LA Angels News

LA Angels Draft Preview: Three Pitchers the Halos Should Target in the First Round

By Vincent Page
OMAHA, NE - JUNE 27: Pitcher Tyler Dyson #18 of the Florida Gators delivers a pitch against the LSU Tigers in the first inning during game two of the College World Series Championship Series on June 27, 2017 at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
OMAHA, NE - JUNE 27: Pitcher Tyler Dyson #18 of the Florida Gators delivers a pitch against the LSU Tigers in the first inning during game two of the College World Series Championship Series on June 27, 2017 at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images) /
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CLEVELAND, OH – APRIL 16: Jason Kipnis #22 of the Cleveland Indians leads off second as starting pitcher Matt Harvey #33 of the New York Mets pitches during the sixth inning at Progressive Field on April 16, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Indians defeated the Mets 7-5. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH – APRIL 16: Jason Kipnis #22 of the Cleveland Indians leads off second as starting pitcher Matt Harvey #33 of the New York Mets pitches during the sixth inning at Progressive Field on April 16, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Indians defeated the Mets 7-5. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Jack Leiter, RHP

A very different prospect than Lodolo, pitching has always been easy for Jack Leiter. Turning 19 next month, the Delbarton High School product has more baseball lineage than most, with his father, uncle, and cousin all having spent time on the MLB mound.

Leiter has a case as the best prep arm in the draft this year (and is, in my opinion), and with a commitment to Vanderbilt, will more than likely need to be signed for an offer more than his draft slot.

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He made his name even more well-known that before over the camp season, and has seen his stock climb. A strong end to his high school career could push Leiter very high up on teams’ boards.

His fastball has serious sinking action to it, and while most scouts argue over whether his curveball or slider is a better pitch, they’re already both above-average, especially considering Leiter’s age. His changeup is also an exceptional strikeout pitch against either lefty or righty hitters.

Apart from his frame, Leiter’s advanced arsenal of pitches reminds me of watching new Halo Matt Harvey back in his Dark Knight days. The main similarities, apart from having a variety of plus pitches, is the confidence that Leiter pitches with and Harvey pitched with.

While some teams may be wary about his 6’1”, 195 pound frame, there really isn’t any cause for concern. The Angels showed they’ll draft “undersized” pitchers when they selected Canning (6’2”, 180 pounds), and there’s no reason to believe it’d be an issue for them when evaluating Leiter.

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