Which Teams Could Use Brandon Wood?

Brandon Wood seems like he's been an Angels prospect forever.  However, at this point he's 26 years old with 494 career big league plate appearances and a .168/.197/.259 line to his name.  The Halos designated him for assignment last night, and a trade or claim seems likely.

Wood

Since Wood is out of options, any team giving up a prospect of value for him will have to be able to keep him in the Majors rather than risk exposing him to waivers.  Wood can probably play an acceptable shortstop or third base.  This scouting report is three years old, but before the '08 season Baseball America said Wood had unexceptional range but could "handle shortstop just fine," and he was "solid if unspectacular at third base."  He's never played second base, but he might be passable there as well.

I'd like to see a non-contending team install Wood as the starting shortstop and just let him rip for 500 plate appearances.  That plan might be unfair to players who don't have the "advantage" of being out of options.  But the Pirates might as well try him over Ronny Cedeno.  The Mets could be a fit, if they're thinking of trading Jose Reyes in a few months.  Wood could man a middle infield position for the Astros, though they might consider themselves booked between Clint Barmes, Bill Hall, Angel Sanchez, and Jeff Keppinger.  Likewise, the Mariners aren't contenders but would have to do some shuffling to get Wood regular at-bats.

Since they sit atop the AL Central at the moment, I won't rule out the Indians and Royals as contenders.  But the Tribe might be able to get Wood some third base at-bats until they deem Lonnie Chisenhall ready.  Wood could also keep the seat warm at the hot corner for Royals prospect Mike Moustakas.

The Twins, Brewers, and Dodgers were regarded as preseason contenders, but haven't been spectacular in the early going.  All three clubs have question marks at shortstop, though Wood is certainly not a clear upgrade.  The Marlins are cobbling together a solution at third base, though it's actually going well overall.

In the end, I expect Wood to land with a non-contending team like the Pirates.  Like the Royals, the Bucs should still be thinking long-term even though they're technically in contention at the moment.  But even in a lower-pressure environment I'm not sure Wood will get regular playing time, given how far his stock has fallen. 


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90 Comments on "Which Teams Could Use Brandon Wood?"


4 years 4 months ago

I say he goes to the mets. Hes an upgrade over emaus or that red headed turner who is just as bad as emaus. Wood was a ss when he was a top prospect, so im sure he can play 2nd and hes shown he can play 3rd. and usuallly when guys come to the mets they suck, why not get him while he sucks, maybe that can get him turned around. Id say hes better suited to be splitting time with murphy and backing up at 3rd.

Blue387
4 years 4 months ago

I’d throw in Ching-Lung Hu with Emaus in the package. Hu can’t seem to hit major league pitches but is believed to be good at defense. I’m guessing Paul DePodesta liked him since his tenure as Dodgers GM and traded for him when he joined the Mets front office.

bucco_nation
4 years 4 months ago

Ching-Ling Who?!

$1529282
4 years 4 months ago

I wonder if the Twins are sick enough of Casilla yet. And hell, it’s not like he can be worse than Alexi or Luke Hughes.

TheHotCorner
4 years 4 months ago

I brought up Wood to the Twins in the initial post. With Nishi out for a little while and Casilla not doing much I can’t see how it would hurt to at least give it a try.

$1529282
4 years 4 months ago

Wood’s career OBP would be an improvement over what Casilla has done this year, sadly.

PostMoBills
4 years 4 months ago

I would love to see the Twins take a chance on him. The worst that can happen is they put him back on waivers when they try to send him down. It wouldn’t take much to beat out Casilla. The problem is I’m not sure if the Twins have an open spot on the 40-man roster, and knowing the Twins they probably won’t want to remove one of their AAAA bullpen arms for this guy.

$1529282
4 years 4 months ago

The Twins have two open spots on their 40-man roster, actually. Shouldn’t be an issue.

twins33
4 years 4 months ago

Casilla definitely needs to go back to the bench. I wonder what “acceptable” defense is though…for Wood. Obviously that word is better than the “crappy” that Casilla has been doing, but I still wonder. Definitely wouldn’t hurt to give him a try.

nick1538
4 years 4 months ago

The problem is Wood’s defense at SS. With 459.1 innings at SS his UZR is -8.6. I would rather have a 4.1 UZR with a .200 average (Alexi Casilla) than -8.6 UZR with a .200 average (Brandon Wood). I think he actually is worse than Alexi!

$1529282
4 years 4 months ago

Drawing conclusions based on less than two months’ worth of defensive data is useless. Delmon Young has a 37.8 UZR/150 in left right now through 132 innings. Doesn’t tell you anything.

