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Nationals to Call-Up Top Prospect

Photo by The Canadian Press

WASHINGTON, DC: One of the most anticipated days in recent Nationals franchise history is Monday, July 1. When they return home for a series against the Mets that day, they want to promote top outfield prospect James Wood for his MLB debut, according to Grant Paulsen of 106.7 FM, The Admirer.

Wood's contract must be officially selected by Washington in order for him to be included to the 40-man roster. The 21-year-old Wood, who is presently Baseball America's third-ranked prospect overall, was a key player in the historic trade that sent Juan Soto from Washington to San Diego two years ago.

The Padres selected Wood, who is now 21 years old, in the second round of the 2021 draft. As of 2022, Baseball America listed him as San Diego's #5 prospect. Almost quickly, he raised his prospect stock after playing well in 50 Single-A games that season.

In 15.7% of his plate appearances, he took a walk, hit 10 home runs, stole fifteen bases, and struck out just 17.8% of the time. His batting line of .337/.453/.601 resulted in a 168 wRC+. In the 2022 trade that brought Soto to the Padres, as previously reported, Wood switched teams, and the Nationals acquired CJ Abrams, MacKenzie Gore, Robert Hassell III, Jarlin Susana, and Luke Voit in addition. Following that transaction, Wood stayed at the Single-A level, slashing .293/.366/.463.

Wood's development has continued this year with even more incredible results, despite a minor injury setback. He lost nearly a month of play due to a hamstring injury that occurred in late May, but he has since returned to the field and doesn't appear any worse for wear.

This season, through 51 Triple-A games, he has amassed an incredible .346/.458/.578 line. That is a 17.3% walk rate, ten home runs, and ten steals. Additionally, he has cut his strikeout percentage to a respectable 18.2%. Wood will attempt to take on major league pitching since he is obviously prepared for the next level.

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