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Monday, July 5, 2010

Scouting Report, LHP Travis Wood

The small (5'11" 165 pounds) 23-year old lefty made his major league debut against the Cubs on July 1st and went seven effective innings. He was a 2nd round pick out of high school in 2005, and had a 35-25 record in the minors, with a 3.38 ERA (inflated due to a terrible year in AA in 2008, where his ERA was 7.09). Most wrote him off as a bust, but after the 2008 season, he re-dedicated himself to conditioning, and also added a cutter. The results were stunning: He won the 2009 AA pitcher of the year award and won the ERA crown (1.21). This off-season he trained with Cliff Lee and then continued to dominate minor league hitters, going 41 innings in one particular six start stretch, while allowing only 23 hits and 8 walks, while striking out 40.

He throws a sinking fastball 88-91 mph, an 80 mph plus-plus change (the best change in the Reds organization), an improved cutter (88 mph) to prevent right-handed hitters from crowding the plate, a newly-added slider (82 mph) and a fringe/poor curve (72 mph). His curve is rated as a 40-45 on scouts 80 point scale. He's a ground-ball pitcher who let up only six home runs all last year

Wood got a no-decision in his debut versus the Cubs, but he threw very well, going seven innings, allowed two runs on two hits and three walks, while striking out four.

A lot of scouts like him and his upside is a #4 starter, but there are some questions about his durability due to his size and if he would be able to handle making 30+ starts. He was ranked as high as the 5th best prospect for the Reds this off-season. He could project even higher if he can get a second plus pitch (cutter, slider or curve).

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