Cornering the market on the Baseball America top prospects of 2005 is obviously the plan. Andy Marte (Braves and Indians), Lastings Milledge (Mets), Neil Walker, Jeff Clement (Mariners), and now Brandon Wood (Angels). Removing tongue from cheek, I decided to take a look at what people had to say about Brandon Wood. Over on Halos Heaven the general feeling seemed to be that the Angels had mismanaged Wood
I took a look at the 2006 BA Top 10 Prospect commentary to see what had been written there. Wood was the top prospect:
Maybe they were fortunate to draft Wood.
Wood's package of power, hitting, all-around defensive skills and championship-caliber makeup prompted one high Class A California League manager to dub him the next Cal Ripken.
At this point, the next Billy Ripken (who was well thought of at one point).
Wood was still the number one prospect in 2007:
Wood ranked among the TL leaders in several offensive categories, including finishing first in strikeouts with the highest total of his career. His uppercut swing path won't allow him to make contact often enough to contend for batting titles, and he could post modest averages his first few years in the majors.
Too true. He was still the top prospect in 2008, although the issues were becoming clearer:
While Wood cut down on his strikeouts from once every 3.0 at-bats in 2006 to once every 3.6 at-bats last season, his greatest deficiency remains his lack of plate discipline. His pitch selection is below-average, and when he falls behind in the count, he'll punch out by chasing balls off the plate and above his hands. . . . He must shorten his swing and hone his two-strike approach in order to hit for a higher average and make more consistent contact. He also can tighten his defense at third base, where he made 16 errors in 74 Triple-A games.
On balance though he was called "One of the top power-hitting prospects in the minors."
During 2008 Wood got 157 plate appearances in the majors, so he was no longer a prospect (independently of amassing an OPS+ of 43 in the majors). Nonetheless BA noted that
Infielders Sean Rodriguez and Brandon Wood are ready for expanded roles after decimating Triple-A pitching,
Wood hit 0.296 in AAA with 31 home runs. But we're still waiting for that "expanded role." Maybe with the Pirates.