The Juan Soto trade to the San Diego Padres was bound to happen, and with it came some real fruit for the rebuilding Washington Nationals. The name that resonates most from the trade is shortstop C.J. Abrams. But lost in the shuffle, somehow even though he stands a towering 6-foot-7, is center fielder, James Wood, a Rockville, MD native who’s been assigned to the FredNats minor league team.
Wood joined the FredNats during a recent road trip. Wood detailed how he found out that he was dealt in the Soto deal mega-deal.
“I was just sitting there refreshing and I saw my name and was like, Damn, I guess I’m headed back home.”
Wood will now get to play close to home, and that’s just fine with FredNats manager Jake Lowery who seemed enamored by Wood’s rare power.
“He was hitting balls over the batter’s eye during BP. We’d been there five days and no one had done that.”
The Nationals' newly acquired OF prospect James Wood went 4-for-6 with a two-run homer in his debut with the FredNats on Friday.
Davey Martinez is excited about the young talent recently added to the Nationals system. https://t.co/odq3yEQYXy
— Nationals on MASN (@masnNationals) August 7, 2022
Wood Has Elite Power: Nats May Have A Future Slugging Outfielder
Prior to his arrival back in the DMV, the Padres 2021 second-round pick was batting (.321 with a (.996 OPS). Wood also hit ten homers, and even went deep in his FredNats debut, much to the delight of Lowery.
“He’s a lefty with some power. He can hit the ball the other way and he kind of glides on the bases. He’s really fast. I’m excited to watch him play more than three games.”
That skillset will be a welcomed sight for a Nationals team at some point, that’s looking to replenish the talent on the roster. One that lacked both speed and power, something Wood brings in abundance.
Wood is a confident guy as well, he believes in his abilities to come through with runners in scoring position.
“If you need me to drive in some runs, I can do that. If you need me to get on base, if you need me to steal a bag, I can do that. Whatever your team needs to win, I can provide that. I can do that.”
James Wood is a large man who just doubled in a run for the FredNats! pic.twitter.com/E5OntIaJWN
— Nationals Source (@NationalsSource) August 9, 2022
Wood Has Been Sensational Since Arrival
The 19-year-old Wood has been likened to Houston Astros slugger Yordan Álvarez, who hit 27 home runs as a rookie in 2019, and 33 in 2021. This season Álvarez currently has 31 moonshots, good enough for third in baseball. If Wood can be anything close to what Álvarez has been the Nationals have struck gold.
James Wood already looks good in the FredNats threads 🔥 pic.twitter.com/5MMgrWmP1K
— Dan (@Danj71689) August 7, 2022
Since his arrival back in the DMV, Wood has been swinging a hot bat including a 4-for-6 outing with a long two-run homer in his debut with the team.
Now Wood just needs to stay consistent so he can work his way up to the majors.