The Draft is coming. We’re now five days out, and everything begins on Sunday, July 11th, commencing a three day process that wraps up on Tuesday, July 13th.
A lot has changed. The Draft is shorter – only 20 selection rounds this year – and it’s more than a month later in the year, coinciding with the MLB All Star game on July 13th, one week from today. Combine all that with the uncertainty coming out of the pandemic, inconsistent prep seasons across the country, typical amateur talent showcases postponed or canceled, and a significant Minor League Baseball contraction and realignment – and there are more question marks about this draft class and how teams will approach than any in some time. I’ve resisted writing about it here too much this summer, because I wanted to see if any consensus might emerge post College World Series, and as scouting teams and analysts gathered more data and reconnaissance about front office tendencies.
For the most part, there’s still not much clarity. The bigger prospect hounds for the major sports publications disagree pretty markedly on whether the Angels are going after mature collegians, upside prep athletes, or will take any of the top guys on the board that slide to them when deals are made elsewhere. Perry Minasian is a new GM who has been attached to some eccentric draft classes, whereas Matt Swanson (director of scouting and Eppler holdover) has himself presided over both young athlete selections (Adell, Adams, Marsh) and high-floor college bats (Thaiss, Will Wilson). Only twice has he expended top 50 pick selections on college hurlers (Detmers, Canning), but those two have probably been the most successful picks since he began his tenure in 2016.
This year the Angels’ first selections are at #9, #45, #80 and #110.
It’s a bit of a truism, but a directionally sound one, that 80-90% of the value in a draft class comes among the top 100 picks, roughly the first three draft rounds. So we typically place a lot of scrutiny on what baseball teams (especially ones like the Angels, with a very needy, imbalanced farm system) do in the first few rounds. Breakout late-round draftees like Jared Walsh are comparatively rare – though with an abbreviated draft and more talent harvesting from undrafted free agents, this may change going forward. That said, let’s focus on what may be available to the Angels at pick #9 this Sunday.
Will #9 be a revolution, or a dud? Andrew Heaney was a #9 pick in 2012. Jo Adell and Reid Detmers were #10 picks in 2017 and 2020 respectively. Javier Baez, Ian Happ, Matt Manning, Keston Hiura – all #9 picks in the last decade. There’s a lot of impact to be had if the front office doesn’t go off on a lark, and chooses from among the highest tier of talent.
THE TOP EIGHT: A CONSENSUS?
For much of the past two months, there’s been remarkable agreement among prospect analysts and the median rankings of mock drafts as to who the best eight talents of the draft are – a remarkable number, since it falls one short of the Angels’ number, suggesting if all goes to script, the Angels will be selecting from the next tier of A- talent once these names are off the board.
Of course, things rarely go by the numbers in the first round, and one or two teams could easily cut deals in hopes of allotting more of their pool money to difficult-to-sign high schoolers in later compensation rounds or round 2. In that case, one of the following eight could become available when the Angels step up to the podium at #9.
FOUR PREP SHORTSTOPS
Jordan Lawlar (Baseball America: #1, MLB Pipeline: #3)
Marcelo Mayer (BA: #2, MLB: #1)
Khalil Watson (BA: #6, MLB: #4)
ONE COLLEGE CATCHER
Henry Davis (BA #4, MLB: #5)
TWO VANDY COLLEGE ACES & ONE PREP STANDOUT ARM
Jack Leiter (BA: #3, MLB: #2)
Kumar Rocker (BA: #5, MLB: #6)
Jackson Jobe (BA: #8, MLB: #7)
Few think that Jack Leiter or Henry Davis will fall out of the top 5-6 picks – they are the safest pitcher and position player in the draft class, and are high probability impact players who will move fast and will add significant value to a club.
For a long while, it was thought that if any player might fall, it would be Jackson Jobe, due to the underwhelming track record of high school righties selected in the first round. But increasingly we’re seeing Jobe as high as #3 in several mock drafts, as some view him as the best pitcher in the draft at any level – a four pitch RHP with velocity, spin and shape and plus grades on all his offerings.
