Sunday, May 08, 2005

Brandon Wood Report

Brandon Wood, SS, Anaheim Angels
Drafted 23rd Overall, 2003 Draft, HS, Scottsdale, AZ
Bats R/Throws R
20 YO, 6'3", 200 lbs

Brian Roberts isn't the only middle infielder on a power trip. Wood is on an absolute tear in the California League, already posting a new career high in home runs, slugging over .700 for Rancho Cucamonga. While some of this is part effects and sample size, most of it is probably real progress. He came into the season with a good offensive reputation and some numbers to back it up. He has a high power ceiling, a nice swing, and the ability to make a lot of hard contact.

His defense is average. There's speculation that he could be forced to third as he fills out and loses quickness, but at this point, everybody's aware of the value of big bats that can simply do the job at short without embarrassing themselves. The Halos have a number of other good shortstops, with the Aybar/Callaspo duo at Arkansas, Orlando Cabrera and Mazier Izturis, and Sean Rodriguez at Cedar Rapids. At third base, they have Dallas McPherson. At second, they have Howie Kendrick. There's a real traffic jam waiting to happen. How the Angels handle these players will go a long way towards determining how the team's current upswing lasts.

2004 Cedar Rapids: .251/.322/.404, 30 2B, 5 3B, 11 HR, 46 BB, 117 K, 21 SB, 5 CS, 478 AB
pre-2005 mL Career: .263/.331/.426, 51 2B, 9 3B, 16 HR, 66 BB, 180 K, 25 SB, 6 CS, 718 AB

His biggest problem thus far is plate discipline, which is a bit below average. You can get him out on sliders in the dirt or fastballs out of the zone. The new season really hasn't helped this much as his walk and strikeout rates are in line with his career averages. The question becomes how this fast start affects his prospect grade. The sample size is small enough that you can't bump him up to the Joel Guzman class of shortstop prospects, but it's large enough that you can't ignore it completely, especially when it we've been half expecting a breakout like this sometime in the near future.

ETA: 2007
4 Stars

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