LA Angels News

LA Angels best pick from each of the last ten drafts

By Jon Huskey
Apr 29, 2017; Arlington, TX, USA; Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (27) is greeted in the dugout after scoring a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 29, 2017; Arlington, TX, USA; Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (27) is greeted in the dugout after scoring a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports /
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The  MLB draft looms for the LA Angels and the rest of the MLB, from June 12th – 14th. With a farm system still ranked near the bottom, the Angels are hard at work trying to target potential impact players for their system and future.

In preparation for the Amateur Draft, we look  back at the best player drafted and signed by the LA Angels that year, as well as any significant notes for that year.

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2016: Matt Thaiss (first round – 16th pick) Thaiss projects as a first baseman and is young enough that he could conceivably be the heir apparent to Albert Pujols, should CJ Cron not stick with the LA Angels long-term.

2015: Jahmai Jones (second round – 70th) Jones profiles as a speedy outfielder who has shown a little pop in the low minors. Taylor Ward gave Jones a run. However, in 2017, Ward has been shelved thus far.

2014: Sean Newcomb (first round – 15th) Newcomb was traded to the Braves as the lynchpin to the Andrelton Simmons trade. He still profiles as a starter, but has advanced a little slower than hyped.

2013: Nate Smith (eighth round – 247th) Smith is a name Angels fans have heard a lot about the last two seasons, but have still yet to see. Smith profiles as a middle/back end of the rotation starter. 2017 is likely to mark his arrival with the big club.

2012: Mike Morin (thirteenth round – 417th) What a tough draft to take. Mark Sappington and Alex Yarbrough were suppose to be big league performers. They aren’t. Neither player has made it to the MLB. Only two other players from this draft have even made it to the MLB.

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2011: CJ Cron (first round – 17th) A bat first 1B blocked by Albert Pujols and slowed by injuries. Cron has worked on his defense and is not a boulder on defense. However, as he is being platooned in 2017, its hard to get very excited right now. Three others have made their way to the MLB. None of them are still with the LA Angels (inc. recently traded Jett Bandy.)

2010: Kole Calhoun (eighth round – 264th) Calhoun has won a gold glove and made an all-star appaearance. He hustles on defense, hits with some pop, and is a good complimentary piece around superstar, Mike Trout. This draft also yielded Cam Bedrosian.

2009: Mike Trout (first round- 25th) This could have been the draft that turned the Angels system around. Trout was taken one pick after Randall Grichuk and before Tyler Skaggs, Garrett Richards, and Patrick Corbin.  Corbin, Grichuk, and Skaggs were all traded for players who didn’t help the Angels win a championship nor are they still with the team. The Angels did re-acquire Skaggs in 2013.

2008: Tyler Chatwood (second round – 74th)  Chatwood had mixed results with the Angels before heading to the Colorado Rockies. He has fared better there, though he did require Tommy John surgery.

2007: Andrew Romaine (fifth round – 178th) Romaine has been a bench piece on a few teams, but little more. In a draft that the Angels took Matt Harvey in the second round, it could have looked much different had Harvey signed with the Angels.

In conclusion, there have definitely been some thin drafts. Whether it was poor selection, bad luck, or trading away talent there is no denying 2007 and 2008 hurt the team. Coupled with shipping off Corbin, , Grichuk, and Skaggs from what would have amounted to a phenomenal draft hurts as well. When those trades essentially amounted to a few years of Dan Haren and re-acquiring Tyler Skaggs, it makes losing picks for Josh Hamilton, CJ Wilson, and even Pujols a bitter pill to swallow.

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However, the LA Angels are where they are. They used Newcomb wisely, and have talent working their way through the minors. Unfortunately, most of the promising talent is at Double-A and below. If the Angels can pick wisely, mix in luck, and continue to make informed moves, he surprises should start flowing in as early as later this season.

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