Now there’s sustained chatter that Rocker could fall to the 8-12 range, due to the inconsistency of his performances down the stretch and in the College World Series. Among the names here, Rocker and Brady House could be the likeliest to fall, and it’s anyone’s guess if the Angels scoop them up. House has the biggest power stroke of the quartet of shortstops – 70 grade power that had him as the top prep pick in the nation several months ago. But he sold out for that power on the showcase circuit, leading to some suboptimal outings, exhibiting a long, slow swing that needed adjustments as the spring went on. He gets Nolan Gorman comps, and like Gorman, he’s probably a third-baseman at the next level.
I’m a bit lukewarm on House, and feel the Angels have strong rookie depth at the shortstop level, without demonstrating much facility for trading up to benefit the Big League rotation, or facility for developing raw materials into superstars. Plus, the budget commitment just isn’t there from ownership to change that developmental picture too quickly. So catching a falling prep shortstop is simply adding to an already deep pool, whereas if Rocker or Jobe fell, despite the many risks with each, the Angels would have a potential frontline starter in hand, and that opportunity is fairly rare with this organization (one uniquely phobic to spend on good free agent pitching).
But if none of the top eight picks slide down the board, or if, as has often been the case, the Angels ignore those who do, the next class of players is who the club will likely be selecting from. I’ll list them according to player type, with a quick gloss on my perception of them (call it “Turk’s Take”).
THREE “MEDIUM COOL” COLLEGE BATS
I call them “medium cool” because they are medium-ceiling, medium risk guys – all probably quick to the show, all likely regular producers, none likely to be regular All Stars. My general takeaway from this group is: no harm, no foul if the Angels select from this trio. They’ll be likely getting an MLB regular, and maybe a little more if the upside cases play out.
Colton Cowser (BA: #11, MLB: #10)
Well-rounded lefty bat, has some speed and power, can likely play all three OF positions. Very safe, consistent college performer – probably a 20/20 guy (HRs, steals) at the MLB level, which he’s likely to reach soonish. In many ways, he’s the upside case for some of the prep outfield bats who might go higher than him. Some Bradley Zimmer comps.
Sal Frelick (BA: #9, MLB: #11)
Quintessential Mighty Mouse leadoff threat, short-levered, contact heavy, clean lefty stroke. Is a pest like David Fletcher, but has more sneaky power than Fletcher. Very athletic, 70-grade speed, could probably play anywhere, including on the dirt. Frelick is bound to hit, but whether he hits like Altuve, Hiura or Fletch is a bit up for grabs.
Matt McLain (BA: #10, MLB: #12)
Top college infielder on the board. The Will Wilson of this draft, but with greater speed and greater chance of keeping at short. High-floor, has hit consistently, with improving plate discipline. Probably not a big power guy, but has a strong enough glove to play all over the infield and maybe centerfield as well. Angels fans like to drag this guy, but the team’s SS crop is 4+ years away, whereas this guy is probably ready for the infield by 2023. Local UCLA ties. YMMV.
TWO HIGH-RISK, HIGH-CEILING COLLEGE FIREBALLERS
Ty Madden (BA: #9, MLB: #12)
Often a favorite of Angels’ fans, and one connected a bit to the Angels FO in draft scuttlebutt, Madden is a two-pitch pitcher (FB, slider is 95%+ of his repertoire) with a record of college success and mid-90s velocity that fits snugly into this decade’s starting pitcher tropes. When his fastball is sinking, it’s a plus MLB pitch. The effectiveness of the slider is self-evident, as with the video above. I think there is injury and relief risk here – maybe a 30% chance he overcomes and becomes a mid-rotation starter, 10% a frontline guy, but it’s red/black that he’s a high-octane late reliever, and a lot of teams can use that. Ideally he resurrects his curve and change, and becomes a full portfolio starter at the next level.
