Washington Nationals top-ranked prospect James Wood is a towering presence standing 6-foot-6 and 240 pounds.
The 2021 second-round draft pick of the San Diego Padres, who was acquired in the blockbuster Juan Soto trade last summer, has all the tools to be one of the prominent faces of a young, rising Nationals franchise in the very near future. In fact, he may have that opportunity much sooner than anticipated as on Sunday the slugging lefty was promoted from Single-A Wilmington to Double-A Harrisburg.
James Wood Almost Ready For The Show
The 20-year-old Woods has more than proven his ability to handle the game at the minor league level. He has a Big League approach with his batting prowess and ability to draw walks. In 42 games with Wilmington, Woods batted .293 with eight homers and 36 RBI. He also tallied nine doubles, five triples, eight stolen bases, a .392 on-base percentage and a .972 OPS.
Nationals Manager Excited About James Wood
The power that Wood possesses definitely has the attention of Nationals manager Dave Martinez, who told reporters this after the team announced the promotion of the No.7 overall prospect in MLB Pipeline.
“When he hits the ball, he hits it hard,”Martinez said. “And he’s walking, so that’s a good sign. They felt this was like the time to move him up, and he definitely deserved a shot to go up to Double-A.”
Of the five prospects the Nationals received in exchange for superstar Juan Soto last summer, Wood is by far the best, and his ascension only proves it even more.
Congrats to James Wood on his promotion to the Harrisburg Senators‼️
— Wilmington Blue Rocks (@WilmBlueRocks) May 28, 2023
The Nationals have a strong history of promoting prospects in mid-to-late June or early July, but in this instance, they decided not to wait until then to make the call on Wood, who will likely be their future cleanup hitter. The move also suggests that Wood, whose expected major league arrival is currently 2025, may get a call-up to the big leagues as soon as 2024.
James Wood shoots the first pitch he sees right back up the middle for his first Double-A hit 💥 pic.twitter.com/3IvkFOnPmO
— Nats Farm (@NatsFarm) May 28, 2023
Martinez And Nationals Are Big On Prospect Development
Wood’s promotion is a prime example of what the Nationals are focused on just 3.5 seasons removed from winning the franchise’s first and only World Series championship.
Only pitchers Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin remain from the 2019 World Series team, so in essence the team is in a completely rebuilt. And that’s just fine with Martinez, who takes pride in seeing players develop.
“For me, it’s all about development for our young players,” Martinez said. “He’s still really young, he’s learning a lot. I’d like to see him play all three outfield positions, because you never know what the need will be here when he gets here. Hopefully he goes down there and plays all three. But he’s going to be a good one. He’s learning a lot, and he’s getting better.”
Wood will excel at every level, his skill set just exudes the various elements it takes to be successful. Of course, Woods will encounter growing pains along the way, but the Nationals have themselves a real Bro Bomber who is just one of a crop of MLBbros that have been taking over our nation’s capital.