MLB 2024 Draft: College Outfielders the Angels Could Target

Over the last decade or two the quality of play, coaching, and data at the college level has improved dramatically. As a result many teams, including the Angels, are loading up on college players early in the draft and taking the lottery ticket high school players later on. This industry shift is pushing more kids to go to college, further increasing the talent at that level.

It is well known Angels GM Perry Minasian’s draft strategy is to land a player in the first round who can be in MLB in a matter of months. Fortunately, this year’s crop of college outfielders has several players who fit that mold.

Braden Montgomery

Braden Montgomery is a tremendous athlete with huge raw power from both sides of the plate and a great throwing arm that is rated as high as 70 by some scouts. He started his career at Stanford so you know he has a brain and really improved this year after transferring to Texas A&M. Seeing your numbers rise after moving to the toughest conference in the country is not normal.

He very well could be gone by the time the Angels pick at 8 but if he falls just a bit, the Angels could swoop him up. In the past the organization loved raw athletes they hoped to develop into baseball players. Montgomery is the great athlete who dedicated fully to baseball and had three years of great college coaching.

James Tibbs

Tibbs is actually mocked to the Angels in some mock drafts and there is plenty of chatter that he goes somewhere in the 8-12 range. The Florida State product swings lefty, throws righty, has a plus arm, and decent speed. He’s the ACC Player of the Year with a sweet swing that produces a lot of power.

James also excelled in the wood bat Cape Cod League, slashing .303/.390/.472 with 6 home runs last summer before launching into his great junior year at FSU. In short, he’s good but he’s been getting a lot better over the last 12 months.

Seaver King

This pick would make Gitcho happy. The Demon Deacon from Wake Forest is a really versatile player who started the year in center field before moving to third base and shortstop when the team needed him. That versatility combined with the Angels need for a long term third baseman certainly make him interesting.

After spending two years playing Division II baseball and putting up video game numbers, King transferred to the ACC and continued to mash while showing the versatility mentioned above. Projected for a lot of line drives and medium power, King tends to do everything pretty well but might lack that one standout tool that would make him a star. I like the compact swing.

Carson Benge

Oregon State’s Carson Benge is a longshot to be drafted as early as 8 and would only be considered if he signed well below slot. But he’s also probably the most interesting player in this draft. A good fielder with a smooth lefty swing and more walks than strikeouts on the year, Benge has focused on hitting this season. He also throws 96 with a good slider when he pitches. An outfielder/bullpen arm? It is a crazy world.

Just to highlight his versatility, take a look at this:

In short, this college outfielders are not the deepest segment of the draft. But there are a handful that could be on the Angels radar and I’ve listed them in order. Personally I’m intrigued by Benge but he’ll be picked late in the first round. Montgomery is probably gone by the Angels pick but if the college arms are taken and he’s available, I could easily see the Angels taking him. The middle two are quality prospects that are expected to help some organization in the near future and warrant Top 10 discussion.

Who did I miss, folks?

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gitchogritchoffmypettis
Legend

BUT! While King was at Wake did they figure out what his specific best pitch is and develop it?

PedroCerrano
Super Member
16 days ago

While it hasn’t resulted in on the field results yet, I do like the emphasis on development and teaching at the MLB level that Washington has brought. It gives me a slight bit of hope that this kind of focus can be adopted throughout all levels. It’s likely that Arte’s wallet will vote no but here’s hoping.

Fansince1971
Legend
17 days ago

Hoping Hagen Smith (Arkansas) falls to #8.

angelslogic
Super Member
17 days ago

Angel Hernandez has worked his last MLB game. Good riddance!!!

MikeSalmon
Super Member
17 days ago
Reply to  angelslogic

Will we ever see a worse ump in MLB? It’ll take some doing.

He was awful at his job, and was an a-hole on top of that. Good riddance indeed.

DMAGZ13
Trusted Member
17 days ago

What happened to Vance Honeycutt? Every time I see him bat, he’s hitting a homer run. He’s a Taylor Ward type of hitter. For a team awfully short on pitching, I’d go pitched first round and Honeycutt round 2.

cookmeister
Trusted Member
16 days ago
Reply to  DMAGZ13

Because they only show his homers
he won’t make it to round 2

Senator_John_Blutarsky
Legend

We’ve never developed a “toolsy” player into a star, and the franchise can destroy three years of outstanding college coaching over a weekend.

Based on draft results to date, my expectations are low for what Perry will do. The only saving grace is that he’s auditioning for his next job, so maybe…just maybe he’ll do something brilliant.

Eric_in_Portland
Legend
17 days ago

I missed the news that Eppler was banned for a year for “fabricating injuries” to manipulate the Mets roster.

I mention him because he got himself a job after poor results with the Angels. I bet he blamed Arte. Perry will likely do the same

GrandpaBaseball
Legend
17 days ago

Since the Angels drafting has been unspectacular and underwhelming for way to long it is with great pleasure that to read what Jeff and the New York Turk have to tell us is very informing and fun to compare to Baseball America and what some other sites have to offer . I believe too that CtPG posters can come up with better drafts than what the Angels can come up with and that not only would this team do better to listen to us, but we would do better with the same number of scouts that Arte has, which is zero. 😄 

How do you judge a strong minor league system, well, by the amount of High School players drafted. The Halos need college players because we do not have the time nor the capabilities to coach and teach H.S. kids as college players are quicker to advance.

Next question is, do the Angels draft with their first pick a pitcher or an OF’er or even a Third Baseman?

Tough call for sure, but a stud CF’er is hard to find, but so are stud SP’ers. Stud Hotcorner players are even tougher. Right now, it does look like we may be doing well to get a CF’er that will take 2-3 years to arrive and replace any CF’er we have. (One that we have will either have to learn 1B or become a DH.)

At the start of the 2023 season it looked on paper that we had the best outfield we have had in forever, but another year of Trout hurt along with Ward down and out hurt us a lot.

So, working on building an outfield is looking like the right move. Drafting pitching is so damn difficult because of young kids now having TJS so early.

One thing I do know drafting is a tough chore and made tougher when you don’t have enough scouts and have to rely on combines and written articles and post.

Keep on searchin’ Jeff, PTP maybe listening. In the meantime keep on losing Angels, keep us looking for a great 2025 draft.

halofansince1978
Super Member
17 days ago

Our CtPG fix for the day…thank you Jeff!!

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