Simeon Woods-Richardson has made notable strides throughout his high school baseball career at Kemper High in Sugar Land, Tex.
As a freshman in 2014, Woods-Richardson’s fastball reached the mid-70s on radar guns. But after a growth spurt where he added about 40 pounds and grew six inches, the prep right-handed pitcher’s fastball velocity improved to the point where it’s sitting in the mid-to-upper 90s this spring.
“That’s something as a freshman I was throwing 74 mph and everyone was laughing at me,” said Woods-Richardson, who’s now 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds. “Sophomore year, a growth spurt happened and my body filled out. I’m working out with a trainer every other day now and have been working out since the age of 12.”
Woods-Richardson’s development has positioned himself for a bright future in baseball. Committed to Texas, Woods-Richardson is also a well-regarded prospect for June’s MLB Draft. Baseball America ranks him as the 84th-best prospect in the class.
“It’s actually a blessing, but sometimes it can be overwhelming,” he said. “I just try to keep my head down and look on to the next day because everything is a new day. I just keep my head down, stay humble, keep working and playing, and not focus on the future.”
Considered a legitimate two-way player, Woods-Richardson’s primary position is on the mound. It’s also where professional scouts project him long-term.
An aggressive pitcher who prefers to work quickly, Woods-Richardson throws a fastball – four-seam and two-seam – changeup, cutter and a sharp 12-to-6 curveball.
He attacks the zone and has impressive command for his age. In the 2017 Area Code Games, Woods-Richardson caught scouts’ attention when he struck out four straight batters in 13 pitches out of the bullpen in his first appearance in the event.
“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.”
Woods-Richardson has made six starts this spring, tallying double-digit strikeouts in each appearance. Although he’s been pleased with his results, Woods-Richardson hopes to shore up a few areas in his game before the season concludes.
“I want to see my first pitch strike ratio go up,” Woods-Richardson said. “I want to pound the zone, which is what I do, but if I can get more of that, I’d love it.
“Just getting a better feel and more confidence in all of my pitches would help me grow as a pitcher also. I want to be a guy that no matter the count that can trust all my pitches.”
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