Sam Bachman (BA:#14 , MLB: #14)
Arguably the biggest fastball in the draft, touching triple digits at junctures, and a ‘wicked’ slider that gave college hitters fits. His command/control has been an issue earlier in his career, but was quite strong in 2021, though again, the velocity was often enough at the collegiate level. Smaller school, but successful program. He has a usable changeup that he shows more than Madden’s, but also has similar injury flags based on some violence in the delivery and some missed starts. Hard not to see this guy eventually dealing with TJ, but the stuff is tantalizing.
Dark horse: Gavin Williams (BA: #30, MLB: #31)
Thought to be a supplemental rounder, Williams is my pick to go higher than expected this weekend. Another hulky righty, 6’6″, touches 100-101, curve and changeup read plus. Top five in strikeout rate in Division I ball. Issue is track record – he’s a converted reliever who just put all together last season. But what a season! 1.88 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 14.4 K/9. Increased spin rates, breakout profile. This is the sort of player you hope falls to you in the second round, and then some model-oriented team grabs him 20-25 and you weep for ten long years. (Maybe.)
TWO “MEDIUM COOL” COLLEGE ARMS
High-probability, medium risk, medium ceiling pitchers. I’m attracted to this group more than ever before, given the Angels’ success with previous draftees (and an org like Kansas City’s as well). Safe, college performers with strong command profiles and teachability. I see no shame, and a lot of potential ROI, in selecting either of these kids.
Jordan Wicks (BA: #13, MLB: #16)
The best college lefty in the draft – this year’s Reid Detmers with a much superior changeup. Probably the best change in the draft. He’s a legit four pitch guy with an improving slider and plus control. He bulked up in the past year, and shows the growth trajectory that could, like Detmers, boost his FB from a 91-93 utilitarian weapon to the 93-95 range we’ve seen Reid at this season. Progressively, pitchers can learn velocity, but not command – an inversion of the formula preached 10-20 years ago in the Bigs.
Michael McGreevy (BA: #16, MLB: #28)
I honestly don’t understand the drag on this guy. Maybe it’s the lesser visibility of the West Coast program (Santa Barbara), but he feels way too under the radar, and I think clubs are talking themselves out of good player here. Four MLB average or better pitches – FB, slider, curve, change – impeccable control, and velocity into the mid-90s this season. Command, not just control, and good fastball movement to both sides of the plate. Proven winner, ball stays in the park, BB9 less than one this season. Seems like a high-probability mid-rotation guy if nobody screws him up – the sort of George Kirby, Dakota Hudson, Griffin Canning pick that slides for little ostensible reason, then hits the MLB before anyone else from his draft class. (Can you tell that I like him a little?)
TWO BIG COLLEGE PERFORMERS – WITH CAVEATS
One was an expected top-ten pick who succumbed to Tommy John, one is a second or third rounders whose outstanding performance in the College World Series has him shooting up boards. Are we discounting the former due to recoverable injury? Are we overrating the latter due to recency bias? Whatever the caveat, these two guys are still likely sure first-rounders.
Will Bednar (BA: #18, MLB: #32)
This guy killed it in the CWS, driving MSU to its first every championship. Very durable frame with obviously outstanding makeup. Currently a three-pitch guy (FB, slider, curve) who could take a step forward if he develops his nascent change. He’s young for the draft, a plus, but he’s only got 101 IP across his college career. It’s a strong starter profile, with mid-rotation projection, but is the helium too much? Or is he simply a safe performer with few miles on his arm? Intriguing option.
Gunnar Hogland (BA: #19, MLB: #22)
Potential #2/3 rotation guy who could have been the second or third pitcher called at the podium if not for TJ this spring. He has a long track record and national profile, though it’s questionable if his upside is higher that, say, Bednar above him. This feels like a Dodgers or Yankees pick in the second half of the first round, because if you like him, you know he’s on a mid-2022 recovery schedule, and could still be in an MLB rotation by late 2023 or 2024, which is not very long to wait for a strong performer with mid-rotation projection.
