-Team All-WAC selection in 2007 after going 8-5 with a 3.19 ERA and team-leading 105 strikeouts in 25 appearances (19 starts). As a freshman with the Bulldogs in 2006 he struck out 34 batters in his 25.0 innings of work as a pitcher while also hitting .412 as a pinch hitter.

Wilson attended last night's Reds-Pirates game. He will report to the Gulf Coast League Pirates in Bradenton (Fla.) before playing in the fall instructional league.

"There is a new regime here and I think they have a lot of good things going," Wilson said. "That's why I'm here." Wilson had a standout career while playing for Buchanan (CA) High School, where he was a three-year letterwinner as both a pitcher and first baseman. During his three-year career at Buchanan he helped his team to a 64-18 record while being named the 2005 Valley Player-of-the-Year and to the California All-Star team.

The Pirates have now come to terms with 29 of their 50 selections from this year's draft.


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