WATCH: Nationals' James Wood hits first career MLB home run vs. Cardinals


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Washington Nationals rookie outfielder James Wood launched his first big-league home run on Saturday against the St. Louis Cardinals (GameTracker). Wood’s home run, an opposite-field three-run shot off Lance Lynn that made it a 7-0 lead in the second inning, came in just his sixth game since being promoted to the Nationals earlier this week.

Here’s the home run in all its moving image glory:

According to Statcast, Wood’s home run had a 103.3 mph exit velocity and traveled 383 feet. It would’ve been a home run in 29 of the 30 ballparks — the exception being Baltimore’s Camden Yards, which is known for being notoriously difficult to homer to left field at.

Wood, 21, entered Saturday having hit .278/.409/.278 (106 OPS+) with no extra-base hits and four walks over his first 22 trips to the plate. In 52 games at the Triple-A level, he had hit .353/.463/.595 with 10 home runs and 10 stolen bases. Wood came into the season ranked by CBS Sports as the No. 6 prospect in the minors. Here’s what we wrote at the time:

Wood, the key to the Juan Soto trade from the Nationals’ perspective, is a fascinating prospect. He’s listed at 6-foot-6 and 240 pounds and he’s already capable of massive displays of raw power. (Six of his 28 home runs were hit to left or left-center field.) And yet, take one look at him and it’s clear that he has room on his frame to add even more muscle over the coming years. As that comes to fruition, two other developments will take place: 1) he’ll outgrow center field, and 2) he’ll turn into one of the best sluggers in baseball. The one potential snag here is that Wood’s combination of length and patience makes him extremely prone to strikeouts. He punched out in nearly 34% of his trips to the plate in Double-A, which would’ve qualified as the highest rate in the majors. His on-base and slugging potential will enable him to remain productive even with a poor strikeout rate, but there’s superstar upside here if he can get it closer to 30% before he reaches the majors.

The Nationals entered Saturday with a 41-47 record that put them 5 1/2 games out of the National League wild-card picture.





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