Paul Wilson: Former Mets "Generation K" Pitcher (1996)

Paul Anthony Wilson was born on March 28, 1973, in Orlando, Florida. He was a star pitcher for the Florida State Seminoles and was the New York Mets number one draft pick, the first pick overall in 1994. He was highly touted with his fastball/slider combo.

In 1994 he was 0-7 in the Rookie League & at A ball with the St. Lucie Mets. In 1995 he was promoted to AA going 6-3 at Binghamton & then 5-3 at AAA Norfolk. On the year he combined for 2.41 ERA & 198 strikeouts.

Generation K: He along with Jason Isringhausen & Bill Pulsipher were billed as Generation K and the future stars of the Met staff. 

Mets Debut: On April 3rd, 1996, Wilson made his highly publicized debut pitching in a game against the Cardinals at Shea Stadium. He pitched well allowing three runs in six innings with six strikeouts getting no decision in the 10-9 win. His next two starts didn’t go that well, he allowed a combined 12 runs in six pitched giving up two HRs.

On April 22nd, he got his first career win, coming at Shea Stadium against the Cincinnati Reds, where he allowed one run on three hits in eight innings of work. 

 Paul then lost his next four decisions.  On May 14th he gave up eight runs to the Padres in San Diego & on May 25th gave up seven runs to the Padres at Shea. By the end of May he was 1-5 with a 7.15 ERA 

On May 30th he shut out the Giants for eight innings allowing just three hits as he beat Allen Watson in a 1-0 thriller striking out eight. He followed with a win over the Brave sin Atlanta.

Then his troubles began, it started with tendinitis in his right shoulder which sidelined him from June 5th to mid-July. 

On July 20th Wilson had a great start against the Expos, allowing only one run on three hits, in eight innings pitched to get his fourth win. But then more troubles came his way as he lost his next seven decisions. 

On July 26th in Cincinnati the Reds got him for seven runs on nine hits in a 7-4 loss. He then took losses on the road at Wrigley Field, in Miami where he gave up seven runs in 2.1 innings & San Diego where he gave up three HRs as well as six more runs. He would earn three more losses into late September. 

On September 20th, Wilson broke his losing streak & earned a win, which would be his last in a Mets uniform. That day he pitched eight innings at Philadelphia allowing just two runs on five hits, walking three while striking out no one in a 5-2 win.

His final Mets start came on September 26th in a 6-2 loss at Houston, where he gave up two runs but both were unearned.

Everything went wrong with the Mets Generation K & the team that year. The team
finished fourth 71-91 under Dallas Green who was fired in August. Bobby Valentine was hired in his place & would help turn things around over the next few years.

Wilson went 5-12 with a 5.38 ERA, he struck out 109 batters & walked 71 in 149 innings pitched in 26 starts. 

Failed Generation K: As for the other Mets "Gen K" pitchers, Bill Pulsipher would miss all of 1996 & 1997 with torn elbow ligaments. Jason Isringhausen went 6-14 with a 4.77 ERA in 1996. After six starts in 1997 he would miss the rest of the season & 1998 with a broken wrist as well as elbow surgery.

It was soon discovered that Wilson had a torn labrum which led to surgery that wiped out his 1997 season. Setbacks & injuries kept him down for four years before the Mets finally gave up on him on July 28, 2000. 

Wilson was traded to the Tampa Rays along with Jason Tyner in exchange for Bubba Trammell & Rick White.

Post Mets Career: Wilson came back to win eight games in Tampa that season going 8-9 with a 4.88 ERA. After two seasons in Tampa, he was granted free agency & went to the Reds in January 2003.

In 2003 he was 8-10 with a .64 ERA. But in 2004 he had the best year of his career. He was 11-6
with 117 strikeouts posting a 4.36 ERA in 29 starts for the 4th place Reds under Dave Miley. He even threw a complete game.

In 2005 he dropped to 1-5 and another surgery ended his career for good. 

Career Stats: Sadly, what was supposed to be a promising career for Wilson had him go 40-58 with a 4.86 ERA. he had 619 strikeouts with 336 walks in 941 innings pitched with three complete games in 170 games (153 starts) in seven seasons.


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