In order to bring more attention to the event, MLB moved the 2021 draft to the All Star break. The Angels pick at #9 this year. Low enough that a franchise altering pick could still be on the board but just high enough that the biggest names are sure to be gone.
Who will the Angels draft? Turk’s Teeth has done a great job of looking at a wide spectrum of possibilities. As far as those other sites, enjoy a mock draft smorgasboard.
Baseball America’s mock requires a subscription.
In the coolest looking mock, ProspectsLive agrees with CBS pick.
If I had to venture a guess, I’d guess Ty Madden but nothing would surprise me. Madden has the look of a guy who moves through the system quickly and has just enough upside to tantalize at #9. He has reliever risk for sure, but a stud bullpen piece for 6 years isn’t that scary to me. We need those too.
Back to current days, there’s one stat that tells the Angels problem this year more than any other: innings pitched by starters. For those of you without The Athletic, the Angels starters have thrown fewer innings than only the Orioles and Royals. When the starter does go 6, we fare well. Sadly, that rarely happens.
The draft coincides with the All Star break. Two men who won’t be attending the game are the Asterisks Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa. They aren’t man enough to face the boos and guys they screwed over in the clubhouse.
That’s alright. I know just who should replace one.
The story of the All Star break, just like the story of the first half of 2021, figures to be Shohei Ohtani. He’s the odds on favorite to win the Home Run Derby.
Ohtani’s power is legendary. Remember when Jacob Faria told me Ohtani lifts more weight than anyone he’s ever seen? Other teammates tell ESPN their favorite stories of being amazed by Ohtani’s power.
Perhaps one reason Ohtani is staying fresh this year is that he hasn’t taken batting practice all season. Yeah I had to read that twice, too.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. There are three games against the resurgent Mariners before the break. They have gone 14-7 over their last 21 games and are just a hair in front of the Angels in the standing. MLTBR mulled over their trade deadline options and dropped news that Justus Sheffield will be sidelined for a significant time.
No matter your personal feelings on the Mariners, I think we all loved Ichiro. I had a blast watching him stretch and pose in right field all those years. And although quite a few of them cost us, his patented high chopper he beat out for a single was indefensible. The Athletic did a nice piece on the legend of Ichiro, focusing on his overlooked but very animated personality.
So let me know who the Angels draft in the first round, how many pitchers overall in the 20 rounds, and who wins the Home Run Derby below. And, of course, link anything I missed.