- Full name Destin Dwane Hood
- Born 04/03/1990 in Mobile, AL
- Profile Ht.: 6'2" / Wt.: 205 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Saint Paul's Episcopal
- Debut 09/02/2016
Drafted in the 2nd round (55th overall) by the Washington Nationals in 2008 (signed for $1,100,000).
View Draft ReportHood showed his raw power and lightning-quick bat speed when he tied for the home run derby title at the Aflac Classic last fall. Raw and electric are two words scouts use to describe Hood. He has four raw tools but each with above-average projection. An exceptional athlete with a combination of strength and speed, Hood is signed to play football (wide receiver) and baseball at Alabama. At the plate, Hood has bat speed and raw power to rival anyone in this draft class, but his hit tool is currently lacking as he often swings and misses. A shortstop in high school, Hood will most definitely be moved to the outfield due to his below-average arm strength. He is a plus runner, and although his instincts are under-developed, could be an average defender in the future. The team that drafts Hood will believe in his ability to eventually hit. Upon reaching high ceiling, Hood projects as a middle of the order impact bat.
Organization Prospect Rankings
A physical and athletic outfielder who turned down an Alabama football scholarship to sign with the Nationals for $1.1 million as a second-round pick in 2008, Hood advanced to Triple-A Syracuse in the Washington system but ran out of time with the organization. He qualified for minor league free agency following the 2014 season and signed on with the Indians, only to stumble out of the gate and finish 2015 with the Phillies--and, eventually, another appointment with the minor league free agent marketplace. Hood signed with the Marlins in November, and Miami's lack of big league-ready outfielders could make him a candidate for part-time play in the majors. The righthanded-swinging Hood hit Double-A and Triple-A lefthanders hard from 2013-15, batting .303/.356/.478 in nearly 300 plate appearances, but he has not been nearly so effective against same-side pitchers. Hood is an average defender and runner with a solid-average arm that profiles best in left field. He has yet to appear in a major league game and will provide solid organization depth at Triple-A New Orleans in the event he misses the Opening Day cut.
Hood has progressed slowly since eschewing an Alabama football scholarship to sign for $1.1 million in 2008. It looked like he turned a corner in 2011 at high Class A, but a bout with the flu followed by a wrist injury plagued his 2012 campaign, during which his power numbers regressed. Physical and athletic, Hood looks the part of a power hitter, and the ball explodes off his barrel in batting practice. He has worked hard to make his swing short to the ball, an adjustment that has cost him pop. The Nationals are working with him to maximize his leverage and get himself into better hitters' counts, with a goal of turning some of his doubles into homers. His ability to hit hard line drives to right field suggests he has a chance to hit for average. He also rolls over a lot of balls, so some scouts question his feel for hitting. One positive for Hood in 2012 was his development in right field, where his routes and his throwing continued to improve. His arm now rates as average, though he still profiles best in left field. He's an average runner. Hood will repeat Double-A as a 23-year-old, and he needs to start translating his potential into production.
The Nationals knew Hood was a long-term project when they signed him away from an Alabama football scholarship for a $1.1 million bonus in 2008. That has proven correct, though he showed signs of harnessing his significant raw talent last year high Class A. Despite playing in the Carolina League (the lowest-scoring full-season circuit in 2011), he more than doubled his previous career totals for homers and steals while also dramatically improving his plate discipline. A slightly above-average runner when he signed, Hood had thickened by 2010 and saw his speed drop to below average. He got himself into considerably better shape in the offseason and his speed returned last year, when he consistently posted solid running times. He also made significant gains with his outfield routes and his throwing, and now projects as an average left fielder with a fringy yet efficient arm. Offensively, Hood excels at maintaining his balance through his swing and has toned down his tendency to chase sliders off the plate. He can drive the ball from line to line, showing very good doubles pop to the right-center gap and emerging home run power to the pull side. Washington expects him to develop into an average or slightly better hitter with solid to plus power. Hood has a chance to be a solid regular, and how he handles the jump to Double-A in 2012 will be telling.
The Nationals say Hood made as much progress as anybody in their system in 2010. A wide receiver who passed up an Alabama football scholarship to sign for $1.1 million as a second-round pick in 2008, he was very raw when he entered the system. He got too big and lost some of his athleticism in 2009, so he dedicated himself to toning his body in the offseason and arrived at spring training 20 pounds lighter last year. Hood has tremendous bat speed and can backspin balls to the opposite field with authority. He has a compact swing and a middle-to-away approach, but he needs to learn to unload and drive the ball in hitter's counts in order to unlock his average to plus raw power. Hood's pitch recognition improved greatly last season, and his strikeouts decreased every month from April to July. He'll still chase sliders out of the zone at times, though. Getting in better shape helped Hood improve his speed--which is back up to average--and he took dramatic steps forward defensively in the outfield. His throwing motion was stiff in the past, but he has improved his release and done a better job of incorporating his lower half. He projects as a solid left fielder with fringy arm strength. Hood is still far from a finished product, but the Nats are excited about his development. He'll advance to high Class A Potomac in 2011.
