Brandon Wood: A Historical Perspective
Brandon Wood has disappointed massively – this statement ranks as about as newsworthy as this morning’s sunrise. Once one of the most highly touted prospects in a stacked Angels organization, Wood now appears to be yet another in a long line of southern California disappointments. The trade for Alberto Callaspo (a trade that I wonder if the Angels brass now regrets as the team now sits 9 games behind the AL West leading Rangers.
The question is not whether the season is lost for Wood – obviously, it is. Because of the hype surrounding Mr. Wood, I believe the historic impact of his career thus far evades most observers. Perhaps a look at Wood’s production against a historical backdrop is instructive.
Since the end of WWII, looking at players with at least 150 plate appearances (and at least half at third base), Brandon Wood’s 2010 OBP (.185) is the worst that has even been posted. In fact, only Wood and the legendary Bob Ramazotti (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/r/ramazbo01.shtml) posted an OBP under .200.
Looking to OPS, under the same criteria, 15 players have posted an OPS under .500 (Wood actually comes in 2nd worst on this list, his .411 besting only John Vukovich’s 1971 season (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/r/ramazbo01.shtml).
Over 420 career plate appearances from 2007 through this year, Wood’s career triple slash stands at 181/206/275, for an OPS+ of 26 (By way of reference, at a similar point in their careers, Dwight Gooden and Tom Seaver posted 15 and 16 OPS+, respectively). Since the turn of the century, 6 players have amassed at least 350 plate appearances over their first 5 seasons with an adjusted OPS under 30 – though I would be remiss in failing to point out Mr. Wood leads this esteemed group in HRs (10, just edging out the 7 Kevin Cash hit between 2002 and 2007).
In 2010, Wood is walking less, swinging at more balls outside the strike zone, hitting fewer line drives and hitting fly balls with less authority than in any of his previous 3 seasons.
With 420 appearances in the majors, it is time to stop wondering if Brandon Wood will live up to his lofty minor league numbers – and start wondering if he has become one of the top 5 worst hitters to ever get an extended look in the majors.