For all the youngsters the Angels have mixed into their lineup over the last couple years -- Casey Kotchman, Howie Kendrick, Mike Napoli, Reggie Willits, Jeff Mathis, Erick Aybar, Kendry Morales -- the best one could be yet to come.
He's Brandon Wood, the slugger converted this season from shortstop to third base.
"I think he's going to be a superstar," said Jim Eppard, who coached him this year at triple-A Salt Lake. "He's got that kind of power, and he's so young."
Wood, 22, hit .272 at Salt Lake. He led Angels minor leaguers with 23 home runs, even spotting everyone else a month because the Angels called him up four times during the minor league season. In the last three seasons -- one each at Class A, double A and triple A -- he has 91 home runs and 120 doubles.
He cut down on his strikeouts, from once every 3.0 at-bats last year to once every 3.6 at-bats this year. The Angels moved him from shortstop to third base in spring training, hoping he could emerge as an option to start at third in 2008.
Eppard considers that a viable option, even with Wood's limited experience at third base.
"It would definitely be learning on the job, no doubt about it," Eppard said. "Would he be better served by having another year in triple A? A lot of guys would be. He's talented enough. He would take his lumps and figure it out."
And what would be a realistic projection for home runs next season?
"I think 20 would be a good number to shoot for," Eppard said. "I think he could be a premier guy by the time his career is over."
For the Angels, 20 home runs would come in mighty handy. They have one player with that many -- Vladimir Guerrero, who has 25.
Reliever Dustin Moseley avoided "SportsCenter" Sunday night and Monday morning. In the Angels' 9-7 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Sunday, Moseley gave up Jim Thome's 500th career home run -- a walk-off, at that.
"I knew it was probably going to be on ESPN, so I didn't even watch," Moseley said. "As a pitcher, when you put negative things in your head, it can have an effect on you."
Moseley said he threw too many consecutive fastballs to Thome. He did not want to walk him and move the winning run into scoring position with none out, he said, but he could have tried another pitch, or tried to throw a fastball on the corners. He would have taken his chances walking Thome and trying to induce a double play from the following batter, Paul Konerko.
"I learned a big thing from it," Moseley said. "You don't necessarily have to give in."
Guerrero (triceps inflammation) started his seventh consecutive game at designated hitter, and Gary Matthews Jr. (sprained ankle) sat out his sixth consecutive game. During this series, Manager Mike Scioscia said, Guerrero would not return to the outfield and Matthews would not return to the lineup.
Scioscia rested outfielder Willits, who had started 11 consecutive games. Nathan Haynes started in center field, his first start since the second game of an Aug. 17 doubleheader.
The Angels' pregame notes listed Bartolo Colon as Wednesday's starter, but Scioscia said he would not announce whether Colon or Ervin Santana would start until today.