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Awaiting Arrival: Travis Wood

A dominant 2009 vaulted Travis Wood up the Reds depth chart until he reached the majors midway through 2010. In his half season major league debut he displayed sublime control and a nice K rate. He looks to have regained the dominance he showed when he first arrived in the minors and with a spot in the Reds rotation looking probable he has a chance to become a hidden gem in 2011. While Wood showed promise in 2010 there were also red flags that could make Wood a questionable choice on draft day.

Luck drove some of his numbers in 2010 however improvements that come with experience should counteract some of the regression expected from normalized luck. He will have to correct the flyball rate of 30% he showed last year and judging by his minor league track record he could bump that number up to 40%. He doesn't overpower hitters yet has an ability to get them out on strikes and has shown dramatic improvement in control the past two seasons. If that control drops to past levels he will need more than luck to put up usable numbers. His spike in innings could also be a concern as he pitched 202.2 innings last year up from 167.2 the year before. Large innings jumps for young pitchers can be scary but it does show Wood is capable of pitching a full schedule so you won't have to worry about him getting shut down during your championship drive.

Travis Wood is a risky proposition given a shaky track record pre-2009 and a crowded Reds rotation. Wood should develop into a solid fantasy option however it might take some time. For long term keeper leagues he is one to watch because if the control is here to stay he could develop into a perennial sub-4 ERA pitcher. Pitching for a contending team in the Reds will add a nice boost as he should benefit from a few extra wins.