The Angels draft room was filled with naps during the first two rounds of the 2012 MLB Rule 4 draft. And sandwiches. Naps and sandwiches. The Halos didn’t get to make a selection until 114 in the third round after losing their first round pick (19) to St. Louis as compensation for signing Albert Pujols and their second rounder (83) to Texas for signing C.J. Wilson. No offense to RHP Michael Wacha or CF Jamie Jarmon (the players drafted with said picks) but I think Pujols and Wilson might end up being slightly better players. But I’m no certified sabermetrician.
Despite having only eight picks in the first 10 rounds and $1.7 million to spend on them, I think the Angels did pretty well in the draft. Of course, not being a scout, it’s now considered “creepy” for a guy my age to hang out around colleges and, especially, high schools. So I turned to my good friend, Mike Rosenbaum (B/R’s Prospect Pipeline and The Golden Sombrero), for his thoughts on the Angels top three picks.
114. R.J. Alvarez, RHP, Florida Atlantic University
Alvarez is a pretty safe bet to reach the Major Leagues within a year or two as a late-inning, high-leverage reliever. A right-hander, Alvarez throws serious fuzz as he he sits 94-96 mph and scrapes 97-98 on occasion. His best secondary offering is a changeup, which is aided by his deception but really only an average pitch. He also has a curveball in his arsenal, however he throws it with little consistency and command. Overall, he’s aggressive with his fastball and isn’t afraid to challenge hitters. I don’t know if he has the stuff to be a closer, but he’ll definitely be a valuable option out of the bullpen.
MLB.com had Alvarez ranked 73 in their top 100 draft prospects. With Ernesto Frieri, Scott Downs and Jordan Walden but not much else in the bullpen, Alvarez could move quickly into a Major League role. Good value, signable and fills a need? Hard to beat that.
147. Alex Yarbrough, 2B, Ole Miss
A switch-hitter, Yarbrough has a balanced setup and swing from both sides of the plate that plays up due to his impressive plate discipline. He’s a high-intensity ballplayer with an admirable baseball IQ.
Although he played shortstop for most of his prep and early college career, he lacks the range to continue his career at the position. However, that doesn’t mean he can’t pick it in the field, as he’s fundamentally sound in his actions and takes a great and instinctual first step. Regardless, Yarbrough’s ability from both sides of the plate is what makes him an intriguing prospect and has him poised for success at the next level.
Yarbrough could join Taylor Lindsey as Angels 2B prospect who just flat out hit. That’s not the worst problem to have.
177. Mark Sappington, RHP, Rockhurst College
A 6’5″ right-hander hailing from Division-II Rockhurst College in Missouri, Sappington had some serious helium headed into the draft. It’s uncertain whether he’ll remain a starter or wind up in the Angels’ bullpen (I advocate the former), but he has the pure stuff to handle either. His fastball sits in the low-to-mid-90s and has the potential to consistently sit in the mid-90s by the time he’s fully developed. His slider flashes plus potential, as he’s shown the ability to both throw it for a strike and bury it to generate swing-and-misses. Sappington’s fastball-slider mix and max effort delivery might ultimately land him a bullpen role.
Rockhurst College is in Missouri which is nicknamed Mizzou. My analysis isn’t getting better than that from here.
207. Eric Stamets, SS, Evansville
Deathly afraid raccoons.
237. Andrew Patterson, C, Mary G Montgomery HS
Can drink a gallon of Sunny D in one sitting.
267. Austin Adams, RHP, South Florida
Makes a kick-ass grilled cheese.
297. Michael Roth, LHP, South Carolina
Never met Aziz Ansari who was born in South Carolina.
327. Christopher O’Grady, LHP, George Mason
Completely indifferent about the restaurant Beef O’ Brady’s.
357. Jonathan Walsh, LF, Texas
Is not the long lost brother of Brandon and Brenda.
And on that 90210 reference, you can see the rest of the results at MLB.com. Also, most of my player notes need citations.
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