Just four seasons after winning the World Series, the Washington Nationals are in a complete rebuild. A huge part of that do-over is James Wood the 6-foot-7 and 240-pound power hitter who’s originally from nearby Rockville, MD. The former IMG Academy star possesses a ton of physical ability, and for a player his size, he’s also extremely quick.
Wood’s strengths are his bat, and how comfortable he is at all three outfield positions. As the Nationals’ future centerfielder, Wood’s instincts bode well for a team that’s going to need that kind of player in center in the future.
When asked about his routine to get more comfortable at the position daily, Wood told reporters this.
“I am just trying to refine a routine and keep working at that,” Wood said. “I’m comfortable playing all three (outfield positions). I spent time at all three during spring. I have mostly been playing center, and trying to help my pitchers win games.”
— Nationals Player Development (@Nats_PlayerDev) April 13, 2023
Wood Gets Off To Hot Start At High Class-A Wilmington
To begin the 2023 season, Wood came out smoking with 11 hits in his first 23 at-bats. He even hit his first home run in that timeframe, showcasing the all-around talent that the Nationals demanded in the blockbuster trade for superstar Juan Soto.
Wood is currently the Nationals’ No.1 ranked prospect and the MLB Pipeline’s 15th-ranked prospect overall. Wood’s main focus is to get better every day and showcase his all-around abilities. He’s been very successful so far with a .277 batting average, 11 RBI and three stolen bases in three attempts.
Cleansing your timeline with No. 1 prospect James Wood’s triple. pic.twitter.com/WKXrcqfGTW
— Nats Farm (@NatsFarm) April 20, 2023
With his hot start to the season, the ever-confident Wood isn’t getting ahead of himself and told reporters this.
“I think all aspects of my game can continue to grow. I think that is my main goal here. Just trying to get myself as ready as possible and learning how to approach the game each day.”
Nationals Rebuild Is Centered Around Wood
As the Nationals rebuild takes center stage, gone are the likes of the aforementioned Soto, along with Trea Turner, Max Scherzer, Anthony Rendon and others.
But Wood is the new centerpiece of the team’s future, and when you watch him play you can see why. With a powerful bat and shoulders broad enough to carry a franchise, Wood’s continued development is the key to how long the Nats will take to become contenders again.
“I don’t try to reinvent the wheel,” Wood said. “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.”
Hearing Wood talk like that shows he’s mature beyond his 21 years, and it also proves he’ll be ready to handle the pressure that comes with being a key face of the franchise, along with CJ Abrams, Josiah Gray, Stone Garrett and Elijah Green going forward.
Stone Garrett Swings The Bat Elaborate
4-for-4 savage like the balls a magnet 💪🏾 https://t.co/LKNZqZgugt
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) April 9, 2023