Happy Birthday Brandon Wood

By MJ Lloyd

Richard Brandon Wood was born on March 2, 1985 in Austin, Texas. Wow, Wood is already 27-years-old. Time must really fly when you can’t recognize off speed pitches. I kid because I love. April 19, 2011 was a sad day for me. It all came crashing to a halt. The Angels ended the Brandon Wood era by DFA’ing him to activate Erick Aybar. I basically eulogized Wood at Off Base Percentage. Wood hit .284/.352/.536 with 161 home runs over his eight seasons in the minors. He made it as high as Baseball America’s number three prospect in 2006 after he hit 43 home runs at High-A in 2005. We’ll always have the minors…

The 23rd overall pick in 2003 hit .168/.197/.259 with 153 strikeouts and 13 walks in 464 plate appearances with the Angels over five seasons. I’d say I broke fewer than a dozen lawn chairs in frustration over that time. Not too shabby considering I wasn’t quite the




keyboard masher I am today.

Going in to the 2011 season, my confidence in Wood was at an all time high. He worked on his swing with Yankees hitting instructor Kevin Long. Wood was in good shape and looking to put together a strong season. This would be his breakout year! I was so confident I sponsored Wood’s Baseball Reference page. At first, I didn’t see the connection. See, I had come down with a severe case of delusion in February 2011.

Wood struck out eight (8!) times in his first 15 plate appearances before he was DFA’d last season. In Wood’s final game as an Angel, he reached base on an error during a 15-4 beatdown by the Rangers. Wood hit .220/.277/.347 with 65 strikeouts and 19 walks for the Pirates during the remainder of the 2011 season. Signs of improvement? Wood took more walks in his 99 games with the Pirates than he did in the 173 with the Angels. Probably not. He was granted free agency on November 2.

Wood signed a minor league contract with the Rockies on November 17. I’m pretty sure this is the season he hits 25 bombs. I mean, Coors Field. Of course, my delusion usually flairs up this time of year.

Regardless of my unconditional and irresponsible love for Brandon Wood, my sponsorship of his Baseball-Reference page will expire before Spring Training ends. It’s the end of an era. Get this. His page costs $40 more this year than it did last season when he was actually on a Major League team. Pretty sure it has something to do with rising oil prices.

This was probably too many words about Brandon Wood. If you made it this far, come on over for his birthday party. I’ll have a Fudgie the Whale, a Cookiepuss and a cardboard cutout of Brandon wearing a party hat.