Angels select Sam Bachman in First Round

In need of pitching, the Angels selected Sam Bachman from the University of Miami (Ohio) in the first round of the 2021 draft. Armed with the best fastball in this year’s class and a plus slider, Bachman’s fate will be decided by the development of his change up. He gets one and he’s a front line starter. If not, he’s a high leverage reliever.

He’s already working on the change piece.


Turk’s Take

With the #9 pick of the draft, the Angels selected the #17 guy in my Consensus Rankings, Sam Bachman. Baseball America and MLB Pipeline both ranked him at #14, and Keith Law of the Athletic placed him at #10 in his Top 100 talent rankings.

So first answer: no, Angels fans, this isn’t particularly a reach.

In fact, Bachman likely has the equivalent ceiling of Kumar Rocker, who the Angels passed over with Ty Madden at #9, but he has a different sort of risk: injury and reliever risk. And maybe that downside makes sense for the Angels, whose bullpen craters night after night in perfectly winnable games.

I buy those who say that Sam Bachman has the best fastball-slider combo in the 2021 draft.

I buy those who say that, with advancement on his changeup and increased usage, he could be a three-pitch stud and frontline weapon.

I also buy those that suggest his delivery has effort, and as an undersized righty there’s both the possibility for command struggles and injury. I think it’s hard not to see TJ somewhere in the future. But with conditioning and care, perhaps it’s far off.

I said in my opening draft analysis that I would be at peace with any of the college arms in that article, and Bachman was there. I put him right alongside Ty Madden as a FB-centric target, and here he is. He might be really, really good.

It’s tough to see the top name on my board (Rocker) passed over, but the Angels didn’t pick a toolsy prep outfielder, and they resisted the remaining highly-rated shortstops like Watson and House. That’s a small victory. They also probably saved some money for their second and third round picks, so let’s see where this goes.

I think this assessment from Bleacher Report (of all places) is fair:


FWIW, Keith Law was extremely bullish on Sam Bachman, and while he had Kumar Rocker at #5, he had Sam Bachman at #9 in his Top 100 talent rankings:

So, on pure talent, if you’re with Law, the Angels were right on time with a slot-appropriate pick.


Baseball America:

Bachman has one of the hardest fastballs in the class and sits in the 95-97 mph range with the pitch, regularly getting to triple-digits with impressive arm-side running action and sink. On top of that, Bachman’s slider has an argument for being the best breaking ball in the class. It’s a hard, biting pitch that is routinely in the upper 80s and has eclipsed 90 mph plenty of times, with tremendous late life that generates whiffs inside the zone and out of it—mostly down and to his glove side. Both pitches grade out as at least 70s and there are scouts in the industry who have put 80 grades on both as well.


MLB Pipeline:

After working at 91-94 mph for much of his first two college seasons, Bachman now sits at 94-97 and hits 101 with plenty of armside run and sink. His slider also has gained more power, operating in the mid-80s with nastier bite and destroys left-handers and right-handers alike. His deceptive, heavy changeup in the mid-80s gives him at least a solid third offering. 

Bachman averaged 4.1 walks per nine innings during his first two college seasons but is providing more consistent strikes after improving his conditioning and athleticism during his layoff. He does come with some reliever risk because he’s 6-foot-1 with a short arm action and a low three-quarters arm slot, and he did miss two early-season starts with a tired arm. He’s strong and competitive, however, and should remain a starter if his upgraded control and command are for real.


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HalosFanForLife
Trusted Member
4 months ago

In 2009, Baseball America had a guy named Michael Trout as the #85 prospect. They are mostly writers that get little snippets on players. They have Jackson Glenn as the number 451 rated prospect and he wasn’t even on their top 500. Dude was one of the best hitters in college last year, Missouri Valley Conference player of the year, (Almost earned the Conference Triple Crown) and is getting dinged because he’s 23. Zero chanc he’s around in the 15th round.

