Why is it Dallas McPherson is the name fans and insiders always seem to summon with respect to Brandon Wood and his attempt to replace Chone Figgins? It seems clear to your faithful correspondent that Troy Glaus is a more valid precedent to cite, if you really give it some thought.
Glaus was a tall, rangy shortstop who was moved to third base. He was more mature when he came to the Angels than Wood, signing out of UCLA, not Scottsdale Horizon High School, but there are a number of parallels.
Glaus could drive a ball out of any park known to man and brought the athleticism of a natural shortstop to the hot corner. That sums up Wood fairly well, I’d say.
Mike Scioscia doesn’t always agree with me, but the Angels’ manager did second my motion when I presented it this morning in our daily media get-together.
“There are probably more similarities with Troy than McPherson with Brandon,” Scioscia said. “Brandon’s taken a little different path, but they’re similar in ages. Brandon’s got a lot of power. One thing Troy brought was the ability to walk a lot. Troy was a special player.”
And Wood can be a special player…in time.
Glaus, in his first exposure to Major League pitching in 1998, struck out 51 times in 165 at-bats, batting .218 with one homer, 23 RBIs.
Breaking in as the full-time third baseman in ’99, Glaus hit .240 in 154 games with 29 homers, 79 RBIs. He struck out 143 times in 551 at-bats.
Those, it seems to me, are reasonably attainable numbers for Wood in what he plans to make his first full season in the big time.
Glaus, as we all know, went on to much bigger and better things, and McPherson, largely because of physical problems, fell short of fulfilling expectations as his replacement. Wood has no injury history to speak of, and appears to be in superb shape heading into camp.
The point is, this doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a process. Wood, a very smart young man, understands. All he wants is a chance with the hope that there is some patience shown.
Mike Schmidt’s early-career numbers weren’t much better than Glaus’, and neither were Brooks Robinson’s. A case can be made that those are the two greatest third basemen in history.