Brandon Wood #2 of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits an RBI single.
Image from Baseball-Reference.com, click to enlarge.
Wood played in parts of five seasons with the Angels, the majority being in 2010. Except for a cup of coffee last season, a majority of Trumbo's ABs have been in consistent playing time this season. Wood is only nine months older than Trumbo and both were drafted out of high school a year apart ('03, ''04). Wood rode the hype of being an earlier draft selection and having some monster seasons in the low minors to the AAA-MLB shuttle while Trumbo labored in the minors working on his defense at a low-priority position.
Wood's glove made him appear much more valuable but the rap on both power hitters was the same: no walks, too many Ks. Considering all the hype Wood garnered and the complete absence of hype that Trumbo ever received along the way, the numbers at the major league level are shocking:
In the same number of ABs an Angel, Trumbo has 39 more hits, 18 more doubles, 13 more HRs.
The number that really sticks out, though, is Trumbo's 49 fewer strikeouts. For all the Brandon Wood hype, his K numbers were routinely forgiven with a "yes-but" while Trumbo's were always stated as his biggest hurdle to the bigs along with a terrible glove. Trumbo struck out 19% of the time in the minors while Wood's K rate was 23%. It begs a few questions:
- Is four percent a big enough disparity by which the grand poobah prospect-rankers can be exonerated for overrating one player who busted and underrating another who seems to be holding his own in the Rookie of the Year conversation?
- If the excuse an analyst could give is based in the theory of how prospects get on and stay on the radar, is analytical theory useless next to the results?
- Does Angels batting coach Mickey Hatcher get any blame for Wood faltering and/or credit for Trumbo excelling?
The disparity between hype and results is certainly not just in the different defensive positions these two played.