HalosFanForLife
Trusted Member
4 months ago

I’m glad I trust my eyes more than these scouting services – Jackson Glenn – ranked #451 on BA was the 133rd pick. Happy I’m not crazy.

Simba
Member
4 months ago

I just had to put on the Bachman brothers while reading this thread.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmSXIOlN6mY

HalosFanForLife
Trusted Member
4 months ago

Round 2 is usually the fun round with all the games. Will we pull off another Kochavicz deal? I’m guessing the Royals really have a deal in the works. We should too, but probably also robbing from later rounds.

DowningDude
Super Member
4 months ago
Reply to  Twebur

Hahahah! He was totally chill …

halofansince1978
Trusted Member
4 months ago
Reply to  DowningDude

How GA of him.

Cowboy26
Super Member
4 months ago
Reply to  Twebur

More like a young Conor McGregor. ( But not that young)

Twebur
Super Member
4 months ago
Reply to  Cowboy26

Ding, Ding….Proper call!

Twebur
Super Member
4 months ago
Reply to  Cowboy26

I also agree you, that somebody better check a birth certificate on this guy…he does look 35…….it’s the Angels, so it wouldn’t be shocking if he was.

TheCheetah
Member
4 months ago
Reply to  Twebur

This video’s great

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Super Member

Well, just a totally amateur’s look at this guy as regards TJS risk now that we have him. I watched what video I could find, looked at pictures, etc. and read what I could.

First, it sounds like his “arm trouble” was early season fatigue, which half the pitchers out there get, he just took time off instead of his scouting reports saying something like “his stock dropped after a couple bad outings early but he bounced back…” It also sounds like this arm fatigue was shoulder not elbow. Shoulder fatigue = large muscle OK. Shoulder joint injury = bad news/velo drop.

Short arm motion. I’d be more worried if he didn’t look like he has 170 lbs of legs going into his pitches, but he does. Short body. OK, fine. At the same time, half the tall lanky prospects have scouts saying that their height and long arm motion will be an issue, etc etc. Sounds like a gamble we just have to take with most pitchers. For example, do we know why Kumar Rocker’s velo is down? I still would have taken him in the draft.

3/4 arm motion. Well, his slider and change up seem to be effective to both sides of the plate, and he doesn’t come across his body all that hard, so OK I guess. On top of that he doesn’t kink his elbow or shoulder up very much when he throws, nor does he point his thumb towards second base when he loads, while he does have a nice back leg drop and he moves forward well through his pitches. Any guys arm can snap at any time, but I don’t see him as a huge injury risk.

They also didn’t talk about his change up that much in cursory reports, but a couple guys I saw on youtube said he actually has a pretty solid change, it would have graded higher but Bachman hardly used it (because he didn’t have to) and was pitching for a Podunk U so there isn’t tons of footage of him throwing it. One guy said it’s good enough that he’s not going to need season after season to develop it before he can be a starter. I don’t know if that’s really the case, but I am pretty dang certain he threw it for scouts.

My biggest worry is just how hittable will his velo be against real MiLB hitters? It has a fair amount of movement, but we won’t know till he pitches. Also, though he looks durable body wise, how long will it take to build him up to a 100+ pitches per outing guy?

Here, I’ll try to imbed this video of his motion….

https://youtu.be/LFfI6PYhFys

halofansince1978
Trusted Member
4 months ago

You get to be the voice of reason for me this morning GGOMP.

HalosFanForLife
Trusted Member
4 months ago

I also think people forget that there’s a big difference in a pitcher’s daily workout approach the year before he’s trying to get drafted and then moving to 162 in 180. He’ll be on their plan within a week and let’s see what happens. You just can’t shit 102. With a plus, plus slider – if he can develop a real plus arm side mover, with some sink – that’s a great formula no matter when you enter the game.

anewfoundthrice
Trusted Member
4 months ago

If he is a reliable bullpen piece that goes along the KRod route it is a genius move. Why trade what little farm you have for a stud reliever when you can draft one? Then you stretch him out next year in double A to see if he develops to the ace he is potentially. If a reliable setup man/closer in the future is the floor… I like this draft!

dontbatvlad4th
Member
4 months ago

I was just thinking earlier in the day that the Angels are one good bullpen arm away from making a decent push at WC2. So I guess that’s the positive takeaway from this pick?

