SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Where does Brandon Wood stand with only 10 games remaining in Spring Training?
Nobody knows, including the Angels' versatile infielder with the booming bat and multiple skills.
"I'm just putting it out of my mind and playing the game, having fun," Wood said. "I've been feeling good lately, and I want to keep it that way. I'm not going to start worrying about things that are out of my control."
2010 Spring Training - Los Angeles Angels
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Sights & Sounds
Spring Training Info
Wood clearly has found a confident stroke that was not in display last season when he crashed with a .146 batting average in 81 games, producing four homers and 14 RBIs. This came from a guy who in consecutive Minor League seasons delivered 43, 25, 23, 31 and 22 homers.
The extensive work he did over the winter, after a strong performance in the Arizona Fall League, has paid dividends in terms of helping him stay more balanced, focusing on firing off his lower half.
He has not been burying himself in counts trying to be selective, and he no longer is lunging at pitches out of the strike zone.
The result: two homers, a double, triple, two singles and a walk in his past 12 plate appearances entering Sunday's game. His drives have gone foul line to foul line, suggesting he is staying back and not over committing, his major issue last year when he pressed to overcome a slow start and only made it worse.
What we've seen this spring is the confident Brandon Wood who scorched the Minor Leagues, not the confused Brandon Wood who struggled so painfully last season.
"I came to camp with an attitude that I was going to enjoy playing the game again, and it has made a big difference," he said. "I got too caught up in things last year that didn't help me. I'm not trying to be anybody else now. Just me, who I am."
Wood's defense has been superb all spring. He's made two plays in the past three games that reflected not only excellent range at shortstop, but a firm command of game conditions in starting a big ninth-inning double play from third base on Friday.
Wood also has shown that he's faster than some think, legging out a triple on a ball that got to the wall in right center quickly on Wednesday.
Since he is out of Minor League options, as he was last year, Wood cannot be sent down without passing through waivers. It's hard to believe one of the other 29 clubs wouldn't claim an athlete with his obvious upside, in spite of his struggles last year.
With Maicer Izturis and Alberto Callaspo also at third base, with Erick Aybar and Izturis at shotstop and with Mark Trumbo behind Kendrys Morales at first, Wood might be no better than No. 3 on manager Mike Scioscia's private depth chart.
Having endured a rough patch, Wood is now hitting .255 with a .553 slugging percentage and .300 on-base percentage this spring.
Callaspo, Wood's primary competition for a job with Izturis assured of a role, has a slash line of .297/.378/.297.
Wood poses a dilemma for the Angels. They have invested considerable time and money in his development, and they'd obviously hate to see him go elsewhere and become a productive Major League player. Yet they might decide they have no choice.
Scioscia was noncommittal in addressing Wood's status on Sunday before the Angels faced the Rockies.
"He's working to show he's better prepared for a second shot," Scioscia said. "It's going to depend on what the roster looks like moving forward.
"He's put his best foot forward the last 20 at-bats. In the field, also. He's played well at third and short. He's doing what he can do.
"The last 10 days, there's going to be a lot of competition for roster spots. There's a lot of versatility on our team we might have to tap into."
With Kendrys Morales bound for the disabled list to open the season, Wood's ability to play first -- he has handled it capably in six Major League games -- could play to his benefit.
On the other hand, nobody really knows -- including Wood, whose only recourse at this point is to play the game and let the chips fall where they may.
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.