BLAKE WOOD, RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
|Born: August 8, 1985
Drafted: 3rd round, 77th overall, 2006 (Royals)
How Acquired: Minor league free agent
High School: Northwood (LA) HS
Agent: Diamond Sports Management
WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
|Wood is a big guy with good stuff who’s struggled to put it together due to issues with his delivery. He’s also been hampered by injury problems, including both back surgery and Tommy John surgery. He spent two seasons in the Royals’ bullpen, and also made brief appearances for the Indians in 2013-14. In the majors, his fastball has averaged over 95 mph. In the minors, his curve and change were both described at times as being above average. In the majors he’s thrown a slider and a change. He’s a groundball pitcher and has had only a slight platoon split in the majors. The Pirates signed him to a minor league deal for 2015.
In a dozen starts in the Pioneer League, Wood pitched better than the ERA suggests.
Wood missed the first half of the season due to back surgery, but he pitched well in the second half. BA moved his ranking up to fifth in the Royals’ system.
Wood dominated in ten starts in high A, but didn’t pitch as well in AA. He continued showing a fastball that got as high as 97, as well as a good curve and change, but sometimes struggled with his command.
Wood missed the start of the season with more back problems, then later missed two months with elbow inflammation. When he pitched, he struggled in AA, largely due to an inability to repeat his delivery. The Royals moved him to the bullpen for his last four games after he returned from rehabbing the elbow. They added him to their 40-man roster after the season.
The Royals sent Wood to AAA to open the season, but called him up after a dozen relief outings. He made 51 appearances out of the Royals’ bullpen, getting mostly weak results. He had trouble with left-handed hitters, allowing them a .387 OBP.
The Royals sent Wood to AAA to open the season again, but this time called him up after just three games. He spent the rest of the season in the majors, pitching passably. He actually had a strong first half, holding hitters to an OPS of .639, but that increased to .796 in the second half.
Wood was unable to pitch at the start of the season due to elbow problems. He had Tommy John surgery in May. The Royals put him on waivers after the season and Cleveland claimed him.
Starting in May, Wood spent the season working his way back from the elbow surgery. He made two appearances for the Indians in September.
Wood opened with the Indians, but wasn’t effective, mainly due to walks. After seven relief appearances, they sent him to AAA. Cleveland designated Wood for assignment in late May and the Royals claimed him off waivers a few days later. The Royals sent Wood to AAA, where he struggled to throw strikes. After a month there, Kansas City sent him down to high A, although he eventually worked his way back up to AAA. Kansas City outrighted him to AAA in September and he became a minor league free agent after the season.
Wood pitched reasonably well in spring training and wasn’t cut until the end of March. He served all year as the closer for Indianapolis. He got off to a great start, holding opponents to a .504 OPS in April with a 14.5 K/9. He struggled in June, though, and again late in the year, sometimes having trouble throwing strikes. He finished with a solid rather than outstanding year and didn’t get a callup.
Wood will be a free agent after the season.
|2015: Minor league contract|
|Signing Bonus: $460,000
MiLB Debut: 2006
MLB Debut: 5/12/2010
MiLB FA Eligible: 2015
MLB FA Eligible: 2018
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: 11/20/2009
Options Remaining: 0 (USED: 2010, 2013, 2014)
MLB Service Time: 3.131
|June 6, 2006: Drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 3rd round, 77th overall pick; signed on June 22.
November 20, 2009: Contract purchased by the Kansas City Royals.
November 2, 2012: Claimed off waivers by the Cleveland Indians from the Kansas City Royals.
May 27, 2014: Designated for assignment by the Cleveland Indians.
June 2, 2014: Claimed off waivers by the Kansas City Royals from the Cleveland Indians.
September 1, 2014: Designated for assignment by the Kansas City Royals; outrighted to AAA on September 11.
September 29, 2014: Became a free agent.
November 18, 2014: Signed as a minor league free agent with the Pittsburgh Pirates.