I don’t doubt that Casilla’s a better defender, but he had 346 career innings at SS. Even using just one full season worth of sample data can be misleading. Using less than two months is just pointless.

Wood’s probably inferior defensively, but at least has the upside of being a plus offensive shortstop. Casilla certainly can’t make that claim. That said, I doubt the Twins pursue him anyway, but it’s an option worth pondering at the very least. If nothing else, he can rake in Triple-A and help appease the angry Rochester fans.

nick1538
4 years 4 months ago

I would argue that any of that “offensive upside” for Wood is all but gone. Both Casilla and Wood are replacement level players, and very little else. The Twins could very easily give Wood a try and perhaps “fix” him, but he is not a short term fix for the SS problem in MN.

formerdraftpick
4 years 4 months ago

I would like to see the Pirates sport Wood. The only issue that I have is that Ronny Cedeno leads the team with 3 sacrifice flies right now. In fact he’s the only member of the team with a sacrifice fly. Where else are you going to get that production? So, it might be time for the Pirates to let Rule-V pick, J-Rod go back to the Indians (or make a trade for him) and let Cedeno serve as a utility player. Since Wood has hands of steel, it might be a pretty good combo for the Pirates with Cedeno coming in the 7th inning and beyond to serve as a defensive player. I know I will at least get a comment calling Cedeno a defensive player, but compared to Wood, he is Ozzie Smith.

bucco_nation
4 years 4 months ago

Clint Hurdle makes me sport wood!

Slopeboy
4 years 4 months ago

Long Island Ducks!

formerdraftpick
4 years 4 months ago

At some point, this may very well happen for Wood if he keeps performing like he is at the major league level. Quack! Quack!

CoachButtermaker
4 years 4 months ago

That is exactly what I was thinking.

4 years 4 months ago

494 PA
153 K
.197 OBP

I’m going with “No one could use Brandon Wood.”

bjsguess
4 years 4 months ago

462 PA
92K
.246 OBP
6 HR (vs Wood’s 11 HR)

Pretty sure that Brandon Phillips has turned out OK.

Both highly touted prospects. Both with good minor league pedigrees (obviously Wood’s was much more impressive). Both were shuffled back and forth between the big leagues and minors for 4-5 years. Neither doing much of anything.

I’m not saying that Wood will turn out to be the next Brandon Phillips. I’m simply stating that ignoring 1000’s of PA’s in the minors + scouting reports and going with what you see in less than 500 PA’s spread out over 4 years in the Bigs may not be the wisest thing.

4 years 4 months ago

Brandon Wood has been much, much worse than the numbers you just cited for Wood.

bjsguess
4 years 4 months ago

Huh?

The numbers I cited are his numbers. I didn’t make them up. And they absolute paint him in the worst possible light possible.

4 years 4 months ago

typo, I meant the #’s you cited for Wood are much worse than Phillips

robdicken
4 years 4 months ago

The point is, that neither of their numbers were good. And no, looking at them, they are not “much worse.” They are comparable.

You simply can’t judge someone’s abilities in the major leagues on very limited playing time. If they struggle, keep sticking them out there so they can learn from his mistakes. But, it needs to be a team that can afford to deal with his struggles.

4 years 4 months ago

Marlins could be a fit?

4 years 4 months ago

Good point, I think I will add something to the post to that effect.

daveineg
4 years 4 months ago

Memo to Tim Dierkes: The Brewers are tied for first without their ace and starting RF. Why are you linking them with the Twins (6 games back) and the Dodgers (4.5 games back)?

No thanks on Wood by the way.

4 years 4 months ago

Ah, so they HAVE been spectacular in the early going.

4 years 4 months ago

They are on pace for 85 wins…right about what most people expected. Spectacular? No. I would only consider 1-2 teams as “spectacular” so far though.

The wording makes them sound dissapointing when they have been as advertised.

Betancourt sucks, I’d still like to see them make a play for someone like Jack Wilson.

AaronAngst
4 years 4 months ago

They certainly aren’t in a place where they need to start cashing in their chips, and handing over playing time to a 26 year-old former prospect. I hesitate to say it, but the pitching has been BETTER than advertised so far. Only a couple of games where somebody imploded, and four team shutouts. If anything, I’d be willing to bet they’d be looking to scrape together what’s left of the farm to acquire a proven big league shortstop as opposed to taking one off the scrap heap to replace Betancourt. The upcoming Reds series in Milwaukee should give a bit more perspective.

PostMoBills
4 years 4 months ago

The Twins and Dodgers both have shortstop issues, and I’m pretty sure the Brewers have been the most vocal of them all with their dissatisfaction for Yuniesky Betancourt.

daveineg
4 years 4 months ago

Some fans (not all by any means) have expressed dissatisfaction with Betancourt.

