UPDATED WITH COMMENTS FROM WOOD . . .
ATHENS – I talked to Georgia pitcher Alex Wood this evening. The Bulldogs’ crafty left-hander was drafted in the second round by our own Atlanta Braves on Tuesday.
First, here’s some quick thoughts from Wood, who was at home with friends and family when the Braves selected him with the 85th pick overall.
General thoughts . . .
“I’m extremely excited. I think it worked out great. I couldn’t be in a better place, so I’m definitely excited to get started.”
On whether he was a Braves fan growing up . . .
“My main team was actually the Mets, which is kind of funny now. I watched the Braves a lot growing up, but my dad is actually from Long Island, so that’s my roots to the Mets. But I’ve been a bigger Braves fan since I got into school. All my friends are braves fans so it’s hard not to be one once you get to Athens. But I’m extremely excited about the opportunity and I think it couldn’t have worked out better.”
On when and where he is to report . . .
“I honestly have no idea. I should have a better idea tomorrow. It’s been so crazy today. I’ve only spoken to my area scout so far. I’ll probably know more [Wednesday] in terms of where I’m going to go and what’s ahead of me. But we haven’t done a whole lot of talking yet about what they have planned for me.”
On how he celebrated . . .
“I had a few close friends over at the house today [in Charlotte] and some family. My uncle and grandparents were over. It was kind of a quiet family thing. It has been an exciting time and really kind of a crazy time the last 24 hours. I’m kind of glad it’s over and be able to start a new chapter. We’ll see what happens.”
On not being selected in first round . . .
“Obviously there was a little disappointment on Monday night. It’s hard not to be. It’s your life’s work when it comes down to it. It’s something you’ve dreamed about every day and I felt like I had put myself in position to where I had a good shot to go on Monday. But, like I’ve said, crazy things happen with the draft and things happen for a reason. So I’m definitely feeling blessed and excited about the opportunity at hand.”
On his so-called “unorthodox” delivery . . .
“Well, the thing about the Braves is they really loved me from the beginning. I think my uniqueness, so to say, is part of what makes me so good. In the end I think that’s what the Braves think, too. There’s always work to be done to get better and tweaks here and there, but I don’t think they’ll try to change me too much. Obviously they’ll do their fine-tuning with some little things and what they think will make me better. But I honestly think my deception is part of what makes me so difficult to hit against. When you get in the box, any left-hander that’s as unique and as different as I am, if you’re not used to seeing it, guys don’t like it.”
On prospects of moving up quickly . . .
“I haven’t really looked at it too close. I mean, I like to think that I’ll work hard enough and play well enough to where I’ll move up fairly quickly. Obviously the Braves don’t waste too much time on college guys they take pretty high. Hopefully that will be the case with me. We’ll see what happens down the road. I’ll probably get a pretty good feel for it over the rest of the summer. I’m definitely pumped for the opportunity and I don’t think I could be with a better organization.”
Now for some facts: