What Happened to the 2021 Angels Draft Class?

In July of 2021 the Angels had an unprecedented draft, taking 20 pitchers with 20 selections. The draft leaned heavily on college arms the team hoped would be ready to help the big league club in short order. Ultimately, the Angels signed 19 of those pitchers and brought them into the organization.

So as the Angels pitching continues to flounder and the front office continues to sign middling relievers for millions of dollars per year, it is fair to ask what happened to this draft class. Let’s take a look.

Sam Bachman – the Angels first round selection had a lot of risk of turning into a reliever. He also had some injury risk. Both of those have played out. Bachman is currently injured but has pitched a solid 17 Major League innings out of the bullpen.

Ky Bush – the good news here is that Bush is crushing AA with a 2.20 ERA across 6 starts and 32 innings. The bad news is he was traded for a few horrible starts by Lucas Giolito last year and is in the White Sox organization.

Landon Marceaux – injured and out for the season.

Luke Murphy – the dominant Vanderbilt closer has peaked in AA where he’s currently pitching to a 5.50 ERA and 1.27 WHIP. On the plus side he does have 14 K’s in only 11 innings this season. On the downside, his career WHIP in the minors is 1.35 and he’s been in AA since 2022.

Brett Kerry – the South Carolina product is likely the closest the contributing to the big league club. Across 6 appearances, 5 starts, he’s sporting a nifty 2.56 ERA and 0.85 WHIP this season. He’s recorded 295 K’s across 284 minor league innings and appears to be improving each year.

Jake Smith – still in High A ball. Career ERA of 6.19 and WHIP of 1.67 are better than the numbers he’s put up in 9.1 innings out of the bullpen this year.

Ryan Costeiu – is on an injury assignment in Tempe. He’s only managed 87 innings as a professional but has struck out 113 batters.

Nick Jones – is doing pretty well in AA as a 25 year old coming out of the bullpen. He has struck out more than one batter per inning as a professional but also sports a 1.30 career WHIP.

Braden Olthoff – retired.

Andrew Peters – released.

Chase Silseth – the first member of this draft class to see MLB action is currently injured. He was clearly rushed to the big leagues and has shown flashes of promise and flashes of struggle. He’s pitched 89 innings of MLB ball to the tune of a 5.06 ERA and 1.39 WHIP. He is the high water mark of the draft class for the Angels.

Mason Albright – the high schooler from IMG Academy was considered a late round steal. He was traded to the Rockies last year and hasn’t fared very well as a pro but he’s still young.

Mo Hanley – is currently injured and has been for most of his career. When he’s been on the mound it has been pretty ugly; a career ERA of 17.36 and WHIP of 3.64 in only 4.2 innings pitched.

Eric Torres – the kid was lights out in the AA bullpen in 2022 but took a step backwards last year. He seems to have rebounded this year and has struck out 17 batters in 10.1 innings for a tidy 2.61 ERA and 1.16 WHP. I still think the lefty can be an MLB caliber reliever. He could get a shot later this year when Moore is traded.

Glen Albanese Jr. – is currently injured. As a pro he’s reached High A ball and pitched 73.1 innings out of the bullpen while striking out 80. He carries a career WHIP of 1.36. His numbers this year are pretty bad over a very small sample of 11.1 innings.

Brandon Dufault – is currently in AA but probably wouldn’t be in a deeper organization. His 2024 stats (5.66 ERA/1.94 WHIP) are pretty much in line with his career stats (5.06 ERA/1.63 WHIP).

Mason Erla – has been dominant early in the season for the Trash Pandas, giving up no runs over 11.1 innings while striking out 9. He’s been moved to the bullpen after being a starter for most of his career. Perhaps he sticks as a reliever. His career numbers are very middling.

Nick Mondak – is currently injured. He’s in High A and has split time as a starter and reliever while striking out 154 batters over the course of 146.2 innings. Neither his career ERA (4.79) or WHIP (1.30) sparkle but he might improve if moved to the bullpen full time.

Nathan Burns – released.

