Brandon Wood and Nick Franklin

G-Moneyball pointed out Brandon Wood as a cautionary tale on Nick Franklin, and buried in a 75-hour workweek, we asked if anybody cared to comp their K:BB:PA.  

Matty did us the favor:

At 19, Brandon Wood K'ed 117 times and walked 46 times in 535 PA (478 AB)

That's a K/AB of 0.245, a K/BB of 2.54 and a BABIP of .293 (that's in A ball, where the league average BABIP is .335!)...he wasn't making real solid contact even when he did make contact.

Nick Franklin at age 19 fanned 120 times and walked 49 times in 556 PA (496 AB)

That's a K/AB of 0.242, a K/BB of 2.45 and a BABIP of .321 (in a league with an average BABIp of .328)...There's no problem with Franklin making good contact...and his K/BB peripherals are a notch better than Wood's at the same time. Franklin is pretty clearly ahead of Wood.

It's gotta be hard for a big swinger like Wood to BABIP .293 in the low minors, even if he's trying.  :- )


=== Evil Captain Kirk Dept. ===

Still, those K:BB:AB are as mirror-image as you are going to find.  Run Wood himself, through his age-19 season again, in a computer sim, and he won't give you as surgically-precise a reconstruction as Nick Franklin just did. 

Brandon Wood and Nick Franklin, that's a whale of a good comp by G.  Bearing in mind that Wood is, of course, a right hand hitter, and has to deal with the sinker-slider game from 75-80% of the game's pitchers.


Needless to say, you take 100 Woods, Franklins and Shlabotniks (with the same K:BB:AB) and at 25, you're going to see everything from Vlad Guerrero to ... well, to Brandon Wood. 

As noted several times in the thread ... there are any number of reasons for an 0.40 EYE or 0.25 K:PA or what have you.  Juan Gonzalez fanned 431 times against only 145 walks in the minor leagues, and it wasn't because he wasn't going to hit.

We well remember a James comment on Igor in the late 80's as he was coming up -- remember, this was before EYE was a common tool -- and Bill said of the minor-league Juan Gone: 

He's going to be a cleanup hitter.  Just the same, he's not my kind of player.  His strikeout totals are going to be enormous, and he won't have the OBP to make up for it.

Or somesuch.  James' point, talking to a very raw audience in 1988-1990 who barely appreciated OBP, was that Gonzalez was going to be a legit All-Star, but in a template that James at the time was educating the public against.

An EYE of 0.40 for a blue-chipper isn't a death sentence.  It's one piece of evidence against him.  When the kid is playing way over his level, in a first year, it's not a very important piece.  If Franklin is, two years from now, at an 0.30-0.40 EYE in AA, some of the sheen will be off.


=== Dr's Prognosis Dept. ===

Wood serves as the 10th-percentile outcome for this kind of player, in my view.  Not 1st-percentile:  Wood did make the big leagues.  G-Money's point is as solid as a rock:  some 19-year-old hotshots turn into Brandon Wood.

If Pitch got a minute, it would be interesting to hear what the pitcher-batter problem has been on Wood.


While the K:BB:AB -- the strike zone management -- are delightfully exact, let's bear in mind two points:

  1. The 19-year-old Franklin outhit the 19-year-old Wood, by far.   Franklin hit 280/350/480 with 22 homers ; Wood hit 250/320/400 with 11 homers.
  2. Brandon Wood is one of the most highly-regarded prospects of the last 5-10 years.

Wood was a #83 BA prospect after his age 19 season; then he hit 40+ homers the next year and became the slam-glam kid, a #1-5 BA prospect.

As Matt noted, the strike zone management between Wood and Franklin was exactly, exactly the same.  But Franklin, at age 19, did loads more with the ball when he connected.

After Wood's admirable age-19 season, he tore baseball to shreds at age 20.  Wouldn't mind seeing Franklin go for 40 jacks next year.



Dr D


Anonymous's picture

"But Franklin, at age 19, did loads more with the ball when he connected."
Is there any number to prove it ?