The Nationals knew Hood was a long-term project when they signed him away from an Alabama football scholarship for a $1.1 million bonus, and they were pleased with his development in 2009. He added muscle in the offseason and quickly hit his way to short-season Vermont, where he held his own against older competition. Physical and athletic, Hood stands out most for his lightning-quick hands, which should lead to above-average power as he matures. He showed a more balanced offensive approach in his second pro season, doing a better job staying back and driving balls to all fields, though most of his power is still to the pull side. Hood's strike-zone awareness and pitch recognition are still developing. He has some arm strength, but he's still learning basic throwing mechanics and exchanges, so his arm plays below average. He's a fringe-average runner who will be limited to left field, where he's currently a below-average defender. The Nationals are betting on Hood's bat. If he develops as they hope, he could be an average or better hitter with plus power and serviceable defensive skills, though he's a long way off yet. He'll get his first taste of low Class A in 2010.
Hood starred as a shortstop and wide receiver at St. Paul's Episcopal High in Mobile, Ala.--Jake Peavy's alma mater--and committed to play both baseball and football at Alabama. The Nationals took him in the second round and gave him an above-slot $1.1 million bonus to keep him away from the Crimson Tide. They immediately moved him to left field and sent him to the Gulf Coast League, where he raised his average from .175 to .256 over the season's final 13 games. Scouts long have marveled at Hood's electrifying bat speed, which translates into above-average raw power. He swings and misses a lot now, but he keeps the barrel of the bat in the zone for a long time and projects to hit for average as his offensive approach matures. He has a strong, athletic frame and average to plus speed. Underdeveloped as an outfielder, Hood has a long way to go with his reads, jumps and routes. Washington has put him on a long-toss program in an effort to strengthen his below-average arm. He doesn't have a smooth arm action and doesn't use his lower half well when he throws. Offensively, he simply needs experience and refinement. Unless Hood blows the Nationals away in spring training, he'll likely spend 2009 at short-season Vermont, following the same developmental path as 2007 draftee Derek Norris. Down the road, Hood has a chance to be a potent middle-of-the-order bat in the big leagues.
Minor League Top Prospects
After missing the 2010 season with a torn ankle tendon, former White Sox first-rounder Jared Mitchell hit just .222/.304/.377 and struck out a league-high 183 times for Winston-Salem. More than one CL observer pointed out that Hood is turning into the player Chicago hoped it was getting in Mitchell. Like Mitchell, who played on Louisiana State's 2007 national championship football team, Hood was a Southeastern Conference-caliber wide receiver. He committed to play football at Alabama before the Nationals lured him to baseball with a $1.1 million bonus. In his fourth professional season, his skills started to catch up with his tools. Hood's bat has come a long ways since he was drafted, but he still has to prove he can catch up to hard fastballs and quality breaking balls. His raw strength should translate into average power, especially now that he has improved his plate discipline. His plus speed plays well on the bases and in right field, where he shows a solid arm.
A two-sport standout in high school, Hood signed to play football (wide receiver) and baseball at Alabama, but the Nationals bought him out of that commitment with a $1.1 million bonus in 2008. His baseball instincts were raw when he entered pro ball, but he has made significant strides, even if his NY-P numbers were modest. "The biggest thing about him is his ability to learn," Vermont manager Jeff Garber said. "Being a two-sport player, he made up a lot of ground in one year. The adjustments he's made to develop his swing and his ability to hit, he's grown a lot in that aspect. He's a strong kid with the capability to have big-time power and drive the ball." Hood's swing is much more balanced than it was a year ago, and he does a considerably better job driving fastballs. He also made some progress recognizing offspeed pitches, but he has a long way to go in that area. He has a physical, athletic frame and very strong hands that translate to excellent bat speed. He projects to hit for plus power as he matures as a hitter. Most of his power is to the pull side currently, and he's learning to use the opposite field more. Hood split time between left and right field at Vermont but projects as a left fielder because of his below-average arm, thought that also has shown improvement. He's an average runner who should have adequate outfield range as he improves his routes and becomes more aggressive defensively.
A raw, athletic two-sport prospect, Hood signed for $1.1 million in 2008 instead of heading to Alabama for football. He was a shortstop in high school but moved to left field as soon as he arrived in the GCL last season. He returned and tore up the league for a month this summer before earning a promotion to the short-season New York-Penn League. Hood has tremendous bat speed, giving him above-average raw power, and he has adopted a more balanced approach after getting out on his front too often in his pro debut. He also has added strength and now carries 225 pounds on his 6-foot-1 frame. Hood is an average runner but is limited to left field because of his below-average arm. He has improved his jumps and routes on fly balls, and continues to work on his arm strength.
The Nationals signed Hood away from a football scholarship to play wide receiver at Alabama. They gladly paid $1.1 million to lock up a player with a lightning-quick bat and loads of athleticism. Hood projects to have four major league tools, with only his arm strength lacking. He figures to become a power-hitting left fielder with basestealing ability. There were concerns as to whether he'd be able to adjust to pro pitching quickly, but he held his own. "It took him a week and half of seeing fastballs at 90 mph to make adjustments, but he figured it out," Henley said. "He is very smart and teachable. When you tell him something, he gets it."