THE BEST PREP PITCHER NOT NAMED JACKSON
Andrew Painter (BA:#15, MLB: #18)
He rivaled Jobe for the banner of best prep arm in the class, but a slow start notched him down a bit. Towering 6’6″ righty with a picture-perfect delivery, four pitches, including two (FB, change) that grade out at 60 already. Big velocity, advanced feel for pitching – already up to 96, he has more projection still and could add velocity in time. Good athlete. Everything to like in a prep pitcher, but can the Angels develop such a talent? There’s not a lot of evidence of it, and not a lot of appetite to try (at least with a top pick) among previous front office regimes.
Two others to watch here are funky lefty with the big leg kick, Anthony Solometo, and undersized righty with the triple-digit fastball, Chase Petty. The risk in both profiles makes it hard for me to see Minasian reaching for this cupboard with a top-ten pick, but we just don’t know what he likes.
TOOLSY PREPSTERS FOR THE ANGELS SWEET TOOTH
Much more predictable would be the Halos, hewing to the pattern Swanson has irregularly established, grabbing a helium-filled flesh balloon with the intent of molding into an All Star on a five-year cycle, despite having little track record of felicitous development. If you think this is an organization that can’t learn / won’t learn, and outthinks the rest of us in some magisterial decades-long high-dimensional chess match, then there’s a good bet the draft room might be fixated on one of the following:
Will Taylor (BA: #21, MLB: #20)
One of the biggest helium names on the boards, and mocked to the Angels more than once already. Multi-sport athlete…sound familiar? Speed-first leadoff threat, right-handed bat, small of stature, likely centerfielder. Most don’t think he develops much power beyond 10-15 HRs per season, but is likely to make a lot of contact. Seems like an unusual long-term investment when a player like Sal Frelick is on the board and likely to represent the upside case for Taylor, hitting the MLB 2-3 years earlier.
Benny Montgomery (BA: #23, MLB: #15)
Another plus athlete with a strong speed/defense profile, Montgomery has more power than Taylor, but often struggles to find it. He needs a swing adjustment, and the Angels are an organization that loves to tinker. Comps on this guy from Jayson Werth to Donovan Tate. High, high risk profile. I have no clue why a team with a top ten pick and a shallow system would choose this guy over a player like Colton Cowser, but I’m only on the same page as the Angels front office every 3-4 years, so YMMV!
Harry Ford (BA: #17, MLB: #13)
Where have we heard this before? High-floor athletic catcher who is probably not a catcher, but toolsy enough to take at many positions due to several solid tools and off-the-charts makeup? Needs polish behind the plate, but has the athleticism to maybe do so? On the other hand, his strongest tool is his 60-grade speed, which isn’t like a catcher at all (see: “unicorn” above), and the track record with prep catchers is iffy, so why not make him a super-ute and look for opportunities as they come? Yep, sounds like an Angels pick. He’s been mentioned more than once.
Bubba Chandler (BA: #20, MLB: #21)
Two-way player on the Kaleb Cowart model. A development project on both sides of the game, but projectable in the right system. The Angels have been frequently connected to him, early and late, with rumors still persisting. Like Cowart, many scouts like him as a starting pitcher, but the Angels were said to prefer him, again like Cowart, on the dirt, as a switch-hitting SS/3B. On either count, he’s very athletic, but also very raw, and the choose-your-own-adventure route of two-way guys not named Shohei Ohtani just feels like organizational indecisiveness cloaked as portfolio diversification (though it’s still a single player, with uncertain ceilings on both sides of his game). Chances are the front office chooses the wrong path, and a kid with high expectations burns out at upper levels. There are stronger shortstops on the board at #9, and stronger prep pitchers as well. Two for one doesn’t seem like a bargain in this case. Call me a cynic, I guess.
