Evaluating the LA Angels 2017 Draft Strategy
The LA Angels made a couple of splash moves on the first day of the MLB draft. They selected prep outfielder Jordon Adell in the first round. Following this pick was UCLA pitcher Griffin Canning. These picks were a blueprint of the Angels’ plan for the first ten picks.
The LA Angels would go on to select a total of three outfielders and seven right-handed pitchers. It was obvious what they were trying to do, as starting pitching and left field have been two underwhelming positions in recent years. Taking seven right-handed pitchers may seem odd, but the Angels are bound to hit on one of these players, and second round pick Canning was a steal.
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While he undersized for a starting pitcher, Canning enjoyed a remarkable career at UCLA. He pitched a full collegiate season, so he will not be pitching in the minors throughout this season, as he treats it as an elongated offseason. Canning could very well be in The Show late in 2018, and a 2019 Spring Training invite is almost certain.
The Angels also put an emphasis on college players, as six of their top ten picks had collegiate experience. Five of the pitchers and one of the outfielders are coming from college, and they could all be contributing before 2020.
The Angels did take a few swings for the fence, especially with their first round pick. Adell has some of the best raw tools and athleticism ever, drawing comparisons to Bo Jackson. However, he is miles away from being a complete ballplayer. The Angels could very well have a franchise cornerstone in their lap now. However, they could also have a Byron Buxton. Buxton is one of the Minnesota Twins’ top prospects. He has immense amounts of potential, but the team has been waiting on a breakout for years. However, the one skill Adell needs to work on is his inconsistent swing, which is perhaps the only thing holding him from MLB stardom.
Next: Angels Living By Next Man Up Philosophy
The Angels made some safe picks like Canning, and made some risky choices like Adell. While a handful of picks from this draft will immediately be Top 30 prospects for the Halos, not all of them may pan out how the Halos hope.