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Player Outlook
This may be the offseason to explore selling high on James Wood. He has big tools (70-grade raw power, 55-grade speed, 55-grade arm), but his 33.7 K% and 61.6 Contact% at Double-A illustrate the risk involved with his hit tool. A 6-foot-6, 240-pound right fielder who can handle center field in the short term, Wood was one of the big prizes Washington received from San Diego in the Juan Soto trade. He hasn't flopped like Robert Hassell, but he also hasn't improved his stock like CJ Abrams and arguably MacKenzie Gore. So many young, toolsy hitting prospects had huge 2023 seasons in the upper levels without major contact issues, that it's hard to give Wood the benefit of the doubt just due to his age (won't turn 22 until September). Fortunately for the lefty slugger, the Nationals have a top-heavy big-league roster and a top-heavy farm system, so he'll get plenty of chances over the coming years, even if he struggles initially at the highest level. The most likely outcome is that he settles in as an everyday player who hits below .250 while hitting around 30 homers with double-digit steals during his peak seasons.

Fantasy Stats

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Runs Batted In
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Base on Balls (Walk)
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2024 .000
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Projections Powered by
Fantasy Performance by Week
47%
Roster
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Fantasy News

  • Nationals' James Wood: Goes yard twice at Triple-A

    Wood went 4-for-5 with a double, two solo home runs, two additional runs scored and a stolen base for Triple-A Rochester in Thursday's win over Buffalo. The 21-year-old took Ricky Tiedemann deep in the third inning and then missed his chance to hit for the cycle by crushing a Hagen Danner offering 420 feet to center field in the eighth. Wood has had a blistering start to the season, batting .441 (15-for-34) with six doubles in addition to Thursday's long balls, and his 9:7 BB:K is an outstanding sign that the improved plate discipline he showed in spring training wasn't a mirage. Whether the Nationals want to promote Wood so soon is another question, but he may not be giving the organization much choice in the matter.
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  • Nationals' James Wood: Starting season at Triple-A

    Wood will begin the season with Triple-A Rochester, Bobby Blanco of MASN Sports reports. The 21-year-old opened eyes this spring by batting .364 (16-for-44) with four homers, three steals and an 11:13 BB:K, and rather than return him to Double-A Harrisburg where he ended the 2023 campaign, the Nats will keep him one step away from the majors. If the improved approach at the plate Wood displayed this spring holds up in the regular season, it may not be long before he makes his big-league debut.
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  • Nationals' James Wood: Pops game-tying homer

    Wood hit an opposite-field, game-tying home run in Thursday's Grapefruit League win over the Twins. The icing on the cake was that the long ball was off a lefty hurler, minor-leaguer Denny Bentley. Wood now has four home runs this spring, though Thursday's was his first since the calendar flipped to March. Manager Dave Martinez praised both Wood and Dylan Crews after the game, saying the prospects are "not afraid of the big moment," per Mark Zuckerman of MASNSports.com. The 21-year-old Wood has not played above Double-A and still seems like a long shot to make the team, but the fact that he's still in big-league camp shows the organization is optimistic about his future and thinks he can contribute soon.
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  • Nationals' James Wood: Available Sunday

    Wood (wrist) is expected to make an appearance off the bench in Sunday's Grapefruit League game against the Mets, Mark Zuckerman of MASNSports.com reports. Wood was scheduled to play in Saturday's game against the Cardinals, but he ended up being scratched as a precaution after he tweaked his right wrist on a check swing Friday. The 21-year-old is apparently good to go for the Nationals' final contest of the weekend and will look to continue what's been an impressive spring training. Though Wood remains likely to report to Double-A Harrisburg or Triple-A Rochester to begin the upcoming campaign, he's turned heads in Nationals camp with a .324/.457/.649 slash line over 17 Grapefruit League games.
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  • Nationals' James Wood: Won't play Saturday

    Wood was scratched from Saturday's Grapefruit League game against the Nationals, Mark Zuckerman of MASNSports.com reports. No reason has been given for the change, but manager Davey Martinez noted that an explanation will be provided at the conclusion of Saturday's game. Wood is slashing .324/.457/.649 with three home runs and five RBI over 37 at-bats in spring training.
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  • Nationals' James Wood: Swipes first bag of spring

    Wood went 0-for-1 with two walks, a run scored and a stolen base in Saturday's Grapefruit League game against the Red Sox. The 21-year-old top prospect wasn't able to go yard again, but Wood's display of patience might have been even more encouraging than his power. With Stone Garrett (lower leg) looking doubtful for Opening Day, the Nationals could have regular playing time available for Wood in the majors if he forces the issue over the rest of the spring. Through 22 plate appearances to begin the Grapefruit League schedule, Wood has gone 8-for-16 with three homers, one steal and an impressive 6:3 BB:K.
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  • Nationals' James Wood: Launches third homer Thursday

    Wood went 2-for-3 with a solo home run in Thursday's Grapefruit League game against the Cardinals. The 21-year-old top prospect roped a Kyle Gibson offering to center field in the first inning, going back-to-back with Lane Thomas to lead off the game. Wood has been the star of the spring so far for the Nationals, going 7-for-14 with three homers and a 3:2 K:BB in six games, and none of the blasts have been cheap ones -- the other two came off Houston relief prospect Misael Tamarez and Miami southpaw Devin Smeltzer, not minor-league camp bodies. Wood is still a longshot to break camp on the Opening Day roster simply because Washington is still firmly in rebuild mode and has little reason to rush him, but 2024 could end up being a breakout campaign for him after he struggled in his first look at Double-A last year.
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  • Nationals' James Wood: Crushes first spring homer

