Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Mark Woodyard Report

Mark Woodyard, RHP, Detroit Tigers
Drafted 108th Overall (4th Rd), 2000 Draft, Bethune-Cookman
Bats R/Throws R
26 YO, 6'2", 195 lbs

I like the description of Woodyard better than the reality. He's a durable reliever who's a good athlete. He has velocity with a low 90's fastball. He also has a splitter and slider to go with it. He has reasonable control and he hasn't been prone to the homer.

2004 Erie: 3.52 ERA, 55 K, 37 BB, 102 H, 102 IP
pre-2005 mL Career: 4.76 ERA, 289 K, 235 BB, 525 H, 491 IP

The problem is that he doesn't miss enough bats. I just can't buy that he'll be a quality major league reliever when he doesn't strike out 5 batters per 9 innings. The only kind of pitcher that I would make an exception for would be a knuckleballer or some kind of extreme groundball machine with a 93 MPH sinker.

Thus far in 2005, his chickens have come home to roost. Woodyard is getting hammered in Toledo, with a 7.07 ERA and 19 hits allowed in 14 innings. The sample size is tiny, but this isn't a big surprise. International League hitters are very good, and if you can't use your stuff to keep them from putting the ball in play, they'll kill you.

Woodyard is on the 40 man roster, and if the Tigers lose many relievers, you could see Woodyard in Comerica, where things could get really ugly. On the other hand, with his long history of mediocre ratios, the Tigers could very well outright him and not worry about losing him. His ceiling is your average middle reliever.

ETA: Late this year
1 1/2 Stars

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