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Mets claim William Woods off waivers

The righty was designated for assignment by the Braves earlier this week.

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Atlanta Braves Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets announced this afternoon that they have claimed right-hander William Woods off waivers from the Atlanta Braves.

Drafted by the Braves in the 23rd round of the 2018 MLB Draft, Woods is a classic fastball/slider pitcher. He utilizes his four-seam fastball, which touches the upper 90s, about two thirds of the time and utilizes his slider, which is about ten miles per hour slower, the rest of the time. In 2021, he featured a changeup and (rarely) a sinker as well, but didn’t throw those pitches in 2022.

After piquing some interest in the Braves system due to a velocity bump he demonstrated in 2020, injures have since hampered Woods’ progression. Over his past two professional seasons, he’s thrown just 38 innings across levels. The 23-year-old pitched to a 5.19 ERA in 17 13 innings in Triple-A last season with 16 strikeouts and 9 walks. He made his major league debut with the Braves in late April last season and pitched two scoreless innings across two appearances before being optioned back down to Triple-A. He went on the injured list in the minors not too long after that with ankle discomfort and didn’t return until August.

The Mets are taking a flier on Woods, ranked as the Braves’ 25th best prospect by Baseball America and MLB Pipeline, hoping that he can stay healthy and fulfill the potential he showed as one of the fastest risers in the Braves system prior to his injury-riddled 2021 and 2022 seasons. The Mets have made several moves over the past 72 hours in an effort to bolster their pitching depth in the high minors. In addition to claiming Woods, the Mets have claimed righty Stephen Ridings from the Yankees and acquired righties Elieser Hernandez and Jeff Brigham in a trade with the Marlins.