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2018 Mets draft profile: L.A. Woodard

With their sixteenth selection in the 2018 draft, the Mets selected Albert “L.A.” Woodard, a shortstop from Tennessee.

Name: Albert Woodard IV

Born: Nashville, Tennessee

Age: 21 (6/03/97)

Height/Weight: 5’11”/165 lbs.

Position: SS

Bats/Throws: R/R

School: Middle Tennessee State University

An All-District player at John Overton High School in Nashville, Albert “L.A.” Woodard initially attended Kansas City Kansas Community College, located in Kansas City, Kansas. In his freshman season, he hit .314, stole 14 bases, and earned an All-Conference Honorable Mention. In his second year with there, he played in 50 games and hit .372/.461/.556, stealing 25 of 28 stolen bases. After spending two years tearing up the junior college ranks, Woodard transferred to Middle Tennessee State University, going from the Blue Devils to the Blue Raiders. While KCKCC was the only school to make him an offer out of high school, MTSU was one of almost 25 Division I schools to want him this time, and he chose a college that would bring him closer to home. The Middle Tennessee State University coaching staff was excited about his addition, as he was a different type of player than what the Blue Raiders were rostering. Expected to be the spark plug at the top of the Blue Raiders line-up, Woodard lived up to expectations, hitting .267/.386/.356 in 52 games, stealing 23 bases in 25 attempts.

At the plate, Woodard uses a short, quick swing that is direct to the ball. He is a patient hitter who shows a good awareness of the strike zone, drawing walks and not striking out at an excessive rate. Defensively, Woodard is able to handle shortstop thanks to his strong arm and range. Indeed, the athletic 22-year-old has plenty of speed, registering above-average home-to-first times, and grading out as plus once he gets his gait fully going.