    Wood went 1-for-3 with a solo home run and a second run scored in Saturday's Grapefruit League game against the Astros. Lane Thomas started the game in right field, but Wood entered as a pinch runner in the fourth inning and destroyed the first pitch he saw from Misael Tamarez when he came to the plate in the fifth, putting the ball onto a walkway beyond the grass in right-center field. Wood scuffled a bit in his first look at Double-A last season and isn't expected to compete for an Opening Day roster spot this time around, but the 21-year-old is one of the Nationals' top prospects and could join Dylan Crews in the big-league outfield later this season if he begins to solve pitching in the high minors.
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  • Nationals' James Wood: Rises to Double-A

    The Nationals promoted Wood from High-A Wilmington to Double-A Harrisburg on Sunday, Jesse Dougherty of The Washington Post reports. The 20-year-old was advanced to the next rung on the minor-league ladder on the heels of slugging a home run for the third time in four starts in Wilmington's 7-5 win over Hudson Valley on Saturday. For the season, Wood -- one of the key pieces the Nationals acquired in the blockbuster deal last summer that sent Juan Soto to San Diego -- has slashed .293/392/.580 with 22 extra-base hits, eight stolen bases and a 14.8 percent walk rate. Wood's production is made all the more impressive by the fact that he did much of his damage while playing in Wilmington's pitcher-friendly park.
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  • Nationals' James Wood: Red hot at High-A

    Wood has hit safely in seven straight games for High-A Wilmington, batting .462 (12-for-26) over that stretch with a double, a triple, a home run, two steals and eight RBI. The 20-year-old outfielder does have a 1:6 BB:K in that time, but he's doing plenty of damage when he makes contact and a 21.4 percent strikeout rate is no real cause for alarm. Wood is the top prospect in the Nationals' system after coming over in the Juan Soto trade last year, and if he can stay healthy this season he could slug his way into a promotion to Double-A over the summer.
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  • Nationals' James Wood: Back in business

    Wood (knee) went 1-for-4 with an RBI, two runs and two walks in a game with Single-A Fredericksburg on Sunday. A sore knee kept Wood off the field for just shy of two weeks, but he returned to action Friday and showed Sunday that he is past his knee issue. Since being acquired from the Padres as part of the Juan Soto trade, Wood has gone 24-for-82 (.293) with two homers, 17 RBI and four steals over 21 games with Fredericksburg.
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  • Nationals' James Wood: Nursing knee issue

    Wood isn't in the lineup Tuesday for Single-A Fredericksburg due to knee soreness, Jesse Dougherty of The Washington Post reports. The 19-year-old was removed from Sunday's contest due to the injury and will be sidelined for at least one game. Wood has appeared in 19 games since being acquired by the Nationals in the Juan Soto trade and has a .307/.369/.493 slash line with two home runs, 16 RBI and four stolen bases for Fredericksburg.
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  • Nationals' James Wood: Snagged by Nats in Soto deal

    Wood was traded from the Padres to the Nationals on Tuesday along with Luke Voit, CJ Abrams, Robert Hassell, MacKenzie Gore and Jarlin Susana in exchange for Juan Soto and Josh Bell, Jeff Passan of ESPN.com reports. Wood has done more to improve his stock this year than any other player from the 2021 Draft class. An athletic 6-foot-7 outfielder with massive raw power and plus speed, Wood hit .337/.453/.601 with 10 home runs, 15 steals and a 42:37 K:BB in 236 plate appearances at Single-A. He is a couple years away from the majors, but Wood has superstar upside.
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  • Padres' James Wood: Scorching since return

    Wood has hit .333/.422/.563 with three homers, seven steals and a 12:17 BB:K across 21 games for Single-A Lake Elsinore since returning from a wrist injury. The 19-year-old owns an unimpeachable stat line over 35 Single-A games so far this season, featuring a .999 OPS and 26:28 BB:K. It's exceedingly rare for a guy who's built like an NFL linebacker (or, well, Aaron Judge) at 6-foot-7, 240 pounds to control the strike zone so well while also showing above-average base-stealing ability. While he'll obviously have to carry this level of performance over to higher levels of the minors, Wood is flashing star potential.
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  • Padres' James Wood: Playing again at Single-A

    Wood (wrist) appeared in four consecutive games for Single-A Lake Elsinore from Friday through Sunday, going a collective 6-for-15 with a home run, two doubles, two walks, a stolen base, seven RBI and four runs. After missing nearly two weeks of action with a sore right wrist, Wood looked plenty healthy in his return to the lineup for Lake Elsinore's weekend series with Fresno. The 19-year-old outfielder put his impressive raw power and above-average speed on display during the series, showcasing the skill set that led the Padres to select him in the second round of the 2021 First-Year Player Draft. Wood is one of the more intriguing prospects in the lower levels of the Padres' system.
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  • Padres' James Wood: Should swing soon

    The Padres expect Wood (wrist) to resume swinging a bat soon, Jeff Sanders of The San Diego Union-Tribune reports. Wood hasn't played for Low-A Lake Elsinore since April 9 due to a sore right wrist, but the organization is confident his injury isn't a significant one. According to Sanders, scans conducted on Wood's wrist have already ruled out a hamate bone injury, so he'll likely just need to wait for the soreness and swelling to subside before he's cleared for full baseball activities. The 19-year-old is viewed as one of the top lower-levels talents in the Padres' farm system.
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  • Padres' James Wood: Managing wrist injury

    Wood was out of the lineup for Low-A Lake Elsinore's game Tuesday due to a wrist injury and is expected to be held out a few days, Jeff Sanders of The San Diego Union-Tribune reports. It doesn't appear to be a serious injury, but Wood will step out of the lineup for a few days to get healthy. He's gone 4-for-8 with two home runs, five RBI, four runs and one stolen base this season.
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