Pirates Claim Brandon Wood

The Pirates claimed shortstop ´╗┐Brandon Wood off waivers from the Angels, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  Wood had been designated for assignment by the Halos late Tuesday, and the Pirates were first in line in the waiver order.


The former top prospect is now 26 years old, and in 494 big league plate appearances with the Angels he hasn't had success.  The Pirates present the perfect opportunity for redemption, as they're one of few teams that can give Wood regular at-bats at shortstop with some leeway for struggling.  The scouting report is three years old, but before the '08 season Baseball America said Wood had unexceptional range but could "handle shortstop just fine" defensively.  Though he's a shortstop by trade, Wood has played third base as well.  MLB.com's Lyle Spencer wrote recently, "It was fascinating to see how different he was when he was in the lineup at shortstop rather than at third."

The claim was a no-brainer for Pittsburgh, a team with few interesting players in the shortstop pipeline.  Ronny Cedeno is currently the starter, though the club sought upgrades all winter.  The Pirates were able to get Wood for nothing, after the Angels seemingly kept the asking price high on him for years.  The Pirates will have to open up a 40-man roster spot to accommodate Wood, and they've said they'll make the corresponding move this afternoon.

Photo courtesy of Icon SMI.

68 Responses to Pirates Claim Brandon Wood Leave a Reply

  1. JaySchu 4 years ago


    • ARod's Ring 4 years ago

      There was a player named Brandon Wood
      Angel fans were hoping he was good

      The Angels drafted him in the 1st round
      He could play any postion but on the mound

      He was better than most short stops
      He could really handle those in between hops

      The Angels wanted him to play third
      But his batting stunk like a t*rd

      Hatcher worked with him day in and day out
      But he continued to make outs

      The Angels wash their hands
      Now hes a Pirate farmhand

  2. JacksTigers 4 years ago

    Well…. umm…. Good luck with that.

    • Erik Johnson 4 years ago

      Can’t be any worse than Ronny Cedeno and Josh Rodriguez

      • JacksTigers 4 years ago

        Never say never….. or in this case, can’t.

  3. baseballfreak25 4 years ago

    With all these surprise teams showing off this year, look out here comes the Pirates!

  4. RATTY1 4 years ago

    He could hit Clean up for the Padres with his Avg. ….Mendoza line Rules in San Diego!

  5. monkeyspanked 4 years ago

    Good luck Woody!

  6. NathanielS 4 years ago

    Halo fans will be rooting for you Brandon, good luck.

    • JacksTigers 4 years ago

      They will? Because up to this point all I have seen is Halo fans bashing him.

      • NathanielS 4 years ago

        Some people, sure.

      • ryankrol 4 years ago

        Its more like 50/50. The way I see it… How is it his fault for the Halos front office hanging on to him for too long? The Angels aren’t a team that has time to wait around for a player to like Wood to find himself, yet they insisted on keeping Wood because he was supposed to be the next big star. Perhaps some egos in upper management needed to be set aside before the right move was finally made?

      • bjsguess 4 years ago

        I will root for him. Wish him nothing but the best. Hope he fulfills all of his promise.

  7. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    you have now hit rock bottom, brandon. time to rebound

  8. Pete 4 years ago

    There aren’t many players with an OPS of 455 after 494 PA’s, he might be the worst hitter of all time. If he has any kind of success in the NL then the “AL is better” argument certainly has a new poster child.

    • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

      he’s definitely the best worst hitter ever, though

    • ryankrol 4 years ago

      I heard that both Wood and Jeff Mathis compiled historic lows based on their total PA’s.

    • John Vukovich, a utility IF for the Phillies, Brewers, and Reds in the ’70s compiled a .425 career OPS in 607 PA.

      Out of all non-pitchers with at least 490 PA since 1950, Wood’s .455 OPS comes in second.

  9. Motor_City_Bombshell 4 years ago

    Yay the Pirates have a real shortstop!!

    Everyone else remember Angel’s fans raving last year how this guy could potentially hit 40 bombs for them? He could surely do the same thing in Pittsburgh right?!


    • JacksTigers 4 years ago

      Do you remember when Granderson was on the block and the Angels offer was based around Wood? Thank god we got Jackson instead.

      • Raymond Holguin 4 years ago

        hell i remember when brandon wood was one of the centerpiece chips when the angels were trying to trade with the marlins for Miguel Cabrera and they didnt want to pull the trigger!! DAMNIT!!!

      • bjsguess 4 years ago

        Austin Jackson is sitting at 157/234/243 so far this year.

        Led the league in strikeouts in 2010 and hit a total of 4 bombs. His 2010 campaign was a product of a blistering 396 BAbip. Even with a BAbip over 100 points higher than league average he still only hit 293. His 47 BB’s were just OK.

