LA Angels: Determining who the Angels will take in the draft

With the 2020 MLB Draft slated to get underway Wednesday evening, we look at who the Angels might pick with their first-round pick.

Another year of the MLB Draft is on its way and the Angels will have the 10th pick this year following their 72-90 record last season. Of course, due to COVID-19, the scouting of players has increased in difficulty and the limit of 5 rounds in the draft. Here are my picks on who the Angels may take with their first-round selection.

Reid Detmers – Louisville, LHP

Detmers comes out of Louisville where he finished under a shortened season in 2020, going 3-0 with a 1.23 ERA and 48 strikeouts. Of course, this seems to be a small sample size in terms of numbers, but according to MLB.com he led the charge in 2019 for Louisville in the College World Series and was the U.S. collegiate national team’s best starter. They mention his frame and size (6’2″, 210 lbs) which allows him to repeat pitches with ease which is a good sign for him staying healthy, which is something Angels fans are no strangers to. They project him to be a mid-rotation starter. Given their praise of his confidence on the mound and his numbers from his recent college years, it wouldn’t surprise me if he becomes a leader in the Angels rotation. One particular fan favorite who is waiting to make his debut, Jo Adell, had committed to Louisville before being selected in the MLB Draft by the Angels, so the Angels have a history of looking to Louisville.

Max Meyer – Minnesota, RHP

If the projection of where Detmers would be in the starting rotation startled you, then the competitiveness of Max Meyer should have you feeling confident that he can lead a rotation. According to an article from Baseball America by Teddy Cahill, he praises Meyer’s competitiveness.

“No matter his role, no matter the stage, the moment never seems to be too big for Meyer. He says that’s true away from the diamond as well. No matter what he’s doing, Meyer wants to win.”

This type of quote should lead fans to expect a leader in the rotation coming to the Angels with this pick to cheer as he was also given high regard to his competitiveness from his coach in Minnesota. There have been questions about his size projections, as Meyer is only six feet tall, but based on the way people rave about his competitive nature, I’m sure he would tell you otherwise. If Meyer is still on the board when the Angels are picking, they better not just look over this pitcher as he could be the future ace of the staff.

Patrick Bailey – North Carolina State, C

The Angels are lacking depth in terms of catching and for this selection, I decided to favor a more defensive ability favorite in Patrick Bailey. He’s a switch-hitting catcher coming out of North Carolina State who has been praised for his abilities in both power and defense, although as I mentioned before I am more concerned about his defense. The reason for this is because there are a lot of intangibles that some fans may not account for when watching a catcher. Of course, the offensive production will play, depending on how he develops. However, catchers also have to worry about the run game, receiving the ball, and help the pitching staff with their starts. MLB.com has praised his defensive skills.

“He’s more athletic and moves better than most catchers. He has solid if somewhat inconsistent receiving skills and has the arm strength to keep the running game in check.”

These show promising signs on his defensive capabilities as the previous two catchers the Angels took in drafts prior, Taylor Ward and Matt Thaiss, have converted positions since being called up to the big league level.

Honorable Mentions:

Robert Hassell III – Independence High School (TN), OF

Considered by most outlets to be the best prep bat in the draft, Hassell has the upside that many teams dream about. Quick reflexes at the plate and the ability to drive the ball gap-to-gap are his calling card, but as his frame fills out, he could project to have more power. He also runs well (6.50 60-yard) and has a chance to stick in center field. Hassell really made a name for himself as a member of the U.S. National Team in the Under-18 World Cup, where he was the team MVP.

Next: Best 1st Round Picks in Angels History

Of course, all of these options rely on one thing. They have to slip to the Angels at number 10 in the MLB Draft. But if one of these four does, the Halos stand to land a very special player.

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