Brandon Wood to play winter ball ... in Arizona
Brandon Wood, whose offensive struggles cost him the Angels' third-base job in July, has settled on his winter ball plans, and they won't require any trips to Latin America.
The Angels infielder, who had less-than-rewarding winter-ball experiences in the Dominican Republic and Mexico, will return to the Arizona Fall League, which is usually reserved for Class-A and double-A prospects on the way up to the big leagues, not players who have already reached the big leagues.
A resident of Scottsdale, Ariz., Wood led the Arizona Fall League in home runs (14) and runs batted in (32) in 2005. Wood is also engaged to be married on Dec. 4 and thought it would be best to play winter ball at home.
"It’s about getting at-bats, working on my swing and my stance, and I didn’t think it was necessary to go to the Dominican Republic to do that," Wood said. "The AFL season is four or five weeks. I can get 100 at-bats. It will be good for me."
Will Wood, who is hitting .165 with three homers and 12 RBIs in 63 games for the Angels, have to swallow his pride a bit to play in the AFL?
"If it was a pride thing I would go to the Dominican," Wood said. "I know I’m not going to the fall league as a prospect who is making the next step on the way up. I’m going somewhere that is 15 minutes away from my house and getting at-bats. It will be more comfortable."
Photo: Angels infielder Brandon Wood gets ready for batting practice at Angel Stadium earlier this month. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times