Friday, June 13, 2014
Remember Brandon Wood? Wait, maybe we should start from the beginning. Remember 2003? It was 11 years ago so my memories might be fuzzy. I believe George Bush captured Saddam Hussien during a bicycle race in France for a cancer charity? And Guy Ritchie destroyed a once promising career by making Swept Away because Madonna became British. Also, the Angels selected Brandon Wood with the 23rd pick of the Rule 4 draft. In 2005, Wood hit 43 home runs for High A Rancho Cucamonga and entered 2006 as Baseball America's third overall prospect. It was a simpler time. And maybe breaking balls didn't exist in the minors yet.
It didn't go downhill immediately. Wood made his Major League debut in 2007 and hopes were still high. Then it fell apart. Brandon Wood ended up with 751 plate appearances in the Bigs and was last seen around Pittsburgh in 2011. Career slash? .186/.225/.289 with a 29% strikeout rate. It was ugly. And if this feels a bit like an obituary, it shouldn't. I have been one, if not the biggest, Brandon Wood supporter. I have proof. But if that slash line isn't baseball nightmare fuel enough, Wood just posted a .098/.156/.159 in 90 plate appearances at Independent League, Sugar Land. Mmmm, Sugar Land. Turns out the Sugar Land Skeeters are in Houston and not downtown Diabetesville, Mississippi. Either way, the Skeeters released Brandon Wood on June 1 according to this transaction page that apparently exists.
Now, I've never played competitive baseball but I assume getting cut from an Independent Baseball club is the equivalent to being kicked off of the beer league bowling team. That uses bumpers. At 29-years-old, being released from an Independent League team should signal the end of the career from a legit former prospect. It's sad. And disappointing. What's next? He should file for unemployment. According to a 2012 Baseball America article, Independent League players could make up to $600 per month. That's a lot of cans of tuna. Provided he moves back in with his parents.
While this news does make me sad, for serious, I'm looking forward to the savings Brandon Wood will be able to get me when I buy a new Kia Spectra if he makes it through the training period at that dealership.