        Honestly, Jackson looks like a 250/300/400 hitter with 25-35 SB’s. Not bad, especially when he is getting paid league minimum, but hardly anything to write home about. You are talking about a guy who is good for maybe a few runs over league average at CF.

        To date, Jackson has been better than Wood. No question about it. Going forward, I’m not sure that it’s clear cut. Let’s see what Pittsburgh does for the rest of the year and then re-evaluate the deal.

        • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

          Your analysis is off..

          You can’t base Jacksons BABIP to the league average.. The league doesn’t have his speed. BABIP spikes, dips are only useful when they are compared that particular players regular BABIP.. in order to do that, Austin Jackson is going to have to play a few years at the major league level.

          In AAA his BABIP was .384

        • JacksTigers 4 years ago

          Have you seen him play? He strikes out too much but what he doesn’t do with the bat, he makes up for with the glove. He is a very good hitter none the less. Congrats on not mentioning defense or his .293 average in 2010.

          • bjsguess 4 years ago

            I have seen him play. Not enough to make any valid observations on his defense though. UZR pegged him at +5 last year – which is solid but not spectacular (Peter Bourjos provided 3 times that much value in about 1/3rd of the playing time).

            Also – if you read my post I do mention that he hit 293. That’s great. I’d be thrilled to have a CF’er that played + defense, hit 300, and stole 30+ bases. My point is that Jackson is NOT that player. Unless his contact skills improve dramatically he won’t be a 300 hitter.

            And to Lunchbox45 (below) … I’m not suggesting that Jackson should be league average with BABIP. Plus speed mixed with a ground ball hitter will almost always result is a solid BABIP. Just for the record, Jackson had the highest BABIP in ALL OF BASEBALL. Speedsters like Crawford, Ichiro, etc were a good 50 points lower than Jackson in BABIP.

            When you normalize his BABIP you end up with a player that is -15 runs below average for a CF’er. I don’t think Jackson is that bad. Like I mentioned above, I see him as a slightly above league average offensive CFer with slightly above league average defense. His peaks will probably be a little better but that’s what Jackson gives you. A fine player, good guy to have (especially when he is cheap). But let’s not kid ourselves into thinking that he is some sort of superstar.

          • UZR is wrong then. Jackson is a spectactular centerfielder.

          • JacksTigers 4 years ago

            Stats don’t always tell the whole story. Jackson was a top 5 defensive outfielder last year. Watching him on the highlight reel does not mean that you watch him. You have absouloutly no stats besides strikeouts to back up anything you have to say. With your argument, I guess Mark Reynolds and Adam Dunn should have never made it past AA.

    • ryankrol 4 years ago

      Actually Halos fans were already questioning Wood’s ability to produce under that much pressure coming into last season. He was already out of options — and the fan base still remembers that it never took Tim Salmon, Jim Edmonds, Garrett Anderson, Darin Erstad, Troy Glaus, etc. as long as it took Brandon Wood. In the past 20 years, the only Angels player (as far as I can remember) who were brought up to be an everyday player and/or star and failed initially was JT Snow. But even Snow showed signs of being a consistent middle of the order run producer in his first 2 seasons. Todd Greene can be thrown in their as well (even though he was hitting immediately), but a broken wrist might have ruined his swing. Wood was healthy and couldn’t even buy a hit. Like him or not, Angels fans have been anticipating this move for a couple of years.

    • bjsguess 4 years ago

      I was an optimistic Angels fan.

      I thought a 250BA and 20HR’s was entirely possible. Still do. No reasonable fan was expecting 40HR’s from Wood last year.

      Good move for the Pirates. Hope Brandon finally gets his shot and does something with it.

      • ryankrol 4 years ago

        I see this as just a case of one player being able to produce right away (Trumbo), and another (Wood) needing longer to develop, and that it’s just a matter of not having the time to continue waiting since the Halos are a team that is expected to win now.

  10. Raymond Holguin 4 years ago

    im really rooting for this guy. Every at bat i would watch of his cuz i always had that hope that THIS would be the at-bat that something clicks and he takes off with all that “potential”. to say the least i was disappointed everytime usually in the form of a clearly overmatched K. that being said i hope he is able to put it together somewhere!

  11. The Angels will regret this move. He is only 26 and was a former Top prospect. I seen him play in the minors and he was awesome. I will be rooting for him and I cant wait until he becomes that player everybody tought he would. And no Im not Brandon Wood.

    • ryankrol 4 years ago

      The Angels are not a team that can afford to continue waiting around for a player like Wood to finally find himself. They need production right now.

