“I Was Just Sitting There Refreshing My Name And Was Like, Damn, I Guess I’m Heading Back Home” | Rockville MD Native James Wood Returns Home To Play For Nationals

“I Was Just Sitting There Refreshing My Name And Was Like, Damn, I Guess I’m Heading Back Home” | Rockville MD Native James Wood Returns Home To Play For Nationals

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.”

 

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.”

 

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.

 

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.

“Don’t Forget About Us”: MLBbro Trent Grisham Steals the Spotlight On the Field For Padres After Big Trade 

“Don’t Forget About Us”: MLBbro Trent Grisham Steals the Spotlight On the Field For Padres After Big Trade 

On Tuesday, it was assumed that the topic of conversation in San Diego would be the acquisitions of Juan Soto and MLBbro Josh Bell from the Washington Nationals for a laundry list of prospects that included future MLBbro stars, C.J. Abrams and James Wood..

MLBbro Josh Bell Traded To Loaded San Diego Padres | Nats Quietly Secure Two Future MLBbro Stars In Blockbuster

 

While the past weekend was a whirlwind for the Padres front office and owner Peter Seidler off the field, the players still had a job to do playing a double header after the trade went down. It would have been easy for the team to have a letdown and just be happy with a split, but they handled their business sweeping the Colorado Rockies in the double header. That’s something that manager Bob Melvin mentioned after the game to The San Diego Tribune. 

“Oh it’s over, it’s over,” Padres manager Bob Melvin said after Game 2. “It was a long day and it was emotional right away, just because all that was going on. Again, thanks to Peter (Seidler), our owner and A.J. Preller) working his stuff early in the morning. Probably didn’t sleep for a couple of days, which isn’t new for him and then to win a game like we did the first one and not really swing the bats well, but get good enough pitching to put it up at the end and be able to sweep a double header, which is hard to do.”

Yes, teams winning double headers is very hard to do and a player being the ultimate reason is even harder. Our MLBbro, Trent Grisham reintroduced himself as one of the major cogs of the Padres offense by homering in both games. In the first game with San Diego down two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, Grisham evened up things in style to power his team to a 13-5 win.

 

 

Trent finished up a three RBI performance in Game 1 but that was nothing compared to the drama our MLBbro provided in Game 2 with his second walkoff home run of the season on a 3-2 pitch to add more excitement to the Padre fanbase about their postseason aspirations.

 

Grisham shared his thoughts about his heroics after the game via ESPN.

“It was pretty low. I was kind of worried, so I’m glad it got out,“ Grisham said. It was a long day, a fruitful day.” 

“Anytime you can come up big for your team is huge, Grisham said. “(The trades) definitely played a part in the first game. In the second game, it was all will.”

This performance could catapult our MLBbro back to the two-way player that he showed he could be in the 2020 pandemic season when he hit .251 with 10 homers and 26 RBI in 59 games. The defense has never been a question…

 

 

Even with his struggles with his batting average hovering around .200, that doesn’t mean that Grisham hasn’t accomplished anything. With his 13 homers this year, he is already close to eclipsing his total of 15 from last season. His 41 RBI shows that he makes things happen when the bat meets the ball. Our MLBbro was on an eight-game hitting streak before it was snapped in a 7-3 loss on Thursday batting a .333 clip with three homers and six RBI during the stretch. 

It will be interesting to see this MLBbro’s progress at the plate going forward. With the additions of Juan Soto and fellow MLBbro Josh Bell added to the lineup with Fernando Tatis Jr., maybe the pressure to make things happen will subside with Trent Grisham knowing his teammates will bring offensive firepower to the lineup.

But if that recent eight-game hitting streak turns out not to be a fluke, but a foreshadowing of things to come, the Los Angeles Dodgers officially have a team in their rear view mirror that is a postseason threat to come out of the National League to go to the World Series.

The 2022 Trade Deadline Came And Went; Here’s What That Meant For Some MLBbros Around The League

The 2022 Trade Deadline Came And Went; Here’s What That Meant For Some MLBbros Around The League

Some of the moves made at this year’s trade deadline will turn out to mean nothing, while others may be the difference between winning a division crown or scrapping for a wild card spot. It’s still too early to determine winners/losers, but let’s take a look at who on paper made the best moves.

 

San Diego Padres

No team in the major leagues made more noise at the deadline than the San Diego Padres, something that has rang true the last several trade deadlines. The Padres understand that in order to knock off a juggernaut like the Los Angeles Dodgers, you have to stockpile talent in a similar fashion.

Acquiring a generational talent like Juan Soto along with a lights out closer in Josh Hader would be enough for most squads, but the Padres wanted more. Along with Soto, San Diego scooped up switch hitting first baseman Josh Bell. On Tuesday we spoke about how Bell could find himself on a playoff contender after the break, and here we are.

Two of our young MLB bros were a part of this deal, as shortstop C.J. Abrams and outfielder James Wood will make their way to Washington to join starting pitcher Josiah Gray as a part of the Nationals core of young talent.

 

 

New York Yankees

Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton have done the bulk of the heavy lifting for the Bronx Bombers this year, even with Stanton’s recent trip to the IL. Brian Cashman may have slipped up this offseason when he didn’t extend Judge, but he was on point at the deadline.

The Yankees acquired starter Frankie Montas, relievers Lou Trivino and Scott Efforts along with former Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi from KC and look poised to make a World Series Run. Every pitcher the Yanks traded for is under team control, which means that if they can resign Judge in the offseason there will be plenty of help in every aspect already with the team.

It’s officially the World Series or bust in the Bronx, a feeling they haven’t had in awhile.

