Pirates GM Neal Huntington has an infatuation with former top prospects and he landed another one, claiming Los Angeles Angeles shortstop Brandon Wood off of waivers today.
Wood, the Angels No. 1 pick in 2003, was once regarded as one of baseballs top prospects. He was designated for assignment on Tuesday. Due to their being under 30 days into the 2011 season, the 2010 waiver rules applied and Pittsburgh had the first crack at Wood.
Wood’s numbers in the majors have been awful, batting .168 with 11 home runs and 33 RBI’s in 464 career at-bats. He has a career .197 on-base percentage.
In 14 at-bats in 2011, Wood is batting .143 with 0 homers and 0 RBI’s to go along with 8 strikeouts.
Wood, 26, has bounced around the majors for five seasons, seeing his most extensive action last season, appearing in a career high 81 games, hitting .146 with 4 home runs and 14 RBI’s in 226 at-bats.
He had 71 strikeouts and just 6 walks.
Wood’s best season for the Angels came in 2008 when he hit .200 with 5 home runs in 55 games. He was the Angels opening day third baseman in 2010, but went one to hit .146 with 10 errors.
So what will Wood’s role with the Pirates be?
He won’t be pushing Ronny Cedeno out of the starting lineup off the bat. The Pirates intend to use Wood in a super utility role, playing him at shortstop, third base, 1st base and second base when Neil Walker needs a night off.
Wood has struggled hitting off-speed pitches and one scout said Wood can’t hit a breaking ball if his life depended on it. However, some feel he’s a low risk move where a change of scenery could resurrect his career.
He came into the majors with a ton of offensive potential.
The Pirates tonight look to snap a three game losing streak against the Washington Nationals.
1. Andrew McCutchen, CF
2. Jose Tabata, LF
3. Lyle Overbay, 1B
4. Neil Walker, 2B
5. Garrett Jones, RF
6. Ryan Doumit, C
7. Pedro Alvarez, 1B
8. Ronny Cedeno, SS
9. Jeff Karstens, P