A first round selection from 2003, Brandon Wood quickly became the top prospect in the Angels system and was considered one of the best prospects in all of baseball after the 2005 season by Baseball America.
As a twenty-year-old in High-A ball, he hit .321/.383/.672, including a California League record 43 home runs, making scouts believe it was only a matter of time before the first round pick was making headway in the major leagues. He continued his impressive hitting in the 2005 Fall League, and then progressed through Double-A and Triple-A in 2006 and 2007.
After a brief stint in the majors in 2007, Wood finally found extended time with the Angels in 2008, and suddenly everything went wrong. The 6-foot-3 right-handed hitter, who had displayed so much power and poise in the minors, couldn’t buy a hit against big league pitching. Over 55 games, he batted .200/.224/.327, his confidence rattled.
Wood was given several chances by the Angels, most prominently in 2010 after they traded Chone Figgins to open up playing time for the tall third baseman. But Wood couldn’t get his mind right at the plate, batting .146 over 243 plate appearances that season.
Unfortunately, Wood suffered from anxiety and depression, making it nearly impossible for him to reach his peak performance. He was eventually released by the Halos in 2011 after five disappointing seasons.