BOWIE, Md. (DC News Now) — Acquired in the trade that sent Juan Soto to the San Diego Padres, Nationals prospect James Wood is quickly moving up through the Nationals minor league system.
Wood is currently considered the Nationals No. 1 prospect and is widely regarded as one of the top ten prospects in all of baseball.
In late May, Wood was promoted from the Nationals high-A affiliate, the Wilmington Blue Rocks, to its double-A affiliate, the Harrisburg Senators.
“It’s really exciting to be one step closer,” Wood told DC News Now.
Originally from Olney, Maryland, Wood played at St. John’s College High School in Washington, before finishing his high school career at IMG Academy in Florida.
“It’s really cool obviously just growing up here playing for the hometown team,” Wood said. “It’s definitely a blessing for sure. I’m really looking forward to it.”
In his first week with his new ball club, Wood got to play in his hometown Washington, D.C. area, as the Senators are in town visiting the Baltimore Orioles’ double-A affiliate, the Bowie Baysox.
“Being able to have [my family] here every night,” Wood said. “It’s been nice. It’s been a real treat.”
On Thursday in Bowie, after starting the night 0-for-3 with three strikeouts, Wood flashed his major league potential, hitting his first double-A home run, a moon shoot 393 foot solo shot with 106.6 exit velocity. The homer helped the Senators to a 6-5 win.
“I’ve got a lot to work on here,” Wood said. “I’m still in double A for a reason you know, so just gotta get my repetitions and obviously when I’m ready I think the time will come, I’ve just gotta keep my head down and keep working.”
Born just three years before the Nationals returned baseball to Washington, the future star will likely bring a boost to the lineup one day, and as a hometown, homegrown talent, could be a fan favorite.
“As long as I’m on the field, I’m just going to give it everything I’ve got,” Wood said. “It’s kind of that simple. Whether the result is what I want it to be, I know it’s baseball, it’s not always going to be perfect but as long as I’m between those lines it’s going to be whatever I can put out there.”