Los Angeles Angels Draft Preview: Pitchers
By Christoph Ludwig
The Los Angeles Angels have a lot of needs in their minor league system. Pitching is the greatest need especially with a rash of potential long-term injuries they’ve had this season to Garrett Richards & Andrew Heaney.
Amateur drafts in sports are notoriously unpredictable, and the MLB Draft is no exception especially for the Los Angeles Angels. With no consensus overall no. 1 talent this year, it might be even more unpredictable than usual. Baseball America and CBS Sports‘ mock drafts say the Angels, picking at no. 16, will take Pennsylvania prep outfielder/first baseman Alex Kiriloff, while MLB Pipeline‘s Jim Callis thinks they will take Mississippi State righthander Dakota Hudson and his colleague Jonathan Mayo thinks they will take Pittsburgh righty T.J. Zeuch. Regardless of who the Los Angeles Angels take, they will instantly become the Halos’ top prospect. Should the Angels decide to take a pitcher, who will be on the board?
Hudson, ranked no. 15 by MLB Pipeline, served as Mississippi State’s Friday night starter this year. He broke out in the Cape Cod League last summer and continued his success into SEC play. His fastball sits between 93-95 mph, and has been known to touch 97, and has run and sink. He also has a nasty slider/cutter and he can throw a change-up and curveball as well.
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Kansas prep lefthander Joey Wentz is ranked no. 16. He didn’t allow a hit in his first four starts of the season. His fastball sits 90-95 mph and has armside run, and he creates good angles with his 6’5″ frame. His curveball and changeup are a work in progress, but they could both develop into above-average offerings.
Zeuch, ranked no. 28, has a fastball that sits 92-94 and comes in at a good angle thanks to his 6’7″ height. He also throws a curve and a slider, occasionally flashing signs of being above average, and is working on a changeup.
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The Los Angeles Angels have the number 16 pick overall in today’s draft. Some good arms that are ranked around the no. 16 pick are: New York prep righty Ian Anderson (no. 13), Vanderbilt righthander Jordan Sheffield (nephew of Gary, no. 19), Virginia righthander Connor Jones (no. 21) and Stanford righthander Cal Quantrill (no. 22).
The Angels pick again Thursday in the second round as they have the 60th pick. Some arms that might still be available there: California righthander Daulton Jefferies (no. 57), Louisville righty Kyle Funkhouser (no. 58), Florida righty Dane Dunning (no. 59), and Oklahoma righty Alec Hansen (no. 62).