Draft Interview: Destin Hood, Round Two

By all accounts, Destin Hood is a smart, articulate young man with a bright future ahead of him. Not only are the Washington Nationals interested in him, but the Alabama Crimson Tide are hot on his heels as well. So, which will he choose and why?

Destin Hood is going to have some tough choices to make before very long. He was picked with the 55th overall pick in the draft, but he also has a signed letter of intent to play both baseball and football for Alabama in front of him.

So, which will he choose?

Destin Hood is going to have to choose between trading in his high school uniform for an Alabama football uniform or a Washington Nationals baseball uniform. The choice won't be easy for the two-sport star out of St. Paul's Academy in Alabama.
"Right now, I don't know," said Destin. "I'm just not sure and we have to go through the negotiations with the Nationals and see where we're at." But surely, being just 18 years old, it's going to be tough to turn down the kind of money that the Nats are likely to throw at him, right? "Not necessarily. This is a group decision. I have to talk it over with my Mom and my Dad, my whole family's involved, so it really will be a group decision about what's best for me," explained the young prospect.

As much as it would be tough to turn down the money from the Nationals, it would be tough for a kid from Alabama to turn down playing for the Crimson Tide. "Coach Sabean told me that I have a chance at playing in the NFL someday," said Hood. "I don't know, I just have to weigh everything out and see where I'll wind up."

While he doesn't seem too worried about which choice he'll have to make, Hood also doesn't seem too concerned that the Nationals want him to move from shortstop to left field. "I've been playing shortstop all my life, but I don't think it will be that big of a deal," said Hood. "I'm confident that I'll be able to make the move without too much trouble." After all, when it comes to assessing his skills, Hood believes that his strength lies in his ability to adapt his game, whether it's the pitcher he's facing or to where he'll be playing in the pros. Early on, the Nationals were the front-runners to draft Hood based on how often they scouted him and Hood wasn't at all surprised when it was Washington that called his name in Round Two. "They were right near the top of the teams that had scouted me the most and I knew they were really interested," said Hood of his place in the draft.

It's not going to be easy for Hood to decide where to go, unless the Nationals either low-ball an offer to him or blow him out of the water with their offer. With Alabama as a definite fall back, Hood has a lot of leverage when talking with the Nationals, especially since his interest in Alabama seems completely sincere. "I would love to play for Alabama. I mean, that's been a dream and I was fortunate that they have given me the opportunity that they have," said Hood about the potential of playing football.

As for his skills, Hood has good, natural power, but will need some work in learning the strike zone and picking out his pitch at the plate. He's got decent defensive skills, but will be better served in left field and the Nationals and just about every other team that scouted him planned on him playing in the outfield rather than staying at shortstop. His speed isn't blazing, but it's above average and if he were to truly learn the art of stealing bases and putting his speed to use on the bases, it would be a plus part of his game. "I just focus on getting better, no matter where I'm playing or what I'm doing," said Hood of his athletic skills. "It's all about working hard and just getting better."

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