Former Bulldog Alex Wood Promoted To Major Leagues

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ATHENS-----Former Georgia Bulldog pitcher Alex Wood, a second round draft pick in 2012, has been promoted to the Atlanta Braves, the club announced Thursday.

Wood, a 6-4, 215-pound left-hander from Charlotte, N.C., was the 85th overall selection in the 2012 June free agent draft. He becomes the 36th former Bulldog to have reached the Major Leagues, and he made it less than a year. He is slated to be in the Braves bullpen for tonight’s home game against Toronto. Wood is the sixth former Bulldog to appear in the Major Leagues this year, which ties a school record, also accomplished in 1989, 1990 and 1991.

Wood has posted a 4-2 record with a 1.26 ERA in 10 starts with Double-A Mississippi this year. He has registered 57 strikeouts and 15 walks in 57 innings, holding opponents to a .195 batting average.

A highly regarded pitching prospect by the Braves, he was invited to spring training with the Major League club this year and allowed just one run in seven appearances. He was ranked No. 6 among Braves prospects by entering the 2013 season and the player closest to the majors in the Braves’ 2012 draft class according to Baseball America. The Braves lead the National League East with a 31-21 record.

Wood went 13-10 with a 3.57 ERA in 30 career starts for the Bulldogs including a 7-3 record in 2012. His 2.73 ERA in 2012 was the best by a Georgia starter in 24 years, and he earned second team All-Southeastern Conference honors. He signed on June 9, 2012 and made his professional debut at Single-A Rome on June 25. In his first professional season at Rome, he went 4-3 with a 2.22 ERA in 13 starts. In 52.2 innings, he tallied 52 strikeouts and 14 walks.

Wood joins infielder Gordon Beckham (Chicago White Sox), pitcher Mitchell Boggs (St. Louis), pitcher Josh Fields (Houston), pitcher Justin Grimm (Texas) and infielder Jeff Keppinger (Chicago White Sox) as former Bulldogs in the Major Leagues this season. Beckham and Fields, both currently injured, are due to come off the disabled list in June. Woods aims to become the second former Georgia standout to make his MLB debut this year after Fields made his on April 2.