Nats select contract of top prospect Wood

Washington Nationals top prospect, outfielder James Wood, is set to make his Major League debut tonight against the New York Mets, as the organization today announced the selection of his contract. In a corresponding move, Washington designated outfielder Eddie Rosario for assignment. Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement.

The No. 3 prospect in all of baseball, according to Baseball America, Wood leads Washington’s Minor League system and ranks among all Minor League hitters in batting average (2nd, .353), on-base percentage (2nd, .463), OPS (2nd, 1.058) and slugging percentage (9th, .595). He hit .353 with 16 doubles, 10 home runs, 37 RBI, 40 walks, 10 stolen bases and 44 runs scored in 52 games for Triple-A Rochester this year. According to Baseball America, he is the “Best Power Hitter” and the “Best Defensive Outfielder” in Washington’s Minor League system.

The 21-year-old reached base safely in 34 straight games from April 20 to June 27, the longest active streak in Minor League Baseball at the time and tied for the fourth-longest streak in the Minors this season. During the streak, Wood hit .367/.476/.625 with seven doubles, eight homers, 27 RBI, 26 walks, 24 strikeouts, five stolen bases and 26 runs scored. He also posted a 30-game on-base streak in 2023, making him the only player in Major or Minor League Baseball to reach safely in at least 30 straight games in both 2023 and 2024.

A native of Olney, Maryland, Wood was named the International League Player of the Week on May 13 after going 10-for-22 (.455) with a double and five home runs. He later earned Player of the Month honors after slashing .394/.506/.746 with four doubles, seven home runs, 22 RBI, 17 walks and 18 runs scored during the month of May.

The six-foot-seven, 234-pound left-handed hitting outfielder has recorded a career-high three multi-home run games this season after entering the year with just one in his professional career. On April 11 at Buffalo (TOR), he hit two home runs as a part of a season-high four-hit effort. Then, in the span of four days, he recorded two more multi-homer games, May 8 and May 11, at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (NYY).

Washington’s 2022 and 2023 Minor League Hitter of the Year, Wood led the organization in home runs (26), RBI (91) and slugging percentage (.520) and ranked second in OPS (.873), doubles (28) and triples (8) in 2023. He represented the Nationals in the 2023 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game on the way to setting career marks in nearly every offensive category in 121 games between High-A Wilmington and Double-A Harrisburg.

Wood has hit .302 with a .402 on-base percentage and a .539 slugging percentage in 283 career Minor League games. He’s recorded 76 doubles, nine triples, 51 home runs, 212 RBI, 168 walks, 58 stolen bases and 212 runs scored along the way. 

Wood was acquired by the Nationals on Aug. 2, 2022 along with CJ Abrams, MacKenzie Gore, Robert Hassell III, Jarlin Susana and Luke Voit from the San Diego Padres in exchange for Josh Bell and Juan Soto. He was selected by the Padres in the second round of the 2021 First-Year Player Draft out of IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. Wood attended St John’s College High School in D.C. before transferring to IMG Academy prior to his junior season.

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