Brian Wilson
Brian Wilson
37-Year-Old PitcherRP
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
2019 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for Brian Wilson in 2019. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
$In November of 2014, Wilson exercised his option to return to the Dodgers for 2015.
Eyeing return as knuckleballer
PFree Agent  
February 8, 2017
Wilson is eyeing a return to baseball as a knuckleballer, Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports reports.
ANALYSIS
It's been two and a half years since Wilson last pitched in the big leagues, before the Dodgers released him with $9.5 million still owed. He said he has been working on his knuckleball and has pitched for at least two clubs in the last two weeks. He hopes get a chance this spring to revive his career like many past knuckleballers.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
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Wilson has a seemingly bright future in magic. Consider the following. In his return from Tommy John surgery in 2013, he tossed 13.2 innings for the Dodgers and carried a tidy 0.66 ERA with an 8.6 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9 (xFIP 2.82). He turned those 18 appearances into a $10 million contract for 2014, and a $9 million option for 2015. While Wilson pushed his strikeout rate above his career rate (9.6 K/9) last season (10.1 K/9), he had his highest walk rate since 2006 (5.4 BB/9), and was well below replacement level overall. A big part of that decline can be attributed to his diminished velocity, as Wilson's average fastball fell to a career-low 92.1 mph, while he also lost more than a mile per hour off his slider. Of course, he exercised the player option. The Dodgers released him anyway. He'll likely get a shot to win a setup role with another team this spring.
Fully recovered from Tommy John surgery, Wilson appeared in 18 regular season games for the Dodgers, allowing just one run in 13.2 innings with an impressive 13:4 K:BB. The 2.6 BB/9 was especially good to see given his career mark is pushing 4.0, and Wilson also went on to toss six scoreless innings in the postseason with an 8:2 K:BB. Unable to find a suitable offer to close elsewhere during the winter, Wilson received a one-year, $10 million to return to the Dodgers where he will set up Kenley Jansen in 2014.
Wilson appeared in only two games for the Giants in April before undergoing Tommy John surgery. Wilson told reporters in the postseason that he fully expects to be 100 percent at the beginning of spring training. It remains to be seen whether manager Bruce Bochy would install him in the closer’s role right away if he returns to the Giants, considering Sergio Romo’s performance in the organization's postseason run. Potential owners should expect a 2013 line closer to his 2011 performance (3.11 ERA and 8.8 K/9) considering his yearlong absence. Look for indications in spring training to see how Wilson is performing to fully assess the ninth-inning situation wherever he lands.
Wilson recorded 36 saves with a 3.11 ERA last season, but his strikeout rate dropped while his walk rate increased, resulting in an ugly 1.473 WHIP. He also battled an injured elbow seemingly throughout the season, eventually getting shut down in September. In fact, he made just two appearances over the season’s final six weeks. No surgery was required, so the hope is he’ll enter 2012 fully healthy after an offseason of rest. Wilson’s velocity was down last season, and he relied on his cutter more than ever, so pay attention to reports in spring training, as health will be key. If he’s back to full strength, Wilson should once again return to being one of the best closers in baseball, and he could be undervalued at draft tables coming off a down year.
Wilson finished a terrific 2010 campaign with a 1.81 ERA, 1.179 WHIP and a 93:26 K:BB ratio over 74.2 innings, leading MLB with 48 saves (his 127 saves since 2008 also leads all closers). He's extremely difficult to homer against, having allowed just six long balls over 147 innings the last two years. Wilson's fastball is one of the better pitches in baseball, and his strikeout rate has improved every year he's been in the league. He recorded three saves and a win during the NLCS and was on the mound when the Giants clinched the World Series in Game 5, so even though his control doesn't always make it easy, he's proven to be one of the most reliable closers in the game today. Wilson enters 2011 as a top-tier fantasy option.
Wilson finished with three fewer saves last year compared to 2008 while also blowing one more opportunity, but he pitched far better during his second full season as the Giants’ closer nevertheless. His control (3.36 BB/9IP) remains a work in progress, but it’s improving, while his strikeout rate (10.33 K/9IP) is elite. Wilson is a groundball pitcher (1.22 G/F in 2009) with one of the most effective fastballs (average velocity was 96.6 mph last year) in all of baseball, which is a pretty good combination. After allowing 11 earned runs over the first two months last year, Wilson gave up just 11 more over the final four months, so he’s continuing to improve. His status as the Giants’ closer is secure, so he’s a safe target in fantasy leagues.
Despite a 4.62 ERA and 1.44 WHIP, Wilson racked up 41 saves in 2008, the second most in the National League. He showed an uncanny ability to pitch his best when it mattered most, but he really needs to improve his control (4.1 BB/9IP) if he wants to be San Francisco's long-term closer. He has a terrific fastball with a decent slider, and his 9.7 K/9IP mark was elite. Wilson is locked in as the Giants' closer, but realize he's unlikely to match last year's saves total in 2009.
Wilson failed to capture the closer’s role coming out of spring training last year and spent much of the season in Triple-A Fresno. After getting recalled in August, he posted a 2.28 ERA and 0.972 WHIP with a solid strikeout rate over the season’s final two months, proving he can handle ninth-inning duties in the process. Wilson possesses a plus fastball with a pretty good slider and only command stands in the way of him becoming a truly elite reliever. With little competition in San Francisco’s pen, manager Bruce Bochy has already named Wilson the favorite to close in 2008.
Thought of as the team’s possible future at closer, Wilson is a hard thrower who fanned 30 batters in 28 innings at Triple-A last year. He wasn't able to transfer that success into the majors, however. He certainly has the stuff to exceed in the big leagues, and with Armando Benitez's health and performance in question, Wilson could be an alternative to close in San Francisco's pen this year.
More Fantasy News
Brian Wilson: Released By Dodgers
PFree Agent  
December 19, 2014
Wilson was released by the Dodgers on Friday, Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports.
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Brian Wilson: Designated For Assignment
PLos Angeles Dodgers  
December 16, 2014
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PLos Angeles Dodgers  
November 3, 2014
Wilson exercised his option to return to the Dodgers for 2015.
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Brian Wilson: Will Exercise 2015 Player Option
PLos Angeles Dodgers  
October 8, 2014
Wilson has informed that Dodgers that he will exercise his player option for 2015, SB Nation's Chris Cotillo reports.
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PLos Angeles Dodgers  
September 6, 2014
Wilson has a six-game streak in which he hasn't allowed a run, a period covering 3.1 innings.
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