      • I know the need production now so why is Mathis and Willits still on the team. Their time is up. Plus remember Maicer Izturis is a part time player. He never plays a full season.

    • Commander_Nate 4 years ago

      Why? They have plenty of middle infield depth and need consistent production since they will likely be in the race all year. It’s not like the Pirates play the Angels real often either.

      • And your suggestion to the Angels on who they should have dropped or sent down when Aybar came off the DL is….?

    • Shu13 4 years ago

      They gave him MORE then enough time to produce and he hasn’t been able to do it…they won’t regret this move at all…had he been able to produce in ’08 they would not have sent him back down they would have made the adjustments to keep him up same goes for ’09 then in ’10 they said this IS your shot and he crumbled…I do believe he would have gotten more ab’s at 1B had Trumbo “pulled a Wood” and not produced but instead he has shown he can handle ML pitching..

  12. formerdraftpick 4 years ago

    I think a bigger trade might be going down for Pittsburgh. They signed a bunch of guys to pitch at their AAA level. Now their pitching staff at AAA looks like a 40 man roster. Something has to give. Then again, wasn’t a trade imminent for Doumit two years ago to this date?

    • ryankrol 4 years ago

      Yesterday, after seeing Kevin Youkilis foul all those balls off his ankle — and to me he has always looked like he might break down at any time — I had it in the back of my mind that somehow Wood ends up on the Red Sox to back him up, as well as Scutaro at SS, and possibly be their next starting SS after Scutaro moves on. Just a crazy thought.

  13. The second coming of Steve Jeltz.

    • goner 4 years ago

      IMO, Wood isn’t even in Jeltz’s galaxy yet:

      * Steve Jeltz (2041 career PA) had an OPS+ of 61, with -1.4 career bWAR, while through his age 26 (1st 3 seasons, 315 PA), Jeltz had an OPS+ of 45, with -0.1 bWaR

      * To date, Brandon Wood (age 26, career 494 PA) has an OPS+ of 22, with -2.7 bWAR… that’s not a typo. He had an OPS+ of five last year in 243 PA.

      If Wood stays in Pittsburgh the whole year and supplants anyone as the starter, we’re going to have fond memories of the days of Sammy Khalifa, U.L. Washington, and Rafael Belliard.

    • formerdraftpick 4 years ago

      Don’t you mean Sammy Kahlifia?

  14. Smrtbusnisman04 4 years ago

    I’d hate to see Josh Rodriguez leave, but i guess that Wood is worth a shot.

    Wait, why is he being called a “shortstop” when he has played a majority of his time at 3B?

    bad defense LOSES Ballgames

    • Commander_Nate 4 years ago

      He is a natural SS who converted to 3B. He is actually a pretty decent fielder at his original position. His problem is offense.

      • ryankrol 4 years ago

        Before Maicer Izturis and Alberto Callaspo started killing the ball, I was thinking why not just keep Wood and just groom him to be your typical #9 hitting SS (Walt Weiss, Ozzie Guillen), and use Aybar as trade bait later in the season. It would never have happened though. It was based more on making a move at the deadline, especially if Aybar doesn’t adjust at the plate and continues to make stupid mental errors on the base paths…

        • RSBuletz 4 years ago

          You mean like last night with Aybar in the 8th? Took the Angels right out of the game with that triple try with no outs. Maicer’s baseball smarts are 10x Aybar’s.

    • Bucs 4 years ago

      What has Rodriguez shown that you that would make you hate losing him? He isn’t an every day player. Not a good rule 5 pick in my book.

  15. Pirates, you got yourself a really good person. Brandon Wood is honest to goodness one of the friendliest and most humble players in the game. He has massive potential and you’re in need of a SS/3B, so any way you shake it, this is a good move, for both the Pirates and Brandon.

    As far as his defense goes at SS, his range is below average, but his glove and arm are both above average and he’s a smart player. I anticipate him being a league average SS, maybe even slightly above average defensively. His only consistent playing time at SS was in the minors as the Angels had Aybar and Izturis, and Wood’s fielding pct was solid every year.

    If Pirates are patient, and Clint Hurdle is able to help Wood rediscover his swing and not bog his head down with the garbage Mickey Hatcher preached (by far he worst hitting coach in all of baseball), then I anticipate the Pirates will have themselves a .250/.300 20+ HR hitting SS before long.

    It just seems highly unlikely than someone with as much talent as Wood would be THIS bad in the majors. It couldn’t be just him alone, it had to be Hatcher, and the way the Angels benched him for weeks at a time. He may never be A-Rod as many expected, but I think it’s more likely than not he’s Jhonny Peralta + a few more HR.