Woosh – that’s fifteen players outside the top eight to consider. And I guess I’m tipping my pitches a little in terms of which way I’m leaning in this draft. Although, more than other years, I’m far more wide open in terms of what I’d find acceptable in an Angels pick.
I like the upside of Rocker, Jobe and Painter, despite the copious risks. But I’d find a pick of Wicks or McGreevy satisfying as well, and would not begrudge the team predictable value in Cowser and Frelick (the team has not generated the outfield after all that the trio of Adell, Marsh and Adams seemed to tease a year ago). The high-octane pitchers make me a little nervous, but Bednar and Williams intrigue.
I’m just not there for the 5+ year grail quest of prep guys up the middle this year. But I’m ready to hear one of their names called this Sunday, because this is the Angels after all and early round college pitching seems to be a once-in-every-third-year experiment for the club. Break my heart all over again, boys.
Or bust my expectations and let’s call #9 a revolution at last!
Great stuff! Thanks!
Who in our “braintrust” has the capability of making the right decision? Minisian signed Quintana, etc. That’s what has me worried.
So who would you draft?
Love this wrote up, thanks! And count me in as one who is looking forward to a college arm at #9. That is what we need, and there should be 2-3 excellent options there. Hopefully Rocker, but I’ll take 1 of the consolation prizes.
20 straight pitchers, not joking at this point. Something’s gotta stick, right?
Dude, honestly if PTP was just sitting alone in a Starbucks with a laptop taking the highest ranked pitcher off the BA website every pick for 20 rounds I would totally be OK with it.
In the NFL, at least, studies show that going off consensus public rankings in the first three rounds generally does better than whatever GMs try to do.
Wonder if the same is true in baseball.
APEC Texas athletic performance program
CBS This Morning Show
I wonder if I’d have to get surgery to reach 90+. I tore my rotator cuff about 15 years ago. When I play 3b in softball I have to Eckstein my throw.
Great write up Turk! We appreciate your work!!
What’s funny is I’d actually rather have Gavin Williams than Rocker. People worry about his being a newly stretched starter, but it’s been a year and a half since he was a short stint guy by draft time (if they started stretching him out post 2020 season.). I like his delivery, he already has 3 fairly good pitches. If they took him over Rocker/Madden/Bachman I would be OK with it. He’s on the rise, he’s got momentum, and I’d bet he can be in the MLB faster than a guy like Madden who needs to learn a 3rd pitch. I just over all like his stuff better. Same with Andrew Painter, if they took him as a risk/reward #1 pitching prospect I’d understand. He has the makings of a #1 starter.
Bachman I like because he pretty much screams “I will be in the MLB in two years!” He will either smooth out that change up and be a starter, or he’ll be a leverage arm in our pen by 2023. He just looks like a guy we will certainly get SOMETHING good out of. Like that guy the White Sox drafted last year.
Mike McGreevey has a totally rad pitchers name. He’s a great pitcher and a Gaucho so yes, I want to draft him.
Williams, Bachman and McGroovy are the guys I actually want. Rocker, Wick, Madden and Bednar I’d be fine with too, just a little less excited. I’d totally respect a gamble on Painter. I’d actually be fine with Ryan Cusick out of Wake Forest too.
We already have Benny Montgomery and Wil Taylor in our system under several other names and to TT’s point, why not just take Frelick who looks better and is older? We don’t need Cowser or McClain (Renjifo) either.
I think Chandler shouldn’t be a first round pick. If Brady House falls to us I still don’t want him, I think his swing isn’t great and will slow if he puts on size…. he could wind up a useless 1B at age 23…. or Nonie Williams.
The only position players I’d be OK with are Frelick and Harry Ford. I actually like the video I’ve seen of Ford and his scouting report is great, he seems tough and gritty enough to be an MLB catcher and those come in handy.
You sound like Billy Eppler
Dmagz already pointed out that we suck at development. This is 2021 not 1999 and Arte owns the Angels not Disney and he doesn’t have Bill Bavasi working for him. Why do you want us to wind up and throw a straight right cross at a brick wall? We probably need good college scouts ( I suggested we raid and plunder college baseball programs…..like the SEC ) who can coach smart coachable players and not HS prep players.
