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Brandon Wood Received Hitting Advice From Yankees Coach Kevin Long

Brandon Wood admitted earlier this week that he sought out hitting tips from Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long.  He also as you would expect said the fact that he reached out to Long was not an indication of any displeasure with Angels hitting coach Mickey Hatcher. Really Brandon? That’ s almost like the married man  cheating on his wife but professing his love for her and the marriage the next morning. If  Wood was happy with the Micks tutelage there would be no reason to cheat , which is in essence what he did by even speaking with Long. 

So what did Wood learn from his chats with the Yanks hitting mentor ? Should Halo fans expect to see the lively bat Wood showed in the minors , or  just more of the over matched flailing we saw in 2010?

There was one alarming quote from Brandon himself in the article.

” There’s a big difference between the swing I had in 2005, 2006 to last year,” Wood said. “It was the fear of striking out. With thoughts from talking to Mickey and everybody in the organization, I made adjustments to try and put the ball in play. It became more defensive”.

 Whether this is really the approach the Angels and Hatcher recommended for Wood to take is not important. The first rule of communication is that however the recipient interprets the message from the communicator determines what was said. So in Brandon Wood’s mind the Angels wanted him to become a contact hitter. I can all but guarantee neither Scioscia , Hatcher or anyone else with the Angels view Wood as a contact table setting type, but most times in 2010 that is how Wood appeared. He no longer attacked the strike zone nor set himself up in favorable counts where he could drive the ball and unleash the pop that saw him hit over 100 extra base hits in the Minors. Wood morphed into a singles hitter. Tallying only 6 extra base hits ( 4 Hr , 2 doubles)  in 226 at bats!

So what advice did Wood get to help him drive the ball again?  Wood said Long gave him some ideas to help shorten up his swing and better incorporate using  his lower half, which for most hitters is the key to driving the ball. Here’s hoping that Wood can utilize some of  Long’s advice and also that the Halos  re-communicate to him their desire for him to drive the baseball. I think Brandon’s comments make it clear that this point was not driven home.  If Wood can have a great spring he could go along way to earning some regular playing time at the start of the season.

Whether or not that’s a good thing is anyones guess.

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Tags: Brandon Wood Kevin Long

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  • Ed

    Scioscia and the Angels have really screwed up Brandon Wood. He should either have been in AAA playign full time or given a full time job in Anaheim. Young players cannot sit on the bench, play part time and mature. Look at Delmon Young. He had issues similar to Wood, but he was kept in to play everyday. Now he is blossuming into the player he was projected to be. Alberto Callaspo as your third baseman?? Are the Angel’s kidding. Wood should be given the job.

  • http://halohangout.com Kalup Alexander

    Hey Ed – You’re 100 % right. I think a lot of Wood’s struggles were due to the fact that the team waited a little too long to give him a shot at the everyday role..

    A couple things to note:

    1.Maicer Izturis will likely be the Angels 3rd basemen at least or until he gets hurt. At which point Callaspo and Wood could both earn the everyday role. If used correctly as a #2 hitter I think Maicer can be an asset.

    2. Wood has not shown anything at the big league level to just be handed the job though. He has to hit when it counts to earn playing time and he just hasnt done that to date.