With a laser-like focus on the Angels’ most chronic and frustrating weakness, the Perry Minasian draft room has gone all in on reconstructing the Angels’ MLB bullpen from within. I’ve never seen the Angels do anything like it in this century.
The first ten selections of this unique Angels draft are all college pitchers. No exceptions, no guff.
Seven juniors in a row, then two redshirts, then another junior; eight righties, two lefties.
Five of them are definitely relievers (though some potential conversion candidates), and eight of them might be. This is 100% my #5 Dream Draft strategy (“We’ll always have the ‘pen…what a relief!”) in action – the names may be different, but the song is the same. In fact it starts with Bachman (Turner Overdrive).
If you take an optimistic outlook, this crew could be evenly split among starters and late relievers.
You know they are going to give Bachman and Bush every chance to start. Marceaux and Olthoff are backend starter candidates, and innings-eaters types, not bullpen profiles at all. Smith may have a credible mid-rotation ceiling, though has a big bullpen role as a fallback.
Everyone else is pretty much straight-up a bullpen guy, with some potential closers in the ranks.
Day Two results:
|2||Ky Bush||LHSP||St Mary’s|
|5||Brett Kerry||RHRP||South Carolina|
|6||Jake Smith||RHSP / RHRP||Miami|
|8||Nick Jones||LHRP||Georgia Southern|
|10||Andrew Peters||RHRP||South Carolina|
Where the early picks have a clear relief profile, they come from reputable, competitive programs – Vandy, South Carolina, Miami, Arkansas. Through the sixth round, they’re college performers, with some shutdown games and high K-rates under the belt. Then you get some fliers – Costeiu with big strikeout numbers, but also homer-prone, Jones from a smaller program, but killer numbers this season.
I’m a big fan of the Braden Olthoff pick, who was featured in my #1 dream draft strategy (“KC (2018) and the Sunshine Band”), and was tagged as having potentially the second-best command in the draft class by MLB Pipeline. He diversifies this mix, and dig the last sentence from this MLB Pipeline gloss on him:
Olthoff has tremendous feel for pitching, and his ability to tunnel and mix his pitches gives him a high floor as a back-of-the-rotation starter. He has an effortless, upright delivery with a short stride that adds deception, and he can both pound the strike zone or get hitters to chase his secondary pitches off the plate. He doesn’t have much margin for error but rarely makes mistakes, and he was 180 innings and three-plus seasons into his college career before he surrendered his first homer in late April.
This video (and commentary) that Rahul dug up is a blast:
This is definitely a win-now strategy, with a mind to injecting the MLB bullpen with grit and gas on a two-year timeframe. It’s definitely a surprise, but as a strategy, it’s not hard to follow.