Will Angels' Wood ever develop?

Brandon Wood is struggling. Mike Scioscia's not ready to pull the plug, and (for obvious reasons) isn't going to tell us when he might pull the plug. Aaron Gleeman with a quick summary:

Wood has been a well-known and generally highly touted prospect since 2005, but his gaudy minor-league numbers are inflated by hitter-friendly environments and there were always questions about how his high strikeout rate combined with mediocre plate discipline would translate to the big leagues. So far the answer is "not well."

He has tons of power, but Wood has continued to swing at everything while making poor contact, and unlike against Double-A and Triple-A pitchers he hasn't been able to punish as many mistakes. He's certainly much better than he's shown thus far and the Angels are right to give him a longer leash, but even if Wood had adjusted quickly to the majors most projections pegged him as a Joe Crede-type player rather than a star.

I'm sure I've been a supporter over the years, maybe even a (non-dues-paying) member of the Free Brandon Wood Club. But Wood's MLEs -- his major league equivalencies -- have not been terribly impressive. Here are his MLEs for just the last three seasons, all with Triple-A Salt Lake:




(Source: Minor League Splits dot com)

To some degree, I knew that once you factored in the generally hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League and Salt Lake's hitter-friendly ballpark, Wood's numbers down there weren't real good. But a third baseman with a sub-.300 on-base percentage every year? The only thing he's got going for him is youth, which must be what led to his (slightly better) .239/.305/.435 PECOTA projection for this season.

Bottom line, Wood's MLEs and projections are impressive only compared to his .178/.210/.280 career line in the majors.

The other day I was looking at Wood's stats and I thought, "But Glenallen Hill struck out a ton in the minors and he made it!" True. But Glenallen Hill had a breakthrough in Triple-A when he was 24. Wood's been able to cut down the strikeouts some, but he's now 25 and still hasn't put it all together, even in Triple-A. I won't be surprised if he eventually has some decent seasons. I'll be surprised if one of them is 2010.