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Angels: How much better is Mike Trout than the rest of his draft class?

Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images)
Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images)
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Angels, Tyler Skaggs
Tyler Skaggs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)

Mike Trout and the 2009 Angels Draft Class

You’d think that a player of Mike Trout’s stature would not only have been an early pick in the draft, but you’d also think that he was his team’s first selection of the draft. Alas, you would be wrong on both counts.

Trout fell to the Angels with the 25th overall selection, but before he came off the board, the team used its first selection (24th overall) on another outfielder; Randall Grichuk. They would then use subsequent first-round selections on Tyler Skaggs (#40), Garrett Richards (#42), and Tyler Kehrer (#48). Of the first-round class, only Kehrer has failed to reach the major leagues, topping out at High-A Inland Empire before retiring in 2012.

Grichuk has himself turned in a decent player at the major league level, but he also never played an inning for the Angels. The team traded him to the Cardinals in 2013 along with Peter Bourjos to acquire David Freese and Fernando Salas. He spent four years with the Cardinals before again being traded, this time to the Toronto Blue Jays. In six MLB seasons, he’s hit a combined .244/.293/.483 with 122 home runs and 323 RBI.

Richards proved to be a solid choice as well, making his MLB debut in 2011 and cracking the rotation in 2013. From 2013 through 2015, he went a combined 35-24 with a 3.45 ERA, a 3.40 FIP, and a 7.6 K/9 ratio. However, elbow issues appeared in 2016, and Tommy John surgery in 2018 limited Richards to just 31 starts over the last four seasons.  He is currently a member of the Padres organization, still trying to work his way back to the mound.

Tyler Skaggs may be the biggest mystery of this draft. Before throwing a pitch for the Angels, the team traded him and Patrick Corbin in a blockbuster that netted the team Dan Haren in August 2010. They then re-acquired him in a three-team trade that shipped out Mark Trumbo to Arizona and brought Skaggs back to Anaheim. He would pitch for five seasons with the Angels, with injuries playing their part on him making just 96 starts and working to a 28-38 record and a 4.41 ERA. Sadly, he would die unexpectedly of an opioid overdose on July 1, 2019.

The later rounds of the Angels 2009 draft:
Of the Angels chosen outside of the first round in 2009, only two have made major league contributions.

The previously mentioned Patrick Corbin was selected with the 80th overall selection (second round). Like Skaggs, he would never appear in a game for the Angels, but he’s left a decent mark on the game, checking in with a career 17.1 bWAR over seven seasons. He owns a lifetime record of 70-61 with an ERA of 3.80, a 3.62 FIP, and an 8.9 K/9. He’s currently getting ready for the second year of a six-year, $140 million deal he signed with the Washington Nationals prior to the 2019 season.

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