Jake Woodford, RHP, Plant High School (FL)
6'5", 210 lbs
So, what's so great about this guy?
At number 39 overall, the Cardinals selected Jake Woodford, a right-handed starter from Plant High School in Florida. It's the same high school Kyle Tucker attends, which is interesting, but ultimately meaningless. Still, it seems like the sort of thing I should include here.
I like Woodford alright, although much like the Cards' first selection, he was taken over other players I liked considerably more.
It's a hard sinking fastball, up to 95 at times, and the movement on the pitch is enough to beat up high school hitters. It's a pretty good delivery, as well; Woodford has a solid arm action, with a couple minor issues but what I feel is good timing, which I'm sure you're all aware by now is my number one mechanical key to look for.
The complementary pitches are a long way off. The slider can show sharp break at times, but it's a 40 pitch right now because half the time it's not a slider at all but a capital H Hanger, Jason Marquis-style. The changeup is barely there, but there's some intriguing fade when Woodford nails the release point.
My comp player for Woodford would be something like a far less polished Rick Porcello, as a tall, athletic righty with a power sinker and an interesting changeup. Where Porcello's curve was already a useful pitch, however, Woodford is much less advanced, and mostly leans on the sinker to get the job done.
I would have much preferred Jacob Nix, Kyle Molnar, or Austin Smith here. However, I like the delivery and it's a power arm capable of throwing a heavy sinker. There's plenty to like about Mr. Woodford.