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Friday, March 24, 2006

A promising Reds' high school pitching prospect

Kevin Goldstein at Baseball Prospectus did a feature article on 10 high school pitchers from last year's draft that have a) good velocity with some control, b) a plus secondary pitch, and c) sound mechanics--all aspects that are desirable when trying to forcast a high school pitching prospect. The 10th guy listed on there was a Cincinnati Red, though it's not the one you're probably thinking of:
The Surprise
Travis Wood, lhp, Reds
Drafted: 2005, second round
Velocity: Plus, especially for lefthander
Second Pitch: Plus-plus changeup
2005 Debut: 1.29 ERA in 49 innings with 67/20 K/BB ratio
The Good: As an Arkansas prep star Wood was seen by scouts primarily as a raw lefthander whose primary skill was the ability to throw hard, and even the Reds seem shocked at his initial success and polish. Wood began his career with 17.2 scoreless innings over six games, allowing seven hits and punching out 31. He showed little sign of slowing down when promoted to the Pioneer League, limiting opposing batters to a .174 average.
The Bad: While it is rare to find a teenager with an advanced changeup, Wood still needs a breaking ball, and he's yet to acquire a feel for the pitch. Short (6-foot) and slight of frame, he offers little projection.
The Immediate Future: Wood will pitch for Low Class A Dayton.
Like JD, I cannot wait to see what this guy does this year.
Edit
: Tip of the hat to Ken, who noticed this (and mentioned it over at Red Reporter) before I posted it here. :) -j