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Dodgers: Alex Wood Has Breakout Potential After Driveline Trip

Wood might be on the verge of a big season.

The Dodgers have yet to officially announce their signing of left-hander Alex Wood, but all reports indicate that he has in fact agreed to a one-year deal with Los Angeles. According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the contract terms are for $4 million and escalators that could turn it into $10 million for the former All-Star.

This could turn out to be a huge signing for the Dodgers. Wood is on the upwards trend — his 2019 numbers negated — because of his recent work with Driveline Baseball.

Driveline Baseball is a major company that has gained prominence for its consistency in turning around the careers of many players, most notably a crop of pitchers headlined by Trevor Bauer. The company was founded by Kyle Boddy, who is now employed by the Cincinnati Reds. Driveline aims to re-design pitch characteristics while simultaneously increasing spin efficiency and velocity.

Alex Wood was always a pitcher who was at his best when his velocity registered 93 miles per hour and above. Anything below that produced fairly average results. If Wood could get to that mark consistently, the Dodgers could receive something of the ilk of his All-Star first half in 2017 over a full season. The likeliest outcome for the left-hander is returning as a number-three type of starting pitcher, but that holds value when the Dodgers already have the depth with Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw at the top.

The Dodgers’ hiring of Rob Hill from Driveline Baseball has also attracted Kenley Jansen, who has been working to re-design his cutter in recent weeks.

Here is a video of Hill’s work with Alex Wood:

Because of Wood’s work with Hill, we can have fairly solid expectations for his future with the Dodgers. He was always a player who held good relationships with the clubhouse, most notably with third baseman Justin Turner.

While he will have a lot of competition for a starting rotation spot, he should be in the mix. If all else fails, he could prove to be a very valuable asset out of the bullpen due to his history there and the new three-batter minimum rule.

NEXT: A Glance at LA’s Upgraded Starting Pitching Depth

Written by Daniel Preciado

My name is Daniel Preciado and I am 19 years old. I am a sophomore Sport Analytics major and Cognitive Science and Economics dual minor at Syracuse University. When I am not in New York, I live in Whittier, California --- not too far from Chavez Ravine. I am pretty old-school for being an analytics guy and I will always embrace debate. Also, Chase Utley did absolutely nothing wrong.

9 Comments

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  1. Here is a crazy reply not pertaining to the article at present , get Alex Cora to manage the Dodgers then wait to July to make moves if needed. Woods is going to have very good year to throw that in and Cora could do him well with his knowledge of the game also help the whole team , just a thought .LOL

  2. The problem with this the owners will not take blame, knowing I’m sure they know what is going on , someone has to be blamed to make it look good to MLB fans , letting them, the owners walk free , CANNOT tarnish there reputation so managers and general managers are the sacrificed lambs, what about the players who knew also and used this method to cheat they walk free , so again MLB owners have to show some sort of discipline to make it look good for the fans .It’s a whole different ballgame now. BUSINESS, BUSINESS, BUSINESSES .

  3. There’s a reason Woods was traded to the Reds. Working out with some pitching guru doesn’t change that reason. I’m sure Donaldson is going to enjoy hitting off him this April when the Twins come to town. Well done Dodgers.

      • BlueDuck you’re just as negative as anyone you’re just laying low these days. I remember your tantrums back in the day

    • Yeah if Driveline has helped him any, Put him out of the Dodger Stadium mound and let him pitch a simulated game with live hitting and see how many times somebody grooves one. That was always his problem. Hard throwing pitcher who gave up the long ball on too many occasions… With that arm angle he needs a secondary pitch like a cutter or straight change to fool batters. A non moving fastball is a pitch just asking to be hit!

      • I missed the part where Wood is a hard thrower. Watched him last year and he was throwing 90. Even Kersh throws harder! This was just another Freidman signing knowing he’s going to get trounced so he could call up another prospect . But I’m sure Wood will come up with a elbow issue in Spring training when he realizes he can’t throw harder than the bull pen catchers. Anyone thinks Wood will just fill Ryus spot is a money ball flunky!

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