So there we have it, the pitching heavy draft that was supposed to start helping the MLB team about now has produced a combined 106 innings at the big league level between two guys, Silseth and Bachman. Two have been released and in Angels tradition 6 are injured. The best performing member of the list is now in the White Sox organization.

Outside of Torres and Kerry it is extremely difficult to see any MLB caliber help arriving anytime soon and neither of them will factor into the rotation. The failure of this draft class to fill any positions of the MLB level is what led to Perry Minasian needing to waste $33 million on Robert Stephenson and backfill the bullpen with Luis Garcia and Matt Moore, to the tune of another $13 million. Had Murphy, Torres, and one other been in the bullpen to start the year that money could have been spent on position players.

The fact the Angels so desperately needed a draft class with only two full minor league systems under their belts to contribute in meaningful roles further reflects the lack of organizational depth and planning. Most organizations can slowly develop talent, the Angels are to desperate or incompetent to do so. Perry and company had to think they had at least three or four cost controlled pieces for 2024 in this draft. Whether due to an inability to find and draft talent or an inability to develop talent and keep it healthy, that was not the case.

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grichmanpoorman
Trusted Member
1 day ago

Back when a 19-year-old Andrew Painter was cruising in AA, it pissed me off royally that we passed on him to underslot-sign Bachman … but then Painter blew out his elbow and hasn’t pitched since 2022. So maybe that’s another dimension/caveat here… yes, none of our guys have blown up yet, maybe never will, but what were the alternatives?

ihearhowie3.0
Super Member
3 days ago

Perry should do an All-Hitters draft on his way out the door. Why not? Nothing matters

Mikeal1st
Trusted Member
3 days ago

I wondered…
Did Perry draft all pitchers in response to Arte consistently not seriously going after any big name pitchers as free agents?
Either way, it is an utter failure and an organizational issue of incompetence.

MarineLayer
Super Member
3 days ago

This is an indictment on just how terrible Minasian has done as a GM. If I were grading, this class is an F.

Roy Hobbs
Super Member
3 days ago

You got after this fast!  🙂 

angelslogic
Super Member
3 days ago

So, even the draftees in the Angels organization get injured at a high rate. Figures.

Senator_John_Blutarsky
Legend

Good job Jeff.

This again confirms that Arte has partners in the destruction of the franchise.

Last edited 3 days ago by Senator_John_Blutarsky
Eric_in_Portland
Legend
3 days ago

This article sent me to researching Tarik Skubal, who’s doing so well now. Drafted in the 9th round in 2018, he’s 27 now. It’s taken that long for him to develop. He used to give up a ton of HRs but has been coached into a Cy Young favorite.

My point is that 3 years might be too soon to expect results.

Cowboy26
Legend
3 days ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

Well At least one of these draftees got some hardware last week.

https://twitter.com/Jared_Tims/status/1790064865085677846

Angelz4ever
Super Member
3 days ago

Great article Jeff!

Now I am more depressed…

Brent
Super Member
3 days ago
Reply to  Angelz4ever

May is national mental health awareness month.

Last edited 3 days ago by Brent
Brent
Super Member
3 days ago

I’d probably retire too if the Angels drafted me. Immediate realization that maybe I don’t have it.

smithy610
Super Member
3 days ago

Great piece Jeff. Thanks for the reminder.

I swear, I thought Landon Marceaux was traded in one of those deals that no one paid any attention to. I might have been thinking of someone else.

Cowboy26
Legend
3 days ago
Reply to  smithy610

You aren’t. he was traded along with Coleman Crow for a few stenchy months of Eduardo Escobar.

halofansince1978
Super Member
3 days ago

Great player run down Jeff…thank you!!

I remember that day like it was yesterday.

At the time I thought it was a brilliant move.

halofansince1978
Super Member
3 days ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

The only thing we fans can say is…trAdition!!!

Cowboy26
Legend
3 days ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

You would have to compare all rounds of the other teams drafts from that year (especially those picking in the 9 to 15 slot range) to really analyze this particular Angels Draft.
This was the first year of the current draft system which is a limited 20 round draft (post covid) so there probably was more talent available than in previous years? 
This was Perry’s first draft and IIRC he shitcanned the scouting director shortly after this draft . That had to be a telling sign.

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