- Full name William Atwood
- Born 01/13/1987 in Piedmont, SC
- Profile Ht.: 6'2" / Wt.: 180 / Bats: L / Throws: L
- School South Carolina
- Drafted in the 12th round (361st overall) by the Washington Nationals in 2008.
Organization Prospect Rankings
Atwood posted a 5.21 ERA in three years at South Carolina, but the Nationals believed they had found a sleeper in the 12th round of the 2008 draft after his strong pro debut. They skipped him a level to high Class A to start 2009, and he struggled mightily out of the gate, going 0-3, 11.65 in April, before settling down to go 6-3, 2.92 over the next three months. He tired down the stretch, however, and his velocity dropped. At his best, Atwood has good command of a solid three-pitch mix. His fastball sits at 88-90 and touches 92, and he spots it well to both sides of the plate. His best pitch is a solid-average changeup with fade, sink and good arm speed. His slow curveball has tight spin and a chance to give him a third average pitch. He has a lean frame and a clean, whippy arm action that reminds several Nats officials of John Lannan. Atwood's mechanics are sound, though he sometimes opens up too early in his delivery. He needs to improve his pickoff move and fine-tune his overall command, but he should be ready to take on Double-A in 2010. He profiles as a back-of-the-rotation starter.
Atwood worked as a starter and reliever in three years at South Carolina but never quite figured out the Southeastern Conference, posting a 5.21 career ERA. He had some success against wood bats in his two summers in the Cape Cod League, however, and he had a dominant pro debut. Atwood throws strikes with a quality three-pitch mix. His fastball sat at 86-89 mph last summer but reached 90-91 in instructional league, when he was one of Washington's top pitchers. He uses a slow curveball in the high 60s to low 70s, but he worked hard to tighten it up in the fall, throwing more of a mid-70s slider with 2-to-8 break. He has good feel for the breaking ball, which he can throw for strikes or bury. His changeup is a third average offering. Atwood has a skinny frame and whippy arm action that leads the Nationals to believe he could add velocity to his fastball as he matures. He reminds some of John Lannan and has a similar ceiling as a back-of-the-rotation starter. Atwood should move quickly through the system and could skip a level to high Class A in 2009.