But what a classic, stupidly short sighted, Angels move. Passing on Rocker.

Cowboy26
Super Member
4 months ago

Hey TT, but no sugar tonite with Bachman?

Last edited 4 months ago by Cowboy26
Fleckstein
Member
4 months ago

I’m just glad the Pirates took Davis and we didn’t take Ford.
welcome Overdrive!

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Super Member

Now that all those sandwich round picks went by with basically just the pitcher I didn’t want getting drafted I’m juiced for tomorrow! Still available by pick 45?….

Ben Kudrna, Tommy Mace, Joe Rock, Matt Miculski, Josh Hartle, Anthony Solomento, Andrew Abott, Jaden Hill, Doug Nikhazy, Sean Burke, Gage Jump, Jon Cannon, Russell Smith, Adrian Del Castillo, James Woods, Luca Tresh…. there are a ton of good players to pick in the next couple rounds.

Turk's Teeth
Editor
Trusted Member
4 months ago

We’re in Overdrive now.

RexFregosi
Trusted Member
4 months ago

Roll on Down The Highway

RexFregosi
Trusted Member
4 months ago

You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet

RexFregosi
Trusted Member
4 months ago

Takin’ Care of Business!

DMAGZ13
Trusted Member
4 months ago

Sounds like they drafted based on immediate need over long term potential. Perry says he’s confident in the roster , but this is an attempt to add to the Sept roster. Throw Bachman into the CRod pile.

I also didn’t realize Rocker had Boras as an agent. That probably played a big factor .

Last edited 4 months ago by DMAGZ13
Cowboy26
Super Member
4 months ago
Reply to  DMAGZ13

Has any team ever drafted for the current year before?

Twebur
Super Member
4 months ago
Reply to  Cowboy26

It’s genius I tell you! Why screw around with those time consuming minor leagues.

dontbatvlad4th
Member
4 months ago
Reply to  Cowboy26

Didn’t they do that with Detmers? A few journalists were talking about him being called up that September.

Cowboy26
Super Member
4 months ago
Reply to  dontbatvlad4th

I think there was speculation but with no minor leagues last year bringing up Detmers probably would have been a disaster.

Last edited 4 months ago by Cowboy26
Jayman28
Member
4 months ago
Reply to  Cowboy26

White Sox with Chris Sale

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Super Member
Reply to  DMAGZ13

Rocker will just get slot. Boras may matter in six years.

Cowboy26
Super Member
4 months ago

So he’ll get the slot and we’ll get the shaft?

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Super Member
Reply to  Cowboy26

Sure, if you gotta cry to get off you can go that rout.

ihearhowie3.0
Trusted Member
4 months ago

Not gonna pretend I know anything about college and high school kids but I’ll just say people are throwing around “reliever” like its some pure lotto ticket concept and may have forgotten the best, most successful Angel teams had some homegrown ace relievers in Shields and Frankie that gave *consistency* at the end of games.

Also look at how valuable Iglesias has been this year. A guy who carries “risk” of just being a good reliever (like Iglesias after he failed as a starter) seems like a pretty nice fallback even if I also felt we needed more starting pitching like Rocker.

Rahul Setty
Admin
Trusted Member
4 months ago
Reply to  ihearhowie3.0

I agree with everything you wrote, but opportunity cost is always a factor here. If Rocker turns into the stud he’s thought to be while Bachman is just okay, I am going to be really, really disappointed.

Cowboy26
Super Member
4 months ago
Reply to  Rahul Setty

Uh you forgot Troy Percival . The best drafted catcher that really turned out well for the Angels.

ihearhowie3.0
Trusted Member
4 months ago
Reply to  Rahul Setty

Same.