You sound like a pink and gray nose bleed.
I just listed what? A dozen college arms worth taking? Though I did fail to list the players who don’t need any development because there are none. Good old 2002, all shit no shower. Who are you drafting? And no, you can’t draft Shane Beiber.
Great write up. Unfortunately the Angels have no justification for drafting these high upside prep players because they can’t develop them. They’re no point in drafting anybody that needs real development. Refining.. maybe. Getting college guys at bats and pitchers innings is the only thing they can do. I have no doubt that means taking a lower ceiling worse player, but they need someone that doesn’t need a ton of work. Nothing in MILB this year screams that Perry has instilled any system. The only thing we’ve seen is punt on the year and “evaluate” aka watch and maybe collect data. You can’t draft a guy for a plan that doesn’t exist. Hope Rocker drops and he is not a total bust. He seems like a guy you can put at #4 in the rotation even if he doesn’t turn into a stud. Just pay for a ticket to Driveline, and cross your fingers. They can do their fancy “protectable” players in the 2nd round
Lack of development capability is a good point but selecting a college pitcher and hopes he slots in at the No. 4 would be disastrous for a No. 9 selection.
Lack of development capability for pitching really only requires making a couple good hires. I wouldn’t AVOID taking a super talented guy just because I’m afraid we will have failed to develop him three years from now.
Talented players will overcome organizational flaws. It’s the borderline players who could benefit. I’m a fan of prep selections regardless.
I think if you are after an ace, and you don’t have a top 3 pick, you have to get a high school kid (or luck out on a later pick). I too am afraid the Angels will just break a guy like Painter. On the other hand, one good coach, maybe a catcher who is older and helps him, and you may have a 21 year old version of him that’s 6’6″ 240 with 4 solid pitches, an easy motion, and 100 MPH velocity.
I’d like that very much.
But hey, anyone can bust at any point, and maybe come back. Just ask Jose DeLeon, Forest Whitley, Alex Reyes and Brent Honeywell. The Angels are really far from being the team with the most busted top prospects.
Still Arte, for the love of God, hire some scouts and development guys.
Just a draft a pitcher
Good. Yes. This. Please.
Don’t draft a position player unless he’ll be a power hitter.
College arm is fine ( doesn’t have to be a power pitcher……Barry Zito, Walker Buehler, Shane Bieber weren’t power pitchers either ). No more Taylor Wards or Matt Thaisss’ in the first round anymore, we need pure position future stars out of the first round, not utility role players who misplay every fly ball in right field like a replay of Justin Upton in 2018.
I’ve been waiting for this and it did not disappoint. Great stuff.
I watched more college ball than usual this year and really fixated on pitching. Given the Angels needs and draft spot, I really want a college arm here. But I’m so far from a scout I basically have a pool of guys I know I like.
Maddon, Wicks, Rocker, McGreevy in somewhat of an order. At least one will be available at #9.
I do like the UCLA shortstop too. Adding him then making one of our current class available for trade isn’t a bad path.
“I do like the UCLA shortstop too. Adding him then making one of our current class available for trade isn’t a bad path.”
I hadn’t thought of that.
Draft a SS and trade him next year to get rid of Justin Upton or Anthony Rendon already? 😆
Turk, amazing write-up! I’m sure I’ll read it more than one time.
My quick thoughts, I’m all in on Jobe. Really hoping he drops but not likely. If no Jobe, I see the Angels selecting a bat at No. 9. Read some of the internet garbage that they Angels are not enamored with the college pitchers, not name Leiter, at No.9. Need to nail the pick and then select some arms with the 2nd and 3rd pick.
I agree with you on House and the Madden/Bachman reliever risk.
Perry…this is your time to shine. Let’s see how good you and your staff really are.
