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Prospect Profile: James Wood
James Wood was part of the prospect package that the Nationals received from San Diego for Juan Soto, being one of the prominent names.
Editors Note: This is the latest in my player profile series that I have started here at the Nats Report. Check out other of my prospect player profiles:
Current status: Double-A Harrisburg Senators.
How acquired: Wood was selected with the 62nd overall pick in the 2021 Major League Baseball draft by the San Diego Padres. He was part of the Juan Soto trade in 2022.
Quotable: “I just go out there every day trying to be prepared and leave everything out there. It is nice to know the organization values me, but it means I still have to keep working. And I got a long way to go.”.” via Baseball Prospect Journal.com
2023 Grade: A
2024 Opening Day Projection: Double-A Harrisburg Senators
129 G | 549 PA | 473 AB | 80 R | 124 H | 26 HR | 91 RBI | 18 SB | 173 SO | .262 BA | .874 OPS |
The Washington Nationals acquired James Wood last year from the San Deigo Padres in return for Juan Soto. Wood was a second-round draft pick out of IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, in 2021.
The 21-year-old had a break-out 2023 season where he set career records in almost every category, and at the end of the season, Wood was named Washington Nationals Minor League Hitter of the Year.
Wood started out the 2023 season in Single-A Wilmington and, due to his dominance with the team, earned a promotion to Double-A. In 42 games with the Blue Rock this season, Wood hit .293/.392/.580 with eight home runs, 36 RBI, and eight stolen bases. He also drew 26 walks and had nine doubles and five triples.
His performance mid-way through the season not only earned him a promotion to Harrisburg but this year, James Wood, along with fellow Nationals prospect Brady House, was selected to play in the 2023 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game. Additionally, during the 2023 season, Wood had an impressive stretch from April 25 to May 28, where he reached base safely in 30 consecutive games. This was the longest streak in the minors at the time.
Wood was also named the South Atlantic League Player of the Week during this time for the week of May 15. Through six games, Wood hit .346 and had three doubles, a triple, two home runs, seven RBI, and four walks.
In Wood’s 87 game appearances and 368 plate appearances with the Senators, he hit 18 homeruns, 55 RBIs, and 80 hits, which netted him a .248 batting average, a slugging percentage of .492, and an OPS of .827.
The 2024 year will be very interesting for one of the future outfielders for the Washington Nationals. Woods could see some Triple-A action to start the year or be promoted during the 2024 season.
If Wood can improve his strikeout rate and improve both at home and on the road, his time in Harrisburg will be short, and he will be moving on to Rochester.
Wood’s estimated arrival to the Majors isn’t until 2025. However, the bump to Double-A boosts the possibility that he could see some action as early as next season.
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