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Newsletter Excerpt

An excerpt from today's John Sickels Baseball Newsletter (which you can order at Johnsickels.com) which I just sent out to subscribers via email.

A and H write: Why are the Angels leaving Brandon Wood in the California League? He would seem to have demonstrated in rather definitive fashion that he has mastered the league. Also, am I correct in thinking that Jon Zeringue has started to turn it around at Double-A?

How much does Wood have left to learn in the California League? Probably not much. .322/.386/.683, with 33 homers in 93 games. Hard to beat that, especially from a decent defensive shortstop. Even accounting for California League stat inflation, his progress has been remarkable this year. So why the promotion delay? Wood is still just 20. He went into a horrible slump in late July last year in the Midwest League, as he seemed to wear down in the humid Midwest air. He still has some occasional trouble with strike zone judgment, his defense still needs polish, and the Angels already have a good shortstop prospect at Double-A. So, right now, there are some legitimate reasons for them to be patient with him. Of course, I'd love it if Wood gets promoted to Arkansas in time for me to see him play next week,
Zeringue, playing outfield for Double-A Tennessee in the D-Backs system, is up to .267/.307/.371. He's raised his batting average lately, although his other numbers are still not impressive. His strikeout rate is down and he is making better contact, although his walk rate is still below average. I want to see more before concluding that he has turned things around permanently.