But the Brewers certainly haven’t. He’s actually been playing quite well defensively and while his BA doesn’t reflect it, he’s hit the ball okay. Nobody expected him to take walks.

Todd Smith
4 years 4 months ago

Aye. The Brewers are 9-8. The lowly Dodgers are only 8-10. Huge difference.

twins33
4 years 4 months ago

but they’re tied for first!!!! haha

maze88
4 years 4 months ago

Wood needs to land on the NL. That’s pretty much AAAA, and he can definitely do good there

iheartyourfart
4 years 4 months ago

as long as he doesn’t go to one of those NL/AAAA teams that wins the world series half the time

Lunchbox45
4 years 4 months ago

because pitching sucks in the NL right?

Ben_Cherington
4 years 4 months ago

For some reason I have the urge to say

BIG TIME TIMMY JIM!

PostMoBills
4 years 4 months ago

Lol trollin’.

Classic.

RiverKKiller999
4 years 4 months ago

“Which Teams Could Use Brandon Wood”

I don’t think any one wants a .168/.197/.259 slash line. But it wouldn’t hurt to give him a try in AAA. So, any one could pick him up.

Todd Smith
4 years 4 months ago

The Pirates’ current utility infielder has a .000/.100/.000 slash line. Why not take a chance on a player with more potential.

rizdak
4 years 4 months ago

I hope he knows how to use a pair of chopsticks. The Hanshin Tigers could use a backup for Keiichi Hirano.

Commander_Nate
4 years 4 months ago

I’m thinking the same thing. If an MLB team doesn’t take him, Japan seems to be the logical choice.

$7562574
4 years 4 months ago

if he goes to japan, the pitchers will eat him alive with their inside(maybe body blow) fork balls. besides he is too good a prospect to go to japan. ha, ha!!!!!!!

TheHotCorner
4 years 4 months ago

I agree with you Tim. I would like to see him get 500 AB’s somewhere. Give him some consistent playing time and see what he can do. To a degree I feel he was mishandled by the Angels. Shipped up and down from MiLB and MLB and not given consistent playing time to work through things. Maybe he will always be a AAAA player but give the guy a chance and find out for sure. Remember they use to say the same thing about nelson cruz being a AAAA player and he has turned out ok (no I am not directly comparing Wood to Cruz).

4 years 4 months ago

He’s toast. It’s great that he was so good in A ball and AA, I mean I wish I hit that many minor league homeruns, since I have exactly zero. But lets be realistic, there is nothing in those major league totals that offers hope. Similar player in recent years = Andy LaRoche?

4 years 4 months ago

No one can use Brandon Wood. I don’t understand why we’re even asking the question. It’s so, so weird how a guy like this can keep getting chances.

4 years 4 months ago

I’m not sure what is so weird about it. He clearly has potential, was a high draft pick, and raked in the minors. People give him chances because they are hoping things will suddenly click at the ML level, and if they do, you all of sudden have a very talented, young player on your hands. For teams that can afford to gamble, it is almost always worth taking a flyer.

4 years 4 months ago

I wouldn’t normally invoke this, but have you seen Brandon Wood hit? He cannot hit, I’m telling you. How does he “clearly have potential”? Clear how? Because he hit a bunch of homers in Rancho Cucamonga or whatever a few years ago? I have watched Wood at the plate many, many times since then, and he can’t hit. I’m not saying he hasn’t, I’m saying he CAN’T.

Ray R
4 years 4 months ago

You take flyers on guys during Spring Training, not the regular season. Unless you’re committed to fielding a MiLB team (like the Pirates always seem to be).

bjsguess
4 years 4 months ago

Getting chances = 494 PA’s spread out over 4 seasons? A guy like Lastings Milledge has received over 1600 PA’s. That’s called getting a chance.

Also might have something to do with the fact that Brandon Wood has serious tools. Someone’s going to figure out what’s wrong with him and end up with a good ballplayer.

Todd Smith
4 years 4 months ago

Would like to see what Clint Hurdle could do with him.

mgsports
4 years 4 months ago

Phillies?
Cubs?

Jason Klinger
4 years 4 months ago

Phillies actually aren’t a stretch, since Rollins is in his walk year. But the Cubs have Castro at SS, and he’s legit, so what would they want with Wood?

4 years 4 months ago

The problem is that Wood sucks. In over 250 AB last year he had an OPS+ of 5. Five! That couldn’t just be bad luck. And looking at his defensive metrics, they are all horrible (SSS apply, of course).

bjsguess
4 years 4 months ago

Which defensive metrics are looking at?

