2020 Angels Draft: Who’s on the board?

For much of spring, there was little consensus on who the Angels were targeting with their first round pick. Across numerous mocks, over ten names were floated.

Draft prognosticators are acutely aware of the Angels’ needs – this is an organization with no impact starting pitching talent close to the Show beyond Patrick Sandoval and not a single catching prospect among its top 30. They are also aware of the team’s front office proclivities – a tendency to draft young, athletic position players up the middle (Adell, Adams, Marsh, Jackson) regardless of surplus at these positions. So many drafthounds have simply followed trails based on exhibited tendencies, with some agreement that the Angels final selection might come down simply to opportunity and who falls to them as the board clears.

Over the past week, however, a consensus has been developing around three names – each of which has appeared in 3+ industry mocks – and which are conveniently expressed in the #9-11 slots of our consensus rankings board (see below). These are Louisville’s polished pitchability lefty Reid Detmers, North Carolina State’s Patrick Bailey (the consensus best catcher in the draft), and Tennessean Robert Hassell III, the best prep hitter available, second only to Zac Veen, and the kid with probably the best hit tool in the draft. Hassell has been rumored to the Angels for awhile, while the other two are best-fit types that are more based on availability and educated speculation. They do make sense.

More troubling, however, are rumors that have emerged in the past 24 hours that, at ownership direction, the Angels might punt on this year’s draft altogether. (While some of the speculation originated with Fangraphs’ Eric Longenhagen, Taylor Blake Ward says the front office claims the rumors are “bogus”. YMMV.)

What would this mean exactly? Well, after laying off most of its scouting department for marginal savings, some are hearing that Moreno may be instructing Eppler and company to simply take a player in the first round that is viewed as difficult to sign, offer him a nominal sum, knowing he’ll refuse. Unlocked achievement? Save money this year and recoup the pick (now #11) for next year’s draft.

It would also mean forgoing a selection from this crop of players:

RankPlayerPositionSchoolAverage
1Spencer Torkelson1BArizona State1.08
2Austin MartinOFVanderbilt2.00
3Asa LacyLHPTexas A&M2.92
4Zac VeenOFSpruce Creek HS, (FL)5.00
5Emerson HancockRHPGeorgia5.38
6Nick GonzalesSSNew Mexico State5.62
7Max MeyerRHPMinnesota6.92
8Heston KjerstadOFArkansas9.23
9Reid DetmersLHPLouisville9.31
10Robert HassellOFIndependence HS (TN)10.46
11Patrick BaileyCNorth Carolina State12.38
12Austin HendrickOFWest Allegheny HS (PA)13.62
13Garrett MitchellOFUCLA13.92
14Mick AbelRHPJesuit HS (OR)14.38
15Cade CavalliRHPOklahoma16.00
16Garrett CrochetLHPTennessee16.82
17Tyler SoderstromCTurlock (CA) HS16.92
18Pete Crow-ArmstrongOFHarvard-Westlake HS (CA)17.38
19Nick BitskoRHPCentral Bucks East HS (PA)18.46
20Ed HowardSSMount Carmel (IL) HS20.30
21Cole WilcoxRHPGeorgia21.23
22Jared KelleyRHPRefugio (TX) HS22.83
23Justin Foscue2B/3BMississippi State24.20
24JT GinnRHPMississippi State24.25
25Dillon DinglerCOhio State24.36
26Austin WellsCArizona25.00
27Bryce JarvisRHPDuke25.73
28Tanner BurnsRHPAuburn26.00
29Chris McMahonRHPMiami26.13
30Slade CecconiRHPMiami26.89
31Nick LoftinSSBaylor27.11
32Bobby MillerRHPLouisville28.10
33Carmen MlodzinskiRHPSouth Carolina28.57
34Aaron Sabato1BNorth Carolina28.83
35Jordan WestburgSSMississippi State30.17
36Alika WilliamsSSArizona State31.50
37Jordan Walker3BDecatur (GA) HS32.00

The table above represents the first 37 selections in the draft (the first and first supplemental rounds), and builds a consensus estimate from the weighted average of 14 different talent rankings and draft mocks across prospect media. It is not a mock or prediction in any way, but rather an aid to visualize the ‘zone of opportunity’ available to the Angels as they approach pick #10 on Wednesday, based on crowdsourced expectations of a group of experts (eg, Law, Callis, Mayo, Longenhagen, et al).

I have little doubt that, in the crop above, the Angels would love to see a highly polished SP like Max Meyer or Emerson Hancock fall to them like manna from heaven, and become a workable rotation piece that might move quickly and contribute to the club as earlier as next year. But it’s an unlikely hope – both arms will probably be off the board by #8.

It could be that there’s a bit of Rashomon-like truth in both Longenhagen’s and TBW’s view of the rumor mill, and the Angels front office has been instructed to either get its desired targets (Meyer? Hassell?) or otherwise go with a prep talent they can offer an under-slot deal to, even considering the signability risk of that strategy. In that case, I could see the Angels going with the familiar athletic prepster model – consider shortstop Ed Howard or Jordan Walker. Or do something utterly atypical and pull from the top prep pitcher ranks. Jared Kelley has been slipping down the board a bit, but he was the consensus best high school arm just last year (and remains my personal favorite among that class of players in this draft class).

