Author Topic: Follow the Prospects: James Wood, OF  (Read 373 times)

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Offline imref

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Follow the Prospects: James Wood, OF
« Topic Start: August 02, 2022, 04:10:09 PM »
Positions: Centerfielder, Left fielder and Right fielder
Bats: Left  •  Throws: Right
6-7, 240lb (201cm, 108kg)
Team: San Diego Padres (minors)
Born: September 17, 2002 (Age: 19-319d) in Rockville, MD us
Draft: Drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 2nd round of the 2021 MLB June Amateur Draft from IMG Academy (Bradenton, FL).
High School: IMG Academy (Bradenton, FL)
Full Name: James Irvin Wood

MILB:
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Scouting grades: Hit: 45 | Power: 55 | Run: 60 | Arm: 55 | Field: 50 | Overall: 55

Wood entered the summer of 2020 as a relatively under-the-radar athletic outfielder who had moved from his home in Maryland to attend IMG Academy to focus on baseball. The former two-sport standout (basketball) had a strong summer on the showcase circuit, putting him firmly on the radar as a toolsy prospect with tremendous upside. Some struggles in the spring dampened his stock prior to the 2021 Draft, but it wasn’t enough to deter the Padres, who selected Wood in the second round and inked him to a $2.6 million bonus, more than double the slot value for the 62nd overall pick. He got off to a fast start in his professional debut, slashing .372/.465/.535 with eight extra-base hits over 26 games in the rookie-level Arizona Complex League.

Wood comes from an athletic family -- his father played professional basketball in Europe, and his sister is a captain on the Northwestern University women’s basketball team -- and his own athleticism is apparent in all aspects of his game. He generates plus raw power from his 6-foot-7, 240-pound frame, though he’s still learning how to fully tap into that power in games. Wood sees the ball and has good bat-to-ball skills but could improve his aggressiveness early in counts, when he’s more likely to get a pitch he’s able to drive.

A plus runner, Wood maximizes his speed with his instincts. On the bases, he was a perfect 10-for-10 in stolen base attempts in 2021. Defensively, he exceeded expectations with his range and ability to track down balls in the gaps. While his accuracy was a bit inconsistent in ‘21, Wood has a strong arm that could profile well in right field if he outgrows center. Couple that with his potential to hit 30 homers a year and it’s easy to see why some Padres officials feel Wood may have the highest ceiling in the entire organization.

BB America - March 2022 update: https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/padres-begin-to-tap-into-james-woods-immense-talent/
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High school outfielder James Wood had underperformed to the point that he had played himself out of the first round of the 2021 draft—but not off the Padres’ radar.

That would have been tough to do, given that Wood is 6-foot-7, 240 pounds and owns a powerful lefthanded bat.

The Padres signed Wood for $2.6 million in the second round out of IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. He got top 30 pick money as the 62nd overall pick.

To begin to tap into the 19-year-old Wood's raw athleticism, the Padres continued with some swing change work that Wood and the IMG Academy coaching staff had toyed with at the end of his senior year.

They widened his stance, positioning him a bit more upright in the batters’ box. They changed his hand positioning, too, to create a little bit more space and a more direct path to the baseball.

The result: Wood hit .372/.465/.535 with three homers in 26 games in the Arizona Complex League. His strikeout rate bordered on 32%, but he was selected with a walk rate of nearly 13%.

Wood also stole 10 bases in 10 tries and showed a quick first step and enough range for the Padres to continue to play him in center field despite his unconventional size.