Fangraphs and UZR peg him as slightly better than league average (0.4 UZR). Last year (when he saw the most playing time) he was at 1.8 UZR in essentially 1/3rd of a season of appearances. That’s not a large enough sample size to make any valid determinations but it does match up with the scouting reports that say he is more than passable at 3rd or SS.

Lunchbox45
4 years 4 months ago

Chances are if his hitting philosophy has been changed because of coaching.. ie he’s a grip it and rip it and Angels stress OBP and working counts.. his strengths have suffered..

Like when the twins tried to make Ortiz a oppo field hitter.

Not saying the Angels are to blame, just saying that a change of scenery AND a return to his old philosophy that used to make him sucessful may do him some good..

Let him work with Murphy and Cito for a little bit and see what happens.. if he still can’t hit then you waive him.

inkstainedscribe
4 years 4 months ago

Grip and rip it? He has Royals written all over him.

Lunchbox45
4 years 4 months ago

Royals have too many fantastic prospects to give this guy any AB’s

Wood would be perfect for a team that is lacking in position player prospects and is not contending..

If anything they might try to capitalize on Gordon’s hot start and move him while his value is high to make room for Mike Moustakas

MaineSox
4 years 4 months ago

Grip it and rip it sounds more like the Jays to me. Sorry Lunchbox.

BeatEmBucs
4 years 4 months ago

Isn’t going to hurt anything for the Pirates to give him a shot. They’re getting no production from the SS position and outside of Chase d’Arnaud, who has never done anything special at any level, there are no prospects close to being big league ready.

If it doesn’t work out, they cut him loose as well. No harm in hoping that a change of scenery might work out for the guy.

Rallie Munkee
4 years 4 months ago

I like your comment: “I’d like to see a non-contending team install Wood as the starting shortstop and just let him rip for 500 plate appearances.”

Unfortunately for Brandon, that has RARELY been the case with the incredibly dense revolving door line-ups philosophy of Mike Scioscia. M.S. has ALWAYS put him behind first Figgins, a poorer fielding 3Bman(?) and then either Izturis, ( A so-so defender.) or E-Bar, ( THE most erratic SS ever to play?) because of his preference for tiny ( 5’8″, or less.) “contact” hitters, over a potential bopper like Wood. ( Scioscia’s unbelievable preference for Mathis, over Napoli, is a similar example of his stubborn, numb-skullish, “I don’t care what the fans think! I’ll play who I want to” demeanor.)

The simple fact is that even when Brandon has done well for a period of time – see October/September of 08, as soon as a fragile doinkster came back off the DL, he was stuck back on the pine. When E-Bar came back that season – prematurely, it would appear – Erick went on to one of the worst playoffs in recorded history – along with Figgins, while Brandon didn’t even make the playoff squad.

Just for disclosure, yes, I DO think that Mike Scioscia is THE most overrated manager in MLB history. OK with getting his small ball teams to the playoffs – usually, but woeful getting them deep into the playoffs, without a perfect storm of luck, like in 2002.

kbb102
4 years 4 months ago

Or 2005, or 2009. Um, that’s weird.

kbb102
4 years 4 months ago

Also, Figgins was an incredible defender at third and was an integral part of the line-up. Brandon had his chance last year. He was horrendously bad.

bjsguess
4 years 4 months ago

Exactly right about the horrible defender thing. There’s plenty to criticize about Mr Glass (aka Chone Figgins) but picking on his GG caliber defense at 3rd or his offensive contributions at lead-off are not the examples you will want to cite.

Figgins routinely contributed 3-5 WAR during most of Wood’s years when he came up. You can’t sit that type of production just to give Wood a chance to play.

As for Scioscia being over-rated … the Angels consistently outperform their pythg. They are routinely cited as being innovative in their approach. Their success over the past decade is right up there with the Red Sox or Yankees. The team has played poorly in the post-season but as most have figured out, the post-season is a crap-shoot of who gets hot when – as opposed to who really is the best team in baseball over a full year.

$7562574
4 years 4 months ago

along with corrupt umpires, i might add.

4 years 4 months ago

Out of all the infielders you mentioned, Wood is by far the worst defensively. He made a few great plays at 3B but follows them up with lame efforts on bunts or not even trying for the ball on grounders in the hole. When he dives for a ball it looks like he’s doing a belly-flop into a swimming pool and frankly to me he looked like a complete dork most times. For a tall guy he has almost no range and his throws to first were very inconsistent and lacked release quickness and velocity. He did seem to be ok tagging runners out. If his defense was any good the Angels would have kept him.

rockfordone
4 years 4 months ago

Real Answer – None

4 years 4 months ago

The Brewers still have Betancourt at SS and no one other than Crag Counsell to offer depth. The SS cupboard is absolutely bare in the minors.

I say Brewers.