Is Brandon Wood Finding the On Switch?




Is Brandon Wood no longer lost?

A few weeks ago,  we told you that we were tired of the Brandon Wood experiment. 

We wrote the following when the Pirates made the waiver claim for Brandon Wood:

 the owner of the local baseball card shop was pumped. We laughed at him and expressed our doubts. He scoffed as he scrambled to find Wood rookie cards that he could move into the Pirates display case.

Now let’s get something staight. Once Wood put on the Pirates black and gold we have been firmly behind him. But the fact he has been an out machine is wearing on our fanhood.

Brandon Wood has been as advertised.

The thought process of the Pirates brass was a good one. Brandon Wood fills a need. He’s inexpensive. Low Risk. Josh Harrison isn’t ready. Chase d’Arnaud isn’t ready. The option of Josh Rodriguez failed.

But looking at Brandon Wood for the next couple of weeks seems like a failure as well. We know the past few weeks have been which is evident about 80% of the time he steps to the plate.

We understood the reasoning behind the Wood move.  So let’s take a look at what he has achieved now that Chase d’Arnaud is arriving tomorrow in Pittsburgh.

The month of April for Brandon Wood:  .160/222/240

The month of May for Brandon Wood:  .184/245/224

The month of June for Brandon Wood:  .292/320/438

In April and May, Wood combined for 24 strikeouts in 74 at-bats.  He had two doubles, no triples or homers.

In June, Wood has 10 strikeouts in 48 at-bats.  He has two double and two homers.

But what we have noticed recently is he is hitting line drives.  Even some of the outs have come via line drives from Wood. 

Are you convinced?  We aren’t.  Wood has generated the slugging by murdering fastballs.  But at least he hasn’t looked lost at the plate as he has dropped his K% to 27.9%, the lowest he has ever had in MLB (damn that’s bad.)  There are some signs that Wood is at least starting to find out where the light switch is.  That’s better than what happened in April and May. 

TAv is something called true average that is used by Baseball Prospectus. It is corrected for league offensive level, quality, the stat also factors in the parks in which the hitter has played. If a player is around .300 the player is really good. If a player has a  TAv of .260 they would be  league average.

Wood who had one of the lowest TAv in history has also raised it to .221.  Look out. 

Oh by the way, the Brandon Wood baseball card selection has changed.  Ten cards of Wood from his rookie season are now on the top shelf of the card store.  Maybe the dust will get worn off if Wood keeps hitting? 

We have to believe Chase d’Arnaud being in the Pirates dugout will only help the Pittsburgh Pirates and maybe it will push Brandon Wood more as playing time is up for grabs until Pedro Alvarez returns.

 [FanGraphs]

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Dejan photo of Bob Nutting talking about hitting or the size of the fish Wood could catch.

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