It was the winter of 2002. The Anaheim Angels just won the franchise’s first World Series. Vlad Guerrero still had three working legs. And a speedster with the most improbable spelling of Shawn was the team’s tenth man. Seven years later, the Angels metaphorically moved the team to Los Angeles. Vlad runs like he’s auditioning for Murderball. And the world still tries to figure out why Chone doesn’t rhyme with phone. Luckily, the Angels unloaded Rex Hudler before Chone Figgins went to the Mariners. Otherwise, there would’ve been some real man-tears. (Jose Mota can keep his emotions in check.) So Figgins gets to take his 5 homer, 40 steal self up to the Pacific Northwest. Nothing really changes for him in fantasy. Maybe a few less runs being in a slightly weaker lineup. Figgy do what he do. What I really want to talk about is Brandon Wood for 2010 fantasy baseball.
Like a kid in Porky’s, Wood appears to have finally found an opening. He is an extreme hacker. Last year, Wood stuckout 19 times in 18 games. That’s not just a small sample size talking (size doesn’t matter, so I’ve said), but that’s more or less what we’re looking at with Wood. If he gets in 140 games, he’ll K around that many times. But who cares because the boy has pop. He should easily hit 20 homers with every day playing time. How much above that he goes will be the deciding factor on how valuable he will be. If he can get to 30 homers, he’ll be a late round steal in fantasy leagues. If he only gets 22 homers and hits .250, then he’s waiver wire fodder. Late in drafts, he’s worth taking a flier on for that upside. Another bright side, Wood can handle shortstop and Scioscia’s not afraid to move people around and play him there. Wood may already have eligibility in some leagues at short, but not all. At shortstop, he’s definitely worth a flier in mixed leagues. Best case scenario, Wood gets shortstop eligibility, hits 30 homers and keeps his average around .260. Most likely scenario, he hits .240 and clubs 20 homers at third base. Either way, Brandon Wood is worth a flier in 12 team or deeper mixed leagues and all AL-Only and keeper leagues.