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Jake's Take: Cajun Deja Vu

Many of the readers here should already know that I'm probably the biggest Reid Brignac fan who isn't related to him or from his hometown. I've been a fan of him since we signed him to a contract and I've been hyping him every minute since then. In his debut season, he didn't need that much hype...he did that himself. He was a hitting machine that no pitcher in the Rookie Leagues or in the Sally League playoffs could figure out. His first full season wasn't as awe-inspiring as his debut, but he put up decent numbers(at a young age)while playing in a pitcher-friendly Midwest League.

Doing some research(you should be afraid, I did research), I found another minor league short-stop who had similar stats in the same levels that Briggy played in. That minor leaguer would be Angels Uber-prospect Brandon Wood. Very similar body-frames and both with potential to build muscle mass to their frames without hindering their hitting ability.

Brandon Wood, SS, Anaheim Angels
Debut Season(2003) Stats-
Games: 61
Hits: 69
Runs: 39
2B: 21
3B: 4
HR: 5
RBIs: 44
Walks: 20
Strikeouts: 63
Batting Avg.: .293
OBP: .349
Slg %age: .469
OPS: .817

Reig Brignac, SS, Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Debut Season(2004) Stats-
Games: 28
Hits: 42
Runs: 19
2Bs: 5
3B: 2
HR: 1
RBIs: 30
Walks: 10
Strikeouts: 12
Batting Avg.: .431
OBP: .473
Slg %age: .523
OPS: .996

Head-to-Head Comparison: Reid's avg/obp/slg were significantly better than Woods because of the lower amount of games played. Reid also showed better plate discipline in the short time as well. Wood had a better knack for getting XBHs, in rookie league, as well.

Now onto their first full seasons...

Brandon Wood
First Full Season(2004, MWL) Stats-
Games: 125
Hits: 120
Runs: 65
2Bs: 30
3B: 5
HR: 11
RBIs: 64
Walks: 46
Strikeouts: 117
Batting Avg.: .251
OBP: .322
Slg %age: .404
OPS: .726

Reid Brignac
First Full Season(2005, MWL) Stats-
Games: 127
Hits: 135
Runs: 77
2Bs: 29
3B:  2
HR: 15
RBIs: 61
Walks: 40
Strikeouts: 131
Batting Avg.: .264
OBP: .319
Slg %age: .416
OPS: .735

Head-to-Head Comparison: Same Age, Same League and the stats almost mirror each other. Briggy had more hits, a better batting average, better OPS, more runs and more HRs. Wood had a slightly better OBP and more RBIs. Both had lapses in their plate discipline and the increased amount of Ks indicated that. Briggy showed to be still raw, but his statistics still showed he was a little more advanced than Wood was at that time.

Notes & Opinions:Brandon was moved to the Cali league in his 2nd year, where he crushed 43 HRs and hit 101 total XBHs. He turned into one of the best slugging prospects in minor league baseball and is on the cusp of making it to the majors in less than a year.

Briggy is expected to be moved to the Cali League for his 2nd season. It's up to him whether or not he will learn from his 1st season the same way that Brandon did from his. I don't see a 40 HR season out of Reid, but I see a good enough offensive season to silence all of his doubters. However, I wouldn't be surprised at all if Reid put up a 30+ HR season with the way that the Cali League is to hitters.  

(Stats used were courtesy of "The Baseball Cube")