This is the point in the article where I had planned to break down the 10-15 players across four player types (college pitching, prep pitching, outfield talent, infield/catching talent) that are in the Angels first-round window tomorrow, but given the many swirling rumors, I’ve opted to present the consensus rankings table a day early, and start conversation with the board.

I’ll follow up with more substantive analysis tomorrow morning (along with a ten-man “Turk’s Big Board” that represents my own stack-ranked preferences). In advance, here’s a rough schematic of realistic selections in each player category.


College pitching

Assumption: Asa Lacy, Emerson Hancock are off the board

First tier: Max Meyer, Reid Detmers

Second tier: Cade Cavalli, Garrett Crochet, Carmen Mlodzinksi, Cole Wilcox


Prep pitching

Top tier: Mick Abel, Jared Kelley, Nick Bitsko


Outfield talent

Assumption: Zac Veen is off the board

College bats: Heston Kjerstad, Garrett Mitchell

Prep bats: Robert Hassell, Austin Hendrick, Pete Crow-Armstrong 


Infield / catching talent

Assumption: Nick Gonzalez is off the board

Catcher: Patrick Bailey (Outside possibilities: Tyler Soderstrom, Dillon Dingler, Austin Wells)

Infield: Ed Howard (Outside possibility: Jordan Walker)


Tune in tomorrow morning as we countdown to the draft (it starts at 4pm Pacific), and add some more color to the names above. Hopefully by that time we will also have more confirmation (or denial) of the Angels’ approach to selection and signing in this no-good awful mixed-up and witchy season of organized sport.

21 Comments
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ihearhowie3.0
Super Member
3 years ago

Not comfortable with this draft until I see the first rounder signed.

BartonSpringsMatt
Member
3 years ago

I’ll root for the college pitcher Detmers. Any of above sounds good as long as the plan isn’t to just draft a guy and then toss him aside for cash again. Thanks for the write up.

RexFregosi
Super Member
3 years ago

TT thanks! I know we will give a lot of snark, if yet another catcher is. chosen, but it really appears this year it could be a wise move to pick Bailey

matthiasstephan
Super Member
3 years ago
Reply to  RexFregosi

As long as our first pick isn’t a catcher projected to go in the 3rd round.

Jeff Joiner
Editor
Legend
3 years ago

Yeah, there’s a difference between selecting the consensus best overall catcher and a projected third rounder.

Jeff Joiner
Editor
Legend
3 years ago

TT the draft guru. Appreciated as always.

As with years past I’ll pray for a college arm that could help quickly but prepare for an athletic high school kid with a football scholarship.

2002heaven
Super Member
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

Or a college catcher with inflated hitting stats who can’t catch or play in the field!

matthiasstephan
Super Member
3 years ago
Reply to  2002heaven

Bonus if they were a high school QB

red floyd
Legend
3 years ago

Sounds like a premium draft pick!

Cyberbass22
Newbie
3 years ago

Thank you for the write up. I’ve read and enjoyed them for years.

2002heaven
Super Member
3 years ago

Joe Maddon and Roger Lodge will resign too……..we’ll maybe not Roger Lodge. 🙂

matthiasstephan
Super Member
3 years ago

Thanks for the write up. One of the reasons I enjoy this site, in all of its iterations.

Eric_in_Portland
Legend
3 years ago

if we draft a player with the intention of NOT signing him, isn’t that incredibly unfair to that player?

Jeff Joiner
Editor
Legend
3 years ago

Incredibly unfair.

H.T. Ennis
Admin
Super Member
3 years ago

Not necessarily. In order for this strategy to work, the Angels would want to get their first rounder in 2021 as compensation. For this, they have to offer 40% of slot value at a minimum, which would be $1.88 million. If the player so wished, they could sign for that, which is still a hefty bonus.

More likely, in order for the strategy to work, the Angels would have to draft someone who had every intention of going to college originally.

Eric_in_Portland
Legend
3 years ago
Reply to  H.T. Ennis

If I were the athlete in question I would consider the lowball offer (I.e. well below slot money) the reason why somewhere down the line, if I were successful, I would leave as soon as I hit free agency.

H.T. Ennis
Admin
Super Member
3 years ago

And he’s well within his rights to do so! I just remember the days when people thought Trout wasn’t going to re-up with the Angels because the team didn’t give him a raise off the Major League minimum after his 2012 campaign

ihearhowie3.0
Super Member
3 years ago

That was my first reaction but as others have pointed out, they’d likely select someone they knew was 100% going to college.

Either way, it would be an absolutely disgusting move for a team with a farm system as weak as ours. If Arte wants to save money, get a better farm and depend less on free agents!

John Henry Weitzel
Editor
Super Member
3 years ago

Arte Moreno telling Billy to not draft anyone they can sign?

Look I know we gave JeDi a lot of beef but Arte really makes things difficult for gms. I have a bad feeling Billy leaves after his contact us up.

2002heaven
Super Member
3 years ago

that’s not a bad thing…….but arte could definitely find somebody worse and cheaper.

Rahul Setty
Admin
Trusted Member
3 years ago

Thanks for the write-up, TT. It would be cool if the Angels took the best player available this year.