A few months before the 2021 draft, Bryan Woo suffered an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery.
But the Mariners were undeterred and selected the Cal Poly righthander in the sixth round.
That decision sure seems to be paying off.
After completing his rehab and making his pro debut last June, Woo quickly ascended to High-A Everett and established himself as one of the most promising young arms in Seattle’s system.
With strong command of his three-pitch mix, Woo posted a 33.6% strikeout rate across 57 innings at Everett, Low-A Modesto and the Arizona Complex League.
Woo then excelled in the Arizona Fall League, where he struck out 16 of 47 batters and allowed only one earned run in 10.2 innings.
“Kudos to both him and our scouting department for getting him where we did,” Mariners assistant general manager Andy McKay said. “He performed at a very high level.
“I really don’t know that (his) first year could’ve gone much better.”
Woo sports a 93-94 mph fastball with significant ride. He complements it with a sweeping mid-80s slider and a high-80s changeup that has considerable run.
“It’s a three-pitch mix, with all three pitches on any given day being average to slightly above average,” McKay said. “(And) it’s the command of them. It’s just strike after strike after strike.”
The 23-year-old Woo, who primarily was an infielder growing up, benefits from an athletic and polished delivery.
“It really is a beautiful thing to watch,” Everett manager Eric Farris said. “His body moves very well, which allows him to generate good stuff and good power.
“And when you’re able to pair such great action with the ability to locate it, it becomes very hard to hit.”
During a January radio show appearance, Mariners general manager Justin Hollander mentioned Woo as one of several top Seattle pitching prospects who have a chance to reach the majors this season.
“We’re all feeling very confident of where this can end for him,” McKay said. “He’s a really high-upside starting pitcher who we think is gonna stick in a rotation.”
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