    • Todd Smith 4 years ago

      As a Pirate fan, I love this pickup. Just the kind of low risk, high reward kind of gamble the Pirates can afford to take. It cost nothing to get him and he doesn’t block anybody in the system.

    • $7562574 4 years ago

      hatcher needs to go.

  16. TheHotCorner 4 years ago

    Hope the Pirates throw him out there at shortstop and let him get 450+ AB’s this year. This way we can finally know what he can do with regular AB’s. Best of luck to the guy.

  17. If I’m the Pirates, I put Wood in the middle of the line up between Overbay and Alvarez and DON’T TOUCH him. You’re never gonna find out a guy’s potential if you keep moving him around or bench him on and off. Pirates are most likely not going anywhere this season. Keep him in the lineup, see what he’s got. If he’s a bust, he’s a bust and you can move on to something else next year.

    • bigpat 4 years ago

      I’m sorry but that’s a terrible way to run a team. What has he done to deserve that kind of special treatment? The team doesn’t revolve around Brandon Wood. He’s lucky to have a job in the major leagues, and they should bat him seventh or eighth and see how it plays out from there. He will probably play worse under increased pressure anyways.

  18. rayking 4 years ago

    Phil Nevin and Jack Cust are first round picks who were late bloomers (Nevin was 1st overall). Good move by the Pirates.

  19. kmanst 4 years ago

    he was in the centerpiece of trades for Roy Halladay,Miguel cabrea,Curtis Granderson,and possibly Edwin Jckson all trades were broke up.bad move by the pirates they must have been really desperate.

  20. Steelslayer 4 years ago

    Wasn’t he designated for assignment rather than placed directly on waivers? Giving the Halos 10 days to work out a trade?

  21. bigpat 4 years ago

    I’m not really sure what to think. It’s good to bring in competition for Cedeno at shortstop as he’s been pretty disappointing his whole time here, but I don’t have any expectations for Wood to play well, and I’d rather not have an automatic out in the lineup, contending or not.

    I’ve become a little tired of the whole trying out failed prospects thing, because it never seems to work out for Pittsburgh. However, with no expectations and a minor league track record, if by some miracle he plays half as well as he was supposed to be, the Pirates would have gotten a quality shortstop for nothing.

    All in all, not a big deal, not excited or upset, we’ll just have to see how he plays if they give him consistent AB’s.

    • Todd Smith 4 years ago

      …but it’s not like he’s blocking anybody else at this point. We pretty much already have an automatic out with Cedeno in there. Why not try somebody that at least has some potential. The Pirates literally have nothing to lose here.

  22. $7562574 4 years ago

    from the 1st. time wood and sean rodriguez played in the bigs, i knew sean was going to be better player right away. one possible reason why the angels traded rodriguez instead of wood was wood was a 1st. rounder and sean was drafted 3rd. round.

  23. The Angels ruined Wood like a termite. They should have left him in as a full time SS back in 06, 07 and at least 08, but no they decided to keep bringing him up and sending him down. Real confidence boosting. They really screwed him up. I’m glad he’s going to the Pirates for his sake. The Angels don’t like certain players. Terry Evans his an HR his first MLB at bat, and then sent him down the next day and he didn’t return for 2-3 years and he always had solid numbers in the minors. Some real wizards at the top brass.

  24. argis33 4 years ago

    forget wood
    look at this trade–

    games ab ba rbi hr
    wells 19 82 183 4 1
    napoli 10 31 310 7 4
    just for measure

    mathis 11 38 211 5 1
    conger 10 29 310 7 2

    who do we bench at this point

    wells will hit 8 home runs this year
    napoli will hit 64 that is if this trend continues

    all for $86.000

  25. bigsweens38 4 years ago

    Wood knocked in two runs tonight,not a bad start for the kid.

  26. Shu13 4 years ago

    Dallas would have had playing time if he didn’t consistently go on DL or sit on the bench w/ back problems….I never heard anything that Kotchman was supposed to be this big star….he was just a solid replacement player who did have some success prior to being dealt for Teix…as for Wood….I think a lot of fans that boo’d Wood and wanted him run out of town were just mad that he was touted as the next Mike Schmidt…they would still like him to succeed where ever he lands…

    As for Sosh….how do you leave a player in the game and give him sufficient(consistent) playing time when they go 1-50 when you are trying to compete…the the big club is about winning not teaching….if they can’t step in and prove they can contribute then to the bench they go..Bourjos was lucky b/c his speed and defense kept him in the game to still be able to learn to adjust to ML pitching…Conger should be replacing Mathis full time except Mathis is still blowing Sosh in his office before and after the games…

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