Wood's 2005 is really a different thing...and not yet a cautionary tale, I think.  He exploded that year with 43 HR's and 51 doubles in Rancho Cucamonga, A+ ball.  He had a brief cup of team in AAA Salt Lake at the end of that year.  Great numbers, but I suspect RC is a desert-type hitters park.  Any help here?
Following that year he had good, but not necessarity terrific AA and AAA seasons. (Compare his Salt Lake seasons with teammate Kendry Morales and you get to see the difference between a real AAA prospect and one with inflated value becasue of one outlier burst of power). Wood may well yet become a good, but not terrific MLB hitter.  That's a reminder that he really only has the equivalent of a single MLB season of experience.  However, Wood has shown a striking ML tendency to swing at everything and not make contact.  He swings at 38% of the O-Swing MLB pitches he sees and makes contact only 56% of the time. Z-Swing numbers are 69%/80%
Now, compare that to Josh Wilson who has OSwing numbers of 31%/62% and Z-Swing's of 69%/91% .  MIchael Saunders' are 27%/49% and 60%/88%.  Wood swings much more often and meets the ball much less.
Franklin will hit next year.  But it is the year following, when he see's some borderline MLB arms that will be the one to watch carefully.  Will his EYE reveal itself as a continuing warning or will his ability square the ball continue?
Points to remember:
1. Woods may yet become a decent MLB hitter (especially for a MIF), although his swing and contact numbers need some real improvement.
2.  Woods jumped up the ratings chart becasue of one huge A+ season.  That doesn't really compare to the Franklin experience, yet.
3.  You can't really use the BAHIP #'s of the two plaers as 19 year olds for MUCH comparison, as there is a variablitly there that might not equal out over one season.
Franklin is riding a rocket ride now.  some of those fizzle.  Some hit the afterburners.  He's a long leveraging lefty.  I'm betting he isn't a total fizzle.

Anonymous's picture

The 19-year-old Franklin outhit the 19-year-old Wood, by far.   Franklin hit 280/350/480 with 22 homers ; Wood hit 250/320/400 with 11 homers.

RockiesJeff's picture

Comparisons are always great fun from size, strength, style, Eyem even looks! I fully agree that Franklin is thankfully no Wood. And that would still be true even if NF doesn't hit his 40 next year. Baseball is such a mental/skill sport that during the late teens, early 20's you can see guys moving to new levels and shocking to both the upside or the down. I love that Franklin was labeled on draft day as a gym rat. We all hope his hard work continues to pay off. Good to end the drought of bat through the minors! In the meantime, thanks for the comparisons. Gives hope to a rotten season!

JFro''s picture

is not a hitters park.  At least not in a way that could explain Wood's season.  It has a 111 HR factor for lefties and a 90 factor for righties.  


Like...for example...the BABIP figures already quoted above...the XBH rate?...the SLG?


Franklin got called up to AA today to replace Triunfel, who went on the DL. So far, he's 2-3 with three runs scored. :O You can't stop him, you can only hope to contain him.
Gonna have to get this kid a nick name...


Kind of hard to think of a number that *doesn't* prove that Franklin did more with the ball when he made contact.
Concept here, Anon, is this:  compare Ichiro's 2004 season and Vlad Guerrero's 1999 season.  They both managed the strike zone exactly the same way (K:BB:PA) ... but one slugged .450 and the other .600. 
Balls and strikes are one thing.  What happens when you hit the ball is another.
Compare Wood's and Franklin's age-19 seasons and you'll see that although K:BB:PA were the same, everything else wasn't.
Of course, it was at age 20 that Wood exploded.

OBF's picture

They let Franklin BREAK THE 49 YEAR ALL TIME HOME RUN RECORD for the Lumberkings before calling him up!  He hit 23 HRs for them!
Go Franklin!  Go M's!

Taro's picture

One important difference between Nick Franklin and Brandon Wood is the Infield fly%.
Brandon Wood career MilB IFF% = 13.8%
Nick Franklin career MilB IFFB% = 7.3%
Since NF's RH/LH splits are so extreme his numbers will probably improve once he ditches the RH swing.

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