||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2013)|
August 16, 1969 |
|NPB: March 23, 2003 for the Yokohama BayStars|
|Last professional appearance|
|2008 for the Chunichi Dragons|
|Runs batted in||616|
U.S. minor league career
Woods was the 5th pick of the Montreal Expos in the 1988 MLB draft as a high school third baseman. He fielded .882, making 10 errors in 32 games for the GCL Expos and batted just .121. He hit just 2 home runs in 149 at bats and walked 7 times while whiffing 47 times; he was also caught stealing four times in six tries.
Woods was promoted to the Jamestown Expos in 1989. In Single-A, Woods hit .263; he continued to strike out frequently (58 times in 209 AB), but his walks were up (20) and his average and power (9 homers) were also improved. In 1990, with the Rockford Expos, the 20-year-old third baseman hit .242, above the team average of .226. He also led the team in doubles (27), homers (8) and strikeouts (121). His OBP was .310 and he slugged .363. Woods made it to High-A in 1991 and he hit just .220 for the West Palm Beach Expos. He also was moved from third base to the outfield that year. He hit .291 for Rockford and even stole 15 bases in 21 tries. He hit .286 for West Palm Beach and struck out in 3 of his 4 at-bats in his first Double-A exposure with the Harrisburg Senators.
In 1993, Woods returned to Harrisburg, batting .252. A year later, Woods split the year between Harrisburg (.316) and the Triple-A Ottawa Lynx (.224). On November 18, the Expos gave up on Woods and released him.
Woods found a home with the Baltimore Orioles' Rochester Red Wings farm club in 1995 and hit .261 as a 1B/DH/OF. A year later, Woods was in another system, joining the Boston Red Sox and playing for the Trenton Thunder, hitting .312. He tied for 5th in the league in homers (25) and was among the leaders in average, OBP and slugging.
In 1997, Woods spent his 10th and final season in a US-based league, hitting .352 for the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox. He homered 9 times and drove in 28 in 29 games but didn't play for the parent Boston team. He also played that year for the Potros de Minatitlán of the Mexican League, homering 18 times in 85 games for 27 homers that year and 101 runs (73 RBI in 85 games for the Potros). Woods hit .342. His walk total (59) surpassed his K total (49).
Career in Korea
1998 found Woods in the Korea Professional Baseball. He became the first foreign player to hit a home run and the first to be ejected from a game by an umpire in the league's first year integrating outsiders. Playing for the OB Bears(Doosan Bears), he set a new KBO record with 42 homers and won the MVP award. Until 2007, he was the only foreigner to have won the Korea Baseball Organization MVP. Two years later, he hit .315 with 39 homers and 111 RBI and lost the home run race by one to Park Kyung-wan. In 2001, winning MVP honors in the All-Star game, playoffs and Korean Series, in which be blasted 4 homers in 6 games for Doosan. In 2002, Woods hit just .256; he struck out 123 times in 407 AB though he did blast 25 homers. Overall in five years in Korea, he hit 174 homers, driven in 510 and batted .294. Woods left Korea with the longest career of any foreign player in the history of the KBO until 2005, when Jay Davis broke his mark.
Career in Japan
Woods left the Bears to try his hand in Japan in 2003, signing with the Yokohama BayStars, hitting .273 and tied for the home run lead with Alex Ramirez with 40. He was 6th in the Central League in slugging, 4th in walks (66) and 5th in RBI (87) though he also led the league with 132 K's. Woods became the first man to lead a league in homers in both Korea and Japan.
Woods improved in his second year with Yokohama, hitting .298. He made the Best Nine at first base, tied Tuffy Rhodes for the home run lead with 45, was third in walks (74) and tied for third in RBIs (103). He was also 5th in slugging and 4th in OBP and OPS. He struck out 142 times, which ranked him third in that category.
After the 2004 season, he signed with the defending CL champion Chunichi Dragons and hit .306 with 38 homers. He was third in OPS and homers, 5th in slugging, 4th in OBP, tied for 4th with 103 RBI and ground into the most double plays (24) as the Dragons' 1B and cleanup hitter. Woods missed 10 games due to a suspension he served after charging the mound when Shugo Fujii threw high and inside during an at bat. Woods was also fined 500,000 yen. It was the harshest penalty given to any player in Japan in five years.
After the 2005 season was completed, Woods had hit 421 homers in his pro career.
In 2006, Woods put together an MVP caliber season by batting .310 with a league-leading 47 homers and 144 RBI. However, the MVP award that season went to his teammate, Kosuke Fukudome. To clinch the title for Chunichi, he hit grand slams in back-to-back games, the first Central Leaguer to do so since Fumio Fujimura 53 years earlier. He also set a new team record for home runs. He played for the Dragons until 2008.
Pursuits outside baseball
In addition to playing baseball, Woods worked for a time for the Brooksville Fire Department.
- "Korea Baseball Organization Most Valuable Player Award - BR Bullpen". Baseball Reference Bullpen. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 22 October 2012.