Vineland resident and former St. Augustine’s Prep basball star Josh Hood was picked by the Seattle Mariners in the Major League draft on July 18. He was the 186th overall player chosen overall from all over the country.
Hood was picked in the 6th round.
The Mariners announced Hood as a shortstop, indicating they will attempt to keep him at the premier defensive position, although the kid with the cannon on his right shoulder could always drop back to playing third base down the line, if need be. Given the way MLB clubs currently prefer to roster “super utility” guys, keeping that defensive flexibility will help Hood as he ascends the minor league ranks.
Last season, as a junior/senior was his lone year at North Carolina State Hood played incredibly well for the Pack, hitting .268 with a .498 on base plus slugging average and with 14 2B, 13 HR, 42 R, 52 RBI, 31 BB, 57 K, 3 HBP, while also going 4-for-5 on stolen bases.
Here is what MLB.com had to say about Hood:
The Ivy League rookie of the year in 2019 at Penn, Hood barely played the next two seasons. The pandemic ended the Quakers’ 2020 season after eight games and the Ivy League cancelled spring sports in 2021. The Red Sox drafted him in the 20th round last July after he played in two wood-bat summer leagues, but he opted to transfer to North Carolina State. Hood creates plus raw power with bat speed, strength and an aggressive approach. He produces impressive exit velocities but hunts home runs too often, lapsing into lengthening his right-handed stroke and trying to launch balls to his pull side. He might be an average hitter with 20-homer power if he settles down in pro ball, but he’ll have to make adjustments to do damage against non-fastballs. Hood opened the 2022 season at third base but changed but changed to shortstop. He has the athleticism and strong arm to handle shortstop, but his instincts are a bit lacking and he profiles better at the hot corner. He’ll likely begin his pro career at short with the potential to be a solid or better defender at third.
At St. Augustine’s, Hood helped his team to Non-Public A state championship (2018), to three straight South Jersey Non-Public A championships (2016-18), and to Diamond Classic championship (2017). Also, he was named Nj.com, PBR New Jersey, Daily Journal, and AC Press Player of the Year (2018), achieved First-Team All-South Jersey and All-State, and graduated with Presidential Honor.