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  • Prospect Retrospective: Simeon Woods Richardson


    Cody Christie

    Simeon Woods Richardson has risen on Twins prospect lists over the last year. Now, the Twins are calling him up to make his big league debut.

    Image courtesy of Rob Thompson, St. Paul Saints

    Simeon Woods Richardson has had a whirlwind professional career as he has been part of three different organizations and two blockbuster trades. His professional journey started in the Mets organization when they took him with a second-round pick in 2018 out of high school in Texas. After signing, he split time between the GCL and the Appalachian League, posting a 1.56 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP in seven appearances. 

    New York was aggressive with him to start 2019 as they sent him to Low-A, where he was nearly four years younger than the average age of the competition. Woods Richardson allowed 37 runs in 78 1/3 innings with a 1.21 WHIP and 97 strikeouts. At the trade deadline, Woods Richardson was dealt along with Anthony Kay to the Blue Jays for Marcus Stroman. 

    Toronto was even more aggressive with Woods Richardson by sending him to High-A. He improved in his six starts following the trade as he lowered his ERA to 2.54 and posted a 29-to-7 strikeout to walk ratio. His stock rose as the 2020 season began, with Baseball America and MLB.com including him in their top-100 prospects. Unfortunately, the pandemic wiped out the 2020 minor league season, and Woods Richardson couldn’t build off his success from the end of 2019. 

    The Blue Jays continued to be aggressive with Woods Richardson in 2021 by sending him to Double-A. He was so young for the level that he only had four at-bats versus younger batters for the entire season. There were struggles throughout the season as he adjusted to one of baseball’s highest levels. He posted a 6.55 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP in his first 11 starts. From there, he headed to Japan to represent the United States in the Olympics, but his opportunities were limited on the international stage. 

    While he was overseas, the Twins traded for Woods Richardson and Austin Martin in a deal that sent Jose Berrios to Toronto. Woods Richardson only made four appearances in the Twins organization after the trade deadline and allowed six earned runs in eight innings. It was a disappointing end to a season where he never seemed to get his feet under him at Double-A. 

    With his sub-par performance, Baseball America and MLB.com dropped Woods Richardson from their top-100 prospects entering the 2022 season. Minnesota had him repeat the Double-A level, where he continued to be 3.5 years younger than the average age of the competition. In 16 appearances (70 2/3 innings), he posted a 3.06 ERA with a 1.16 WHIP and a 77-to-26 strikeout to walk ratio. By the middle of August, the Twins had seen enough and called him up to Triple-A. 

    Woods Richardson’s performance improved after the promotion. He had a 2.21 ERA with a 0.85 WHIP in seven starts with the Saints. He struck out more than a batter per inning while continuing to show command of the strike zone. His performance was so good that he finished runner-up for the TD Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year. He has pitched well in the upper levels of the minors, and now the Twins hope he can translate that success to the big-league level. 

    What stands out most to you about Woods Richardson’s professional career? What is his ceiling? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

     

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    I was hoping that he'd be able to get his feet wet in the MLB yet this season. Hoping for a good outing but anything would be benificial.

    I was very impressed with SWR's interview with Seth. Love his attitude, I think he could have some front end rotation in him at some time. I'll be cheering for him all the way.

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    I hope he gets 3-4 good innings in this year and go home for the winter with a good feeling with the experience. I'd like to see him get 75-100 innings next year with the Twins.

     

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    58 minutes ago, Doctor Gast said:

    I was hoping that he'd be able to get his feet wet in the MLB yet this season. Hoping for a good outing but anything would be benificial.

    I was very impressed with SWR's interview with Seth. Love his attitude, I think he could have some front end rotation in him at some time. I'll be cheering for him all the way.

    I came away immensely impressed by him, and in interactions with him since then. 

    As for Sunday's start, how he does really doesn't matter at all. That he's getting the opportunity to get his feet wet is what matters. 

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    Might as well give him a chance to pitch for the Big League team.  I see him probably starting in AAA next season but being one of the first ones up when injuries or ineffectiveness show up.

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    Another congratulations to another rookie's first cup of coffee. Simeon Woods Richardson. I won't be typing that whole name very often, but he's liable to have half a dozen nicknames in his first season. SWR for now.

    I love his straight over the top pitching motion, with that steep downward plane that Uncle Bert talks about. He'll get tons of ground outs, plus an occasional titanic homer hit off that delivery. When an uppercut swing hits a downward plane baseball, that's how a ball goes into low earth orbit.

    It'll be fun to see what his stuff does to mlb hitters.

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    I'm guessing he works up and down in the strike zone, based on all the strikeouts with the high FB. We can see how that translates. May be a tough approach if he doesn't hit the high 90s or have elite control. Regardless, congrats and fingers crossed for today. Hoping he can have a solid close to the season.

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