Dodgers: Alex Wood Has Breakout Potential After Driveline Trip



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

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