Name: Simeon Woods-Richardson
Born: Houston, Texas
Age: 17 (9/27/2000)
Height/Weight: 6’4”/210 lbs.
School: Fort Bend Kempner High School (Sugar Land, Texas)
As a freshman, nobody would have envisioned Simeon Woods-Richardson would make it to the big leagues. Standing 5’4” and weighing 125-pounds, the right-hander wasn’t exactly an imposing presence on the mound, and his low-to-mid-70s fastball wasn’t exactly lighting up the radar gun. Between 2014 and 2015, his freshman and sophomore years, he underwent a massive growth spurt, to the point that his coaches did not even recognize him. Simeon Woods-Richardson grew about eight inches and gained almost 40 pounds. With the additional size and weight came additional velocity on his fastball. As a sophomore, he was sitting in the high-70s to low-80s. Additional growth through his junior and senior years has turned the youngster into one of the better high school pitchers available in the 2018 draft class.
At 6’3”, 200-pounds, the right-hander has a solid pitching body. He throws from a high three-quarters arm slot, and gets good extension with his stride, falling off the mound and whipping his arm to generate velocity. When his arm gets too deep and he drifts, he loses command of his pitches, but he generally has been able to pound the zone and command his pitches throughout his high school career, an impressive feat for a 17-year-old. He loads his shoulders a bit, forming an inverted W when he pushes off the rubber.
Woods-Richardson throws a four-seam fastball that sits in the low-90s. He claims to have hit 97 MPH over the course of this spring, but the highest the pitch has ever been recorded is 95 MPH. Though it certainly has the potential to be an above-average pitch, some scouts and evaluators say the right-hander has been inconsistent with it this spring, with his fastball backing up into the high-80s-to-low-90s. The youngster claims that such reports are incorrect, claiming that any diminished fastball readings stem from a single two-inning start, but his explanation does not explain concerns that his velocity does not hold deep into games. He also throws a two-seam fastball that sits in the high-80s with tailing action that generates plenty of ground balls.
In addition to the fastballs, Woods-Richardson has an arsenal that would be large for any pitcher, let alone a 17-year-old, utilizing a curveball, slider, and changeup. The curveball is his best secondary pitch, a big 11-5 bender in the low-70s that has featured improved command this spring. When the he is able to consistently get on top of the pitch, it has plenty of break and changes hitters’ eye levels. The changeup sits in the high-70s and is projected by scouts and evaluators to become an average or better pitch with more use. The slider sits in the high-70s with sweepy, lateral break. Like the fastball, consistency has been a problem for Woods-Richardson’s secondary stuff as well.
The right-hander is an intense competitor, described by his coaches at Fort Bend Kempner as a “mean rascal”. He works fast and goes right after hitters, throwing inside, brushing batters back, and breaking bats. “I like being in control and making batters uncomfortable,” he said. “That’s what I try to do every time I’m on the mound.” According to Bobby Crook, who coached Woods-Richardson during the WWBA World Championship, “…he is the ultimate competitor. If he has the opportunity to go out on the mound and shove on some guys, then he is going to do it.”
In addition, Woods-Richardson plays third base, displaying above-average raw power and a plus arm.
Woods-Richardson has a commitment to the University of Texas.