Recapping The Week: Best Picks From The Angels Draft & Other MLB Notes
By Andrew Petrucci
With the first two days of the MLB Draft now in the books, it gives us a chance to take a closer look at the direction this franchise is heading towards. The Angels got started by selecting Taylor Ward, a catcher from Fresno State, with the 26th pick in the first round. While there is no way to predict how a prospect will pan out, it’s safe to say that this was a reach. Ward is a defensive first catcher with a plus arm, and thats where the upside stops. Many scouts question his ability to hit at the Major League level, making this pick even more of a head scratcher. But as of right now, the Angels look like they got a future back up with their first round selection.
The philosophy going into the draft was to load up on college bats, and after selecting Ward it was clear this was a priority. As of right now, twenty out of the first thirty picks for the Angels have been position players. Here are some of the picks we like thus far:
Jahmai Jones, OF, 70th Overall
The Angels spent their second pick in the draft on this highly touted high school outfielder with freakish athleticism. Jones is just 17 years old, and already possesses Major League tools that could translate into him being a future star. If the Angels get him to sign, they may have found the long term left fielder for the future.
Grayson Long, RHP, 104th Overall
In a draft that featured no true dominant right handed pitcher, it was a great move by the Angels to grab Grayson Long in the third round. The righty from Texas A&M stands at 6’5 and has two plus pitches right now in his fastball (low to mid 90’s) and changeup. If he can become more consistent with his slider it will move him through the system quickly. Whether the third pitch develops or not, Long is a good bet to in the middle of the rotation or a bullpen guy for the Halos.
David Fletcher, SS, 195th Overall
A solid selection right here for the 6th round and good potential value. We knew the Angels were looking to get deeper up the middle and David Fletcher gives them the opportunity to do so. While scouts claim his upside isn’t as high as some of the other shortstops in this draft, Fletcher is still solid in almost every aspect of the game. His glove, arm, and range will allow him to play either SS or 2B on the MLB level, if he hits there is a good chance he could see time next year. Either way, the Angels drafted a guy that is an all around solid position player that at the least will be a future part time player.
Aaron Cox, 1B/OF, 585th Overall
You never expect much from players at this point in the draft. Usually once round 15 rolls around it becomes time for teams to start throwing out some gift picks to anyone with an interesting storyline. The storyline on this pick is that Aaron Cox is the brother of Mike Trout’s girlfriend. Smart move by the Angels to give Trout whatever he wants.
Other Angels & MLB Notes:
– The offense woke up last night beating the Rays 8-2, combining for 15 total hits.
– Shoemaker pitched strong enough to get a win, and more importantly he didn’t look like he was throwing batting practice.
– Albert Pujols might be the hottest hitter in baseball right now. His solo shot last night pulled him even with Mickey Mantle for 16th on the All-Time Home Run List.
– Kansas City is doing their best to vote their full lineup as starters in the All-Star Game…funny how a year ago manager Ned Yost was basically calling them the worst fans in baseball.
– Tropicana Field is easily the worst MLB stadium, and may be the worst stadium in sports. The turf, mixed with the rafters on the dome, mixed with a crowd of 5500 every night, and a roster that changes every year, is about as electric of an atmosphere as a Barnes & Noble.