Just reacting more towards the general sense I got that people were really disappointed by the possibility of this guy ending up as a reliever. Agree with the disappointment if you had your heart set on a particular starter but it’s not an egregious reach like Ward was at the time.

TapatioMan
Member
4 months ago
Reply to  ihearhowie3.0

This was pretty much my reaction lol. Then I cooled down, and saw that it wasn’t the end of the world. I’m happy with it now. Going to be positive about it.

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Super Member
Reply to  ihearhowie3.0

You gotta love how about three seconds after he was drafted to mega geniuses on this board have decided we aren’t gonna try to develop Bachman as a starter ever.

Plus his arm’s apparently about to explode at any moment.

Last edited 4 months ago by gitchogritchoffmypettis
MarineLayer
Trusted Member
4 months ago
Reply to  ihearhowie3.0

#9 picks should not be wasted on relievers. That’s what laterpicks are for.

steelgolf
Super Member
4 months ago
Reply to  MarineLayer

He may be a very good starter. Reliever is probably his floor.

Cowboy26
Super Member
4 months ago
Reply to  MarineLayer

How about ex-catchers ?

Rallymanatee
Trusted Member
4 months ago
Reply to  Rahul Setty

You’ll get over it. We always do.

Rahul Setty
Admin
Trusted Member
4 months ago

Nice summary JJ and Turks. I haven’t followed draft talk closely so I’m surprised the Angels passed on BPA in Rocker and also Madden, but after reading the snippets from outlets it seems like a solid pick that could help now. Hard to evaluate in a nutshell so let’s see what they have cooking in round 2 and 3. Okay, time to go read the rage in the day one thread! 🙂

Last edited 4 months ago by Rahul Setty
Turk's Teeth
Editor
Trusted Member
4 months ago
Reply to  Rahul Setty

Madden went to #32, so 29 teams were equally skeptical.

I was skeptical in my piece earlier this week as well, and then kind of talked myself into him later in the week (at least onto the same list as Kumar, Jobe, Wicks and McGreevy).

We’ll see. Similar relief risk with both Bachman and Madden, but Bachman has a bit more ceiling I think.

MarineLayer
Trusted Member
4 months ago
Reply to  Turk's Teeth

And Bachman went way earlier.

TapatioMan
Member
4 months ago

Immediately our what, 2nd or 3rd best prospect?

ihearhowie3.0
Trusted Member
4 months ago
Reply to  TapatioMan

Depends how we grade Adell and Chris Rodriguez.

If the Angels re-sign Iglesias and then have Rodriguez and Bachman in the pen, that’s a pretty attractive core to steady games late when our offense can punish other teams.

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Super Member
Reply to  ihearhowie3.0

They are already stretching CRod to start games. Will do the same with Bachman next year I’d guess. This year he can throw short in AZ or in the MLB.

halofansince1978
Trusted Member
4 months ago

Bachman picture above reminds me of a Reds Nasty Boy Rob Dibble.

halofansince1978
Trusted Member
4 months ago

Or maybe it’s Norm Charlton…cant remember
comment image

GrandpaBaseball
Super Member
4 months ago

Nice find.

eyespy
Super Member
4 months ago

Same state

halofansince1978
Trusted Member
4 months ago
Reply to  eyespy

Miami Ohio…who knew?

eyespy
Super Member
4 months ago

it’s in the water

Cowboy26
Super Member
4 months ago
Reply to  eyespy
Twebur
Super Member
4 months ago
Reply to  Cowboy26

“The Land” home of burning waters……and balloon mishaps
https://ultimateclassicrock.com/cleveland-balloonfest-86/

Cowboy26
Super Member
4 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

Here’s another famous Cleveland disaster that involved baseball.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohvjLTZnH48

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Super Member

The French Miami

Twebur
Super Member
4 months ago

I must admit….not thrilled that our new guy shared the same air space that Big Ben once roamed.

DowningDude
Super Member
4 months ago

Last night. Separate thread for that linked a small scroll above this line.

halofansince1978
Trusted Member
4 months ago
Reply to  DowningDude

I deleted it DD.