Minor League Notes, June 3, 2010
**Dan Duffy Returns: As you might know, Royals pitching prospect Dan Duffy is returning to baseball, reporting to extended spring training in Arizona to round himself back into game condition. He was supposed to start the year in Double-A, and it will be interesting to see where he ends up being assigned. A few starts at High-A Wilmington to help him get his head together in a familiar environment might not be a bad idea, but if he throws well in extended, he could start off in the Texas League. I gave Duffy a Grade B in the book this year, and I don't see any particular reason to change that assessment: he's a very good prospect. Hopefully he has used the time off to solve whatever personal problems were causing him to question his devotion to the game. He's just 21, and we should cut him some slack for whatever angst he was going through.
**Brandon Wood has got to be one of the most frustrating players in baseball. Before going down to Triple-A for a rehab assignment for a strained hip flexor a few days ago, he was hitting a horrific .156/.168/.213 for the Angels, with two walks and 36 strikeouts in 122 at-bats. I have defended Wood in the past and I still think the Angels jerked him around too much over the last few years, but at this point I don't think he's ever going to figure things out without a drastic change of scenery. I don't blame the Angels at this point if they just give up.
I have seen Wood play a lot in the Texas and Pacific Coast Leagues. He is never going to hit for a high average and will always strike out a lot, but I know from personal observation that his plate discipline is not nearly this bad. I've seen him work counts quite successfully in the minors on multiple occasions against good pitching. I've seen him hit to the opposite field. I've seen him avoid unhittable breaking stuff. I've seen him make adjustments. Yet in the majors he just doesn't do it.
I have no specific knowledge here other than from seeing him play and looking at the numbers, but I wonder if he's just so messed up mentally right now that he's just not going to succeed in Anaheim. What say you, Angels fans?