Yes. Every team with pick #6 and down is all in on Jobe. If he’s there we should take him… unless Leiter also falls to 9.
I’m actually not THAT scared of reliever risk if I look at a pitcher like Hogland/Williams/Bachman and don’t just see failure leading to pen arm but failing to start resulting in possibly years of having a shut down closer.
If a #9 pick “busts” into being Kenley Jansen, Troy Percival or some other guy who’s good for six years out of our pen I’m OK with that.
Jobe is dropping. The prep-shortstops are the money players and there is a great chance all 4 get selected before No. 9. Plus Leiter and Henry Davis. Hoping KC is in on Rocker. Fingers crossed.
Dude, if we get Jobe at #9 I will do a silly dance in front of the TV. I mean, sure, he’s a high school pitcher and 50/50 bust risk, but I hope we roll the dice on landing an ace cause there are hardly ever any in FA now.
Great article, thank you.
Can you explain a scenario where one of those ‘top 8’ prospects fall because a team wants to allot money to a HS prospect? Why would a team do this? Take a flier of a high risk big reward guy and waste a top pick? Is the baseball draft not like other drafts where you want top talent?! I’m newer to caring about the MLB draft so excuse my ignorance.
It’s all about what they project them to be 4-5 years down the road. And yes, they are wrong frequently. They like to groom the HS guys into their way of doing things. I watched Lawler play, and quite frankly he didn’t stand out to me. Maybe I saw the wrong game, but he simply looked like a good HS player. Clearly, there’s clearly a reason he’s ranked so high, so what do I know. I also saw Jackson Glenn play multiple times, and he was the best college player I saw all year watching several games. He was the Missouri Valley Conference player of the year and just now cracked the Baseball America top 500. He soared up to 451 or so. I would be shocked if he falls below the 5th round. Once again, what do I know?
With the high school guys there is some risk that they’ll refuse to sign because they want to go to college. Sweetening the pot a little might change their mind about that.
Just to be clear to all reading this, this is a risk with college sophomores too. For example, Jack Leiter has intimated that he wants the Red Sox to take him. He MAYBE inclined to go back to Vanderbilt if, say, he hates the idea of pitching for the O’s and they select him. So that’s a risk too, smaller than with HS top picks, but it’s there.
By the way, the MLB Draft is by far the most fun to watch. Because of slot money- there is so much gamesmanship. That’s how we got Kochanovicz. In the MLB Draft, collusion is legal. Lot’s of fun. You can see 5th Year Seniors go earlier than projected because they will get them for under slot money, because the 5th Year Senior has no alternatives. They can use that money to sign a HS guy over slot. It’s crazy. As the saying goes, “Know your number.”
Appreciate the replies!!
So many more questions just came to mind haha. Maybe I’ll just watch this years and see if they can explain some of the moves/selections made and thought processes behind them.
Seems dumb to me to want a HS you can develop into ‘your’ way vs just getting a college student that fits a major league need in 2-3 years but you nailed it, what do I know. For MLB drafts I know it’s not much!
I think names like Mike Trout, Carlos Correa, Manny Machado, Francisco Lindor probably answer that question – all first round prep players. Sometimes the talent is just too tantalizing, and is ultimately superior to available college talent.
Problem is with that assessment is who has come along after Mike Trout that was a HS prep star? Nobody of major substance apparently and Mike Trout was taken along time ago. Not very many past Angel’s players came from HS ( Mike Witt, Jim Edmonds, Garrett Anderson, Frank Tanana ) the best that I’ve come up with. I think we should try and raid some of these elite college baseball programs ( heck we have 3 right under our nose…..USC, UCLA, and Cal State Fullerton ) for scouts and coaching. Then hopefully we can become like the USSR hockey team, the East German Women’s swim team and the Cuban boxing team!! 😃 👌
All we need now is Howard Cosell and Jim MacKay!
Keep in mind teams are allotted signing bonus pools. So while the picks have recommended bonuses, those are not set in stone.
