LA Angels News

LA Angels: Two Catchers in 2019 MLB Draft to Watch for Halos

By Vincent Page
ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 11: Catcher Joe Hudson #44 and closing pitcher Ty Buttrey #31 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim celebrate with a high-five after the MLB game at Angel Stadium on September 11, 2018 in Anaheim, California. The Angels defeated the Ranger 1-0. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 11: Catcher Joe Hudson #44 and closing pitcher Ty Buttrey #31 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim celebrate with a high-five after the MLB game at Angel Stadium on September 11, 2018 in Anaheim, California. The Angels defeated the Ranger 1-0. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images) /
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The LA Angels farm system is on the rise. They have a plethora of solid outfielders in their system, with adequate depth at most other positions.

Meanwhile, the LA Angels do not have a single catcher ranked inside their Top 30 list (via MLB.com). While Jack Kruger has been making a lot of noise within the organization, there are two prospects in the draft this season that would fit perfectly within the Halos’ system, and push them directly into the top-tier of farm systems in the MLB.

The first is the #1 overall player in the draft, and that is catcher Adley Rutschman out of Oregon State University. The 21-year old junior has everything one would want out of a player. Behind the plate, his defense is highlighted by an outstanding arm, excellent quickness, and a mature ability to frame/block pitches.

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However, the real value comes as a hitter, where Rutschman can hit from both the left and right side of the plate. His power, which will lead to far more doubles than home runs, is exceptional from both sides and his .400 batting average in his sophomore season was nothing to scoff at.

The Angels unfortunately do not select very early, with the #15 pick being their first chance to select a prospect. This likely takes them out of range, unless there is an injury or something of the sort that pushes Rutschman down the board. Even if there is an injury, the Angels would be insane not to select Rutschman if he falls into their laps.

Perhaps a more realistic option would be Shea Langeliers. While he is also one of the top college prospects in this year’s draft, there is a scenario where he falls to the Angels’ pick this June.

First off, Langeliers has the potential to be one of the best five-tool catchers in baseball. He has shown an ability to hit for contact and power and runs well enough.

The best part of his game is undeniably his defense, though. His pop time and arm rank as elite weapons for whichever organization drafts him. It’s very rare someone’s defense is enough to warrant a first round pick, but Langeliers is a special player with the catcher’s gear on.

While he has all the potential in the world, Langeliers struggled at the plate in his sophomore season. The junior now is looking to bounce back, but if he struggles again this season, he could find his value as a top five pick dwindle, and inevitably falling down boards.

If this takes place, the Angels would be very wise to swoop in and pick Langeliers. They have shown with prospects like Taylor Ward that their minor league staff is very adept at improving hitting in prospects. Ward was drafted as a defensive-minded catcher, and now is a slugger at third base who may just be a key to the team’s success in 2019.

Next. Three Free Agents That Can Make the Angels Contenders

For the next 13 Monday’s, leading up to the 2019 MLB Draft on June 3rd, we’ll highlight either a position, player, or player archetype the Angels could be targeting. This week was catchers, and next week we’ll look at three pitchers who could shift the Angels’ farm system from solid to elite.

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