Friday, June 01, 2007

What's wrong with Brandon Wood?

Our top prospect is not hitting quite what we expected. After dominating the California league at age 20, he wasn't quite as good in AA, but still hit for a lot of power with a .276/.355/.552 line.

A lot of Angels prospects have done better in AAA than in AA over the years, thanks to great hitters parks and the PCL being even more of a hitters league than the Texas league. I was expecting big things from Wood, but so far he's only hit .234/.332/.401. The good news is his strikeouts are down a bit, 33% of his at bats last year, 29% this year.

Looking at Minor League Splits, his groundball percentage is up, 46% from 32%. His line drives are up 18% from 15%, while his popups are down to 5% from 13%. Flyballs are also down, 30% vs 41%.

Is this a conscious attempt to change on his part? Is he trying to level out his swing to avoid K's and popups? Or is it pitchers more skilled at keeping the ball down against him at this level? He's the type of hitter who needs to get the ball in the air, there aren't many extra bases on the ground. He still has a lot of work to do before he's ready for the majors, but the lower strikeout and popup percentages, plus the improved line drive percentage are all good signs, these are things he needs to do if he wants to hit above .250 in the big leagues.

Wood homered tonight, second night in a row, and is up to 7 on the year. Lets hope he stays hot for awhile.

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