At the start of Ali Hood's high school career, he was diagnosed with Osgood-Schlatter Disease, a growth plate defect that causes swelling in the shinbone just below the knee.
As a Greens Farms Academy (Westport, Conn.) sophomore, Hood was moved to the pitcher's mound, where he has evolved into a highly-touted right-handed ace with the Dragons.
"(Pat) Vigilio, who at the time was my head coach at GFA, decided to put me on the mound,'' said Hood, a Greenwich, Conn., resident. "I had grown over six inches in the past year and had tons of projectability. Additionally, Total Arm Care (Wharton, N.J.) has been a tremendous help. I first learned about them from my (personal) hitting coach (Jason Leftkowitz) as we were looking for someone that could help. They quickly fixed a few mechanical issues I had, thus allowing me to finally use my size and length (6-foot-2, 170 pounds) to my advantage, which resulted in a huge velocity gain.''
Hood's fastball has been clocked at 88 mph. He also throws a 12-6 curve and a splitter.