Alex Wilson (baseball)

Alex Wilson
Wilson with the Detroit Tigers in 2018
Detroit Tigers – No. 30
Relief pitcher
Born: (1986-11-03) November 3, 1986
Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
April 11, 2013, for the Boston Red Sox
MLB statistics
(through August 30, 2018)
Win–loss record 13–13
Earned run average 3.30
Strikeouts 206

William Alexander Wilson (born November 3, 1986) is a professional baseball pitcher for the Detroit Tigers of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the Boston Red Sox.

Early life

Wilson was born in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia where his father, Jim Wilson, worked as a geologist for Aramco. Jim played college football in the NAIA at Hanover College before being cut by the Cincinnati Bengals, declining an offer from the Green Bay Packers and returning to graduate school.

The family moved to New Orleans when Wilson was two years old and then moved to Kingsport, Tennessee, where Wilson spent the majority of his youth.[1] Wilson grew up as a Boston Red Sox fan.[2]


College and Minor Leagues

Wilson attended Hurricane High School in Hurricane, West Virginia,[3] then attended Winthrop University. Collegiate Baseball named him the National Freshman Pitcher of the Year in 2006.[2] In the summer of 2007, he had Tommy John surgery.[4] He transferred to Texas A&M University in January 2008.[4] He was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 10th Round of the 2008 Major League Baseball Draft, but did not sign. He was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 2nd Round of the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft. In November 2012, Wilson was added to the 40-man roster to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft.[5]

Boston Red Sox

On March 16, 2013, Wilson was optioned to the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox to begin the season. He was called up to the Red Sox on April 7 when John Lackey went on the disabled list, and made his Major League debut on April 11. He was optioned to Pawtucket on May 29, and recalled on June 13 when Alfredo Aceves was optioned to Pawtucket.

Wilson pitched in the Major Leagues for parts of the 2013 and 2014 seasons. He threw 27 23 innings for the Red Sox in 2013 and posted a 4.88 ERA. He performed much better in his 28 13 Major League innings in 2014, recording a 1.91 ERA.

Detroit Tigers

On December 11, 2014, the Red Sox traded Wilson along with Gabe Speier and Yoenis Céspedes to the Detroit Tigers for Rick Porcello.[6]

On May 27, 2015, Alex Wilson made his first career major league start for the Detroit Tigers, against the Oakland Athletics, throwing 52 pitches in 3 scoreless innings. Detroit went on to win 3–2.

On July 30, 2015, Wilson earned his first major league save, getting the final five outs in a 9–8 Tigers win over the Baltimore Orioles.[7] For the season, he pitched 70 innings (including a team-high 67 in relief), with 16 games finished, 2 saves, a 2.19 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP.

During the 2016 season, Wilson set career highs with 62 appearances and 73 innings, while posting a 4–0 record with a 2.96 ERA, with 49 strikeouts and 21 walks.

On January 13, 2017, the Tigers avoided arbitration with Wilson, agreeing on a one-year, $1.175 million contract.[8] On August 25, Wilson was ejected for the first time in his Major League career after hitting Todd Frazier with a pitch. This followed after Miguel Cabrera and Austin Romine were ejected for triggering a bench-clearing brawl and after Dellin Betances was also ejected for the first time in his Major League career after hitting James McCann with a pitch. The next day, August 25, Wilson was suspended for four games. He appealed, and had the suspension reduced to three games, which he sat out beginning on September 2.[9]

On September 23, 2017, Wilson sustained a non-displaced fractured right fibula after he was hit by a line drive off the bat of Joe Mauer, ending his season. During the 2017 season, Wilson posted a 2–5 record, 4.35 ERA, and 42 strikeouts in 60 innings pitched.[10][11]

On January 17, 2018, the Tigers avoided arbitration with Wilson, agreeing on a one-year, $1.925 million contract.[12] In a game on May 7, 2018, Wilson hurt his foot covering first base, and was later diagnosed with a plantar fascia strain. He was placed on the 10-day disabled list the next day.[13] He returned to action for the Tigers on June 7.[14]

Pitch selection

Wilson throws three primary pitches. He has a four-seam fastball that averages 92 mph (tops out at 97 mph), a two-seam fastball at 88-92 mph (tops out at 96 mph), and a slider in the 86-89 mph range (tops out at 91 mph). The two-seam fastball is used as both a cutter and a sinker. He throws the cutter more than any other pitch. Wilson also throws an occasional curveball and changeup.[15]

Personal life

Wilson played high school baseball at Hurricane High School where he won a state championship in 2002.

Wilson is the second Saudi-born player in MLB history, after Craig Stansberry.[3]

Wilson is married to Kristin Wilson


  1. Dorsey, David (February 29, 2012). "Alex Wilson hopes for spot on Boston Red Sox pitching staff". Mass Live. The Republican. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
  2. 1 2 AG (January 12, 2012). "Hot Stove Party Invitees – Alex Wilson". 45 Miles from Fenway. MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
  3. 1 2
  4. 1 2 "Wilson Joins Aggie Baseball Program". January 14, 2008.
  5. "Red Sox add six players to 40-man roster". November 20, 2012.
  6. "In separate deals, Tigers land Cespedes, Simon". December 11, 2014. Retrieved December 11, 2014.
  7. Ginsburg, David (July 30, 2015). "Depleted Tigers get 16 hits and squeeze past Orioles 9-8". Retrieved July 31, 2015.
  8. Beck, Jason (January 13, 2017). "Tigers maintain streak, agree to deals with six". Retrieved January 13, 2017.
  9. "Cabrera serves ban after 1-game reduction". Retrieved 2017-09-02.
  10. Beck, Jason (September 23, 2017). "Wilson fractures leg after being hit by liner". Retrieved September 23, 2017.
  11. Woodbery, Evan (September 23, 2017). "Numbness, warmth, then shooting pain: Alex Wilson's season ends with bad break". Mlive. Retrieved September 23, 2017.
  12. Beck, Jason (January 17, 2018). "Tigers avoid arbitration with Iglesias". Retrieved January 17, 2018.
  13. Rogacki, Rob (May 8, 2018). "Jordan Tigers place Alex Wilson, Jordan Zimmermann on 10-day disabled list". Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  14. Day, Brandon (June 7, 2018). "Detroit Tigers News: Alex Wilson returns, Zimmermann soon to follow". Retrieved July 25, 2018.
  15. "Alex Wilson PitchFX at". Retrieved June 2, 2015.
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