Fan sites and media outlets have been fairly uniform this year in blasting the Angels for not calling up Brandon Wood. I’d love to see Brandon in the big leagues too, but some quick number crunching I did today suggests that the Angels might actually know what they’re doing (something certain people on those sites will never admit).
I’ve written many times over the years about how Salt Lake numbers need to be taken in context. You can’t go with simple home/road splits, because other PCL parks are super hitter-friendly. Salt Lake, Albquerque, Las Vegas, Colorado Springs and Reno all distort a batter’s true performance. So when I write the FutureAngels.com Top 10 Prospects report each November, you’ll see me do a split analysis on Salt Lake batters you don’t see anywhere else — those five ballparks versus the rest of the league. It usually turns out to be an accurate assessment.
I did that analysis today on Wood’s numbers this year at Salt Lake. Here are his AVG/OBP/SLG:
Hitter-Friendly: .338/.415/.669 (147 TPA)
Other: .178/.255/.400 (51 TPA)
Hmmm … Seems the Angels maybe knew something after all.
Sam Miller at the Orange County Register suggests the “Other” sample may be too small. That’s true, but as I pointed out over there the Bees play a disproportionate number of their games in those five super hitter-friendly parks, so you’re never going to get a big enough “Other” sample to satisfy your desire for more data.
Extra for experts … I did the same for recently promoted Sean Rodriguez. Here are the results:
Hitter-Friendly: .276/.345/.645 (171 TPA)
Other: .264/.381/.604 (63 TPA)
Some dropoff is naturally to be expected, but this analysis shows far more consistency from Sean regardless of ballpark.