A Blog of Toronto Blue Jays Prospects Interviews, Evaluations and News

J.B. Woodman Made an Instant Impact in 2016

Young outfielder performed well at two levels in 2016

J.B. Woodman Made an Instant Impact in 2016

September 26, 2016

J.B. Woodman had an excellent debut season in the Blue Jays organization. (The Province)

J.B. Woodman had an excellent debut season in the Blue Jays organization. (The Province)


With several pieces of their outfield reaching free agency in the near future; the Toronto Blue Jays made sure to address that position well during the 2016 MLB draft process.

Selecting three outfielders in their top seven picks showed the dedication and direction the organization was taking to fill needs over the next few seasons. Headlined by the selection of J.B. Woodman (57th overall), out of the University of Mississippi, the Blue Jays hope they found a prospect who can climb the ladder to the major leagues quickly.

Woodman didn’t disappoint as he made it up to the Midwest League before the conclusion of his 2016 campaign. Recording 68 hits in 229 at-bats between Vancouver and Lansing, Woodman maintained an impressive .297/.391/.445 slash line between the two levels.

Known for his ability to hit for power, Woodman notched 25 extra base hits, which included: 20 doubles, a triple, and four home runs. His production in professional baseball was great to see as he added more power to his game at Ole Miss.

Viewed more as a gap-to-gap hitter coming out of high school, Woodman talks about the adjustments he has made.

“The ball is finding more barrels,” explained Woodman. “I’ve had a little more lift to my swing lately. I’m not really sure why, it’s just more barrels to the ball.”

One area Woodman wants to improve in his offensive game is lowering his number of strikeouts.  Being fanned 85 times in 2016 wasn’t the perfect scenario for the young outfielder and he knows it. Planning on addressing this issue during the off-season, the prospect hopes to enter camp next spring with a stronger understanding on hitting at the professional level.

“I want to focus on contact and not striking out as much this off-season,” stated Woodman. “I want to be able to identify my pitch better and make contact with it more often.”

But Woodman is more than just a solid bat, he’s also defensively sound in the outfield. Splitting his time between center and right last season, Woodman maintained a .992 fielding percentage in his 487 innings in the field.

Committing just one error and picking up four outfield assists was a nice way to cap off his first pro year. The prospect discusses what he likes best about the development of his defensive game.

“My defense is coming along well,” said Woodman. “It’s about getting your footwork right and more live reads in the outfield.”

Obviously, there’s some adjustments between the amateur and professional game. But for Woodman, it’s pretty much business as usual, except for the increased playing time at the next level.

“Playing every day is the biggest difference,” explained Woodman. “You only get a couple days off in professional baseball. You really need to keep up with your game to compete every day.”

With his first professional season in the books, Woodman will be ready for next year as he’s taking part in the Blue Jays Instructional League. This unique opportunity will give the prospect an idea what spring training will look like, as well as giving him a leg up on next season.

The extra preparation will definitely put J.B. Woodman in line for another quick promotion and Blue Jays fans couldn’t be happier.