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John's Favorite Hitting Prospect: Brandon Wood

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John's Favorite Top Hitting Prospect: Brandon Wood

I love Angels shortstop prospect Brandon Wood. Not because of his 51 doubles, or his 43 homers, or his 115 RBI, or his .321 average, or his .672 slugging percentage at Rancho Cucamonga. And not because of his early Arizona Fall League performance: .5-for-17 (.294) with three homers.

No, I like Wood for purely selfish and personal reasons.

As many of you know, each season I do a "Shadow Draft" parallel to the real draft, where I pretend I'm the Minnesota Twins and do my own draft in real time with the actual draft. It's a useful intellectual exercise, forcing me to research lots of players, and it's fun, too. Here is my Shadow Draft from 2003.


  1. Brandon Wood, SS, Horizon HS, Scottsdale, Arizona
  2. *Scott Baker, RHP, Oklahoma State University
  3. Tony Richie, C, Florida State University
  4. Eddie Kim, 1B, James Madison University
  5. Jeff Cook, OF, University of Southern Mississippi
  6. Luke Appert, 2B, University of Minnesota
  7. Daryl Thompson, RHP, La Plata HS, La Plata, Maryland
  8. Jamie Vermilyea, RHP, University of New Mexico
  9. Tila Reynolds, SS, University of Washington
  10. Michael Brown, OF, College of William and Mary
  11. Jose Cortez, C, University of Pomona-Pitzer
  12. Mikela Olsen, OF, Sacramento State University
  13. Greg Conden, RHP, George Washington University
  14. Matthew Pali, OF, Florida Atlantic University
  15. Ed Maysonet, SS, Delta State University
  16. Leo Rosales, RHP, Cal State Northridge
  17. Travis Garcia, SS, Iona College
  18. D'Ante Brinkley, OF, Southwest Missouri State University
  19. Josh Sharpless, RHP, Allegheny College
  20. Antoin Gray, 3B, Southern University
  21. Chad Prosser, SS, University of North Carolina
  22. Frank Scott, SS, Florida A&M University
  23. Ben Morgan, OF, Florida A&M University
  24. Evan Zupancic, OF, Tufts University
  25. Tyson Hanish, SS, University of Northern Iowa
  26. Josh Bolen, OF, University of Louisville
  27. Heath Anderson, C, Pensacola JC
  28. Jesse Collins, C, University of North Florida
  29. John Rumsey, OF, San Diego Mesa JC
  30. Travis Kalin, SS, Bishop Moore HS, Orlando, FL
  31. Larry Jones, OF, Baldwin County HS, Minette, Alabama
I picked Wood in the first round instead of actual Twins pick Matt Moses after comparing them on video. It looked to me like Wood had a lot more power potential and offensive ability than the scouts thought. I loved his swing and his bat speed and his athleticism, and he just looked like a better player to me than Moses did.

I've been doing this Shadow Draft since 1993, and I've made my share of bonehead mistakes. But I'm extremely happy that I picked Wood. For purely selfish reasons, he is my current favorite minor league prospect.