 

Minnesota Twins

The Twins are trying to hold off both Cleveland and Chicago, so standing pat simply wasn’t an option for Byron Buxton’s squad. The Twins acquired one of the best closers in the game this season when they plucked Jorge Lopez from the Orioles, and then added even more pitching by acquiring Cincinnati starter Tyler Mahle before the deadline passed.

Buxton and the Twins will have their hands full down to close the season, but the fact that Minnesota was the most active team in the division should give them plenty of confidence headed into the home stretch.

 

 

Houston Astros

After losing the World Series AND superstar shortstop Carlos Correa, there were some around baseball who wondered just what Dusty Baker’s ballclub would look like going forward. Fast forward to the midpoint of the season and Baker’s boys look poised at another World Series run.

Like most great front offices, the Astros braintrust saw this and decided to stockpile more weapons as we head into the playoff push. They acquired Trey Mancini from the forever rebuilding Baltimore Orioles and Christian Vazquez from the Red Sox, two players who project to contribute immediately for the Stros.

 

MLBbro Josh Bell Traded To Loaded San Diego Padres | Nats Quietly Secure Two Future MLBbro Stars In Blockbuster

MLBbro Josh Bell Traded To Loaded San Diego Padres | Nats Quietly Secure Two Future MLBbro Stars In Blockbuster

The days of forecasting, guessing and debating about player movement finally ended at the trading deadline on Tuesday as the deal between the Washington Nationals and San Diego Padres stole the headlines and news cycle.

It was no surprise to anyone that Juan Soto was on his way out of Washington after turning down a massive 15-year, $440 million offer from the Nationals. It wasn’t a question of when Soto was leaving as opposed to where he was going. With the Padres having a cache of young talent to offer the Nats, that was the tipping point to make the deal.

The deal, which has not yet been totally finalized at the time of publication, is as follows:

The San Diego Padres receive:

Outfielder Juan Soto and first baseman Josh Bell

The Washington Nationals receive:

Left-handed pitcher, Mackenzie Gore and outfielder, Robert Hassell III, Shortstop C.J. Abrams and Outfielder, James Wood. One more player to be named later. 

 

 

While Juan Soto is the undisputed headliner that was no surprise, it is a mild surprise that our MLBbro, Josh Bell was added in the deal even though we had monitored possible moves for over a month. MLBro.com had San Diego on the radar as one of Bell’s possible destinations.

MLBbro.com:

“The Padres realize that the Dodgers have no issues opening up the bankbook to get the best players on the market no matter the cost. Josh Bell can add some offensive power to compete with their loaded division rivals.”
“Like the Dodgers, the Padres have a quality first baseman in Eric Hosmer, but they need help in the DH spot”.

Speaking of Eric Hosmer, he is the reason that the deal is not officially complete yet. He rejected the trade with his no trade clause and either has to sign off on the deal or a third team has to be a part of the deal. Most recent reports have him waiving his no-trade clause and going to the Red Sox in a deal. 

 

 

Josh Bell Is The X-Factor

The undisputed jewel for right now in this deal is our MLBbro, Josh Bell. While Soto has put 21 balls in the seats with 46 RBI, he is hitting .an uncharacteristic 246 for the season, which makes Bell’s short-term contributions all the more impressive this season.

Our MLBbro is hitting a career high .301 with 14 homers and 57 RBI. The former 2019 All-Star has produced 127 dingers with 454 RBI over his career. The Padres may have collected the best hitter in the open market in a virtual steal. A change in mechanics and mindset this year allows him to be a better opposite field hitter while cutting down strikeouts.  

 

Now while San Diego’s odds of winning a World Series has shot through the roof, the Nationals sit at the bottom of the MLB standings and have officially started a total rebuild, having lost four of their last five games. That doesn’t mean Washington did not accomplish their short-term goal of getting young talent to develop.

Two MLBbro prospects are arriving in Washington by the names of C.J. Abrams and James Wood.

C.J. Abrams:

Abrams was San Diego’s top prospect and was ranked sixth in the MiLB rankings in 2021. After spending time in the Double A affiliate San Antonio Missions last year, he was called up this season and has impressed many with his defense and his willingness to use the entire field at the plate.

 

 

Our 21-year-old MLBbro has hitting slashes of .231/.280/.322 in 134 plate appearances. This small sample size should not be used as an indictment of his budding potential. The Nationals are very well known for their player development and Abrams should flourish with more opportunities on the field to finish the season.

James Wood:

This analysis is basically the minor league prospect version of the Juan Soto/Juan Bell analysis above. While C.J. Abrams is the coveted acquisition with unbridled potential, James Wood could be the diamond in the rough that could become a star in the future. Even though James is in the Single A ranks, he is tearing up the league with a hitting slash of .337/.453/.601 with 10 homers. This includes a three homer, seven steal stretch in 21 games after returning from a wrist injury. 

Wood is a 6-foot-7 tower weighing 240 pounds with power, athleticism and speed that the Nationals front office can sell to its fanbase with comparisons to a famous player in New York named Aaron Judge.

 

 

He’s also the son of former University of Richmond basketball standout Kenny Wood.

UR Hall of Famer Wood (1990-93), who was a 6-foot-5 forward, scored 1,427 points to go with 717 rebounds. James Wood lived with his family in Olney, Md., and attended St. John’s College High School in Washington.

Projections have the talented Wood ready for the big leagues in 2025, but don’t underestimate the selling point of this MLBbro. With Washington’s record and offensive fire sale trading away their two best contributors, the franchise may have a lot of explaining to do on what their plans are for the future.