So let’s say the Tigers really like a kid who is committed to play at his favorite college. Maybe they take a talent rated a little lower on the board with their first pick to save $1 million on his signing bonus then use that savings to lure in that high school kid. This way they get both players they want while staying within their spending limit.
That’s why they would do it.
Yeah, JJ has it.
Discounts tend to happen with teams who have extra selections due to competitive balance picks (for smaller market teams) or the loss of a free agent who declined a qualifying offer. If you have extra picks, you also have extra bonus pool money.
High school players who are not chosen in the top 15-20 picks can often be persuaded to skip the college commitment with the right bonus figure, so a team with one or two extra picks will choose them in the supplemental rounds, and shift a bit of the bonus pool they would have reserved for a top ten pick to those young players who have big money demands, but carry a bit more risk than an advanced college player.
This is why there is much talk of the Pirates selecting Kahlil Watson or Henry Davis…. to save a little money. To answer Angels2020’s question, the way the Angels get a guy ranked say #7 is if a couple teams do this, which can happen.
But I wouldn’t count on landing Job or Leiter this way. Leiter isn’t getting past the Red Sox.
Again really appreciate all the insights, I’m looking forward to Sunday!
If the guy doesn’t have a P – next to his name – P needs to go. While the college pitchers might make more sense, I’d love for Jobe to fall to them. I don’t think his path will be long.
He has a very exciting profile, and would be fun to follow. Though the Angels have a pretty atrocious track record with prep players with great stuff – Kochanowicz being only the latest example.
There’s not a pitcher on the list above that I would be troubled with, should the Angels select him.
There’s at least some intrigue in all of them (even if I squint just so, Bubba Chandler, who has good FB spin and a promising curve – but you know the Angels wouldn’t draft him as a pitcher, but instead as a very raw shortstop who’d eventually move off the position).
I think Kochanowicz was considered a flyer and a project with big upside. I’ve watched a few videos on Jobe and he looks like the real deal already. His stuff is really electric. Slider is filthy. Nice arm-side run on his 2-seamer. The fastball has late life. But I’m with you – take the pitcher you think is the best available. Now if you have someone like McClain as a quick path – future all-star, I’m cool with that. But no HS projects that will take 4 years.
Would tend to disagree that Kochanowicz was a flyer – he was a legit top-100 ranked prospect expected to go in the second or supplemental rounds. The Angels were actually a bit lucky to get him at #92, and they had to pay him way above slot (almost double the slot value) to get him to sign.
There are few prep pitchers that are not projects in some way, though.
True, though how long has Kochanowicz actual playing career been? Twelve weeks? I’m not exactly shocked that he hasn’t developed yet. I mean, he looks like he should be getting me some crushed almonds at Yogurtland. Hell, I may wait until he can grow facial hair, buy a beer, and has pitched a full season before I declare him a bust.
Not that you have.
I tend to give guys under age 23 long ropes. Hell, part of me expects 21 year old Kevin Maitan to suddenly assplode all over Low A if he ever gets unhurt and off the Playstation.
But can he pitch?
or field ( see Jo Adell & Taylor Ward )
Being an Angel fan is like life in the Book of Job(e).
Dr Frank Jobe? because we lived through a lot of TJS’s
Ty Madden can be our new john lackey.
If he can stay in the rotation. 🙂
Look, I won’t be disappointed if they choose Madden – I’ll be disappointed if they choose Bubba Montgomery because they like his passing game.
And just in case that’s confusing – it’s a play on Bubba Chandler and Benny Montgomery – somewhat interchangeable multisport athletes who are coveted for projection rather than baseball track record.
I’ll be disappointed if they choose Bubba Montgomery because they like his passing game.
Great write up and well researched! I would not mind if the Angels selected only pitchers with their first 4 picks.
Your lips, the Platypus’s ears.
Probably not happening.
You think YKW will be happy with that?
I could see Arte busting into the MLB Network studios and saying or asking if the picks can be retracted!!