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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

If You Didn't Know Better, You'd Swear Brandon Wood Sucked

Get a load of this Jim Shonerd piece at Baseball America on the top 20 prospects in the PCL, including this bit on Brandon Wood (#4):
Wood had a so-so season (by his lofty standards) in the PCL in 2007, and he slumped at midseason before hitting .333 with 18 homers over the final two months. But he failed to control the strike zone in three separate trips to the majors, getting regular playing time only when injuries riddled the Angels at shortstop.

Wood's best tool is undoubtedly his power. He's a great mistake hitter and can hit the ball out of any part of any park. However, he still has trouble laying off breaking pitches and he still strikes out too much. He'll probably never hit for a high average in the majors and often gets too pull-conscious.

After converting to third base in 2007, Wood went back to shortstop this year, the position he'd played his entire career. He has good instincts and enough range and arm strength to stay at short. He's an average runner.

Additionally, about Sean Rodriguez (#11):
A key component in Salt Lake's historic 23-2 run to start the season, Rodriguez slugged .567 in April and earned a ticket to the big leagues. He returned to Salt Lake in mid-June and proceeded to put up a scalding hot month of July, hitting .340/.398/.738 with 10 home runs and 26 RBIs.

Rodriguez packs a lot of power in his stocky 6-foot-1, 215-pound frame. Opposing mangers praised his toughness at the plate, his ability to foul off good pitches and always be a difficult out. He was more consistent and disciplined at the plate than he had been in the past.

Though he has below-average speed, Rodriguez has enough range to play second base and has developed into a reliable defender, committing just four errors in 66 games with the Bees. He has played every position but pitcher, catcher and first base as a pro, and could become an offensive-minded regular who shuttles among several spots, in the mold of Tony Phillips.

"We didn't expect the ball to come off his bat like it does," Tacoma manager Darren Brown said. "He looks like he's going to be a good player both defensively and offensively."

... and Nick Adenhart (#19):
Adenhart went 4-0, 0.87 in his first five Triple-A starts before the Angels made a much-debated decision to give him a big league start on only three days of rest. He lasted just two innings against the Athletics, got hit hard in two subsequent major league starts and then struggled for the remainder of the season in Triple-A.

When he's on, Adenhart pounds the lower half of the strike zone with a 90-94 mph fastball, a hard-breaking slider and a sinking changeup. Most PCL observers remained positive about his upside, even after his command deserted him when he came back from the majors.

Pitching in the altitude at Salt Lake's Covey Field didn't help him, but too often he simply wasn't able to execute enough pitches to get himself out of jams. One scout who saw Adenhart during his struggles said he needed to pitch to contact more, and that he got too predictable whenever he fell behind in the count.

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