The Los Angeles Angels only had four picks during the five-round MLB Draft, and three of those four picks are already expected to sign with the team.
The Los Angeles Angels followed a familiar path when sending in their picks during the 2020 MLB Draft. With four picks in the five-round draft, the team went after college arms with two of the selections and chose high-upside prep hitters with their other two slots.
The draft wrapped up on Thursday evening, with the shortened draft going quite quickly as opposed to the normal 40-round affair. With picks being sent in virtually, it had the feel of a fantasy baseball draft, with teams already having their selections ready and simply adjusting as needed when someone threw a wrench into the works (ahem, I’m looking at you Baltimore and Boston!).
For the Angels, they were quite efficient with their four selections, first grabbing Louisville left-hander Reid Detmers with the 10th overall pick, then following with David Calabrese (3rd round, St. Elizabeth HS), Werner Blakely (4th round, Southfield Lathrup HS), and Adam Seminaris (5th round, Long Beach State).
It didn’t take long for the team to get to work on signing their picks either. The first domino to fall was Seminaris, who (according to Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic) agreed to a signing bonus of $140,000. The signing saves the Angels $250,400 from the expected slot value of $390,400.
A lefty out of Chino Hills, CA, Seminaris went 6-16 in his three seasons with Long Beach State. However, he produced a solid 3.58 ERA and 154 strikeouts over 173.2 innings of work, including a 1.23 ERA and 36 strikeouts in his 22 innings before the 2020 shutdown. In those 173.2 career innings, he only surrendered nine total home runs. Like Detmers, he isn’t going to light up the radar gone, but Seminaris will compensate for that by commanding four pitches and throwing a change-up that is considered his best pitch.
The savings on the signing of Seminaris turned into a ripple effect. On Saturday, the team was reported to come to an agreement with David Calabrese, the Canadian high school outfielder. According to Mason McRae of Prospects365, Calabrese is expected to sign with the Angels and take home a signing bonus of $744,000, or the fully allotted slot for the 82nd overall pick.
Considered the second-best defensive centerfielder in the draft, Calabrese featured plus speed. He doesn’t have the best power tool, as he’s narrow and undersized (5’11”, 160lbs), but he could develop more power as he grows. Considering he had a commitment to Arkansas, it is interesting that the Angels were able to get him at the slot value.
Likewise, the Angels have also come to an agreement with 3rd round pick Werner Blakely. However, unlike Calabrese, the Halos had to go over slot to ink Blakely, who according to Robert Murray will take home $900k. With a slot value of $522,600, the Angels had to commit an extra $377,400. Counting the money saved on Seminaris, Anaheim is now $127,000 over their current bonus pool.
Blakely, a high school shortstop out of Michigan, has drawn comparisons to Dansby Swanson and Alex Bregman for his skills on both sides of the ball and his overall make-up. An Auburn commit, the Angels had to go above and beyond to convince him to jump straight to the majors.
Interestingly enough, that leaves the Angels with just $4,613,100 with which to sign Reid Detmers. As the 10th overall pick, Detmers slot has a value of $4,739,900. That means Detmers will need to agree to a below slot deal for the Angels to fit him into their draft pool. For a pitcher that was always slated to go in the top 10 and is considered a fast track possibility, that is a risky move for the team. Of course, one would assume that the Angels already have some structure in place before agreeing to the deals with their other selections. However, pundits will also keep an eye on other potential shenanigans.
"LA Angels: Which players will excel in a shortened season?"
Regardless, the Angels are off to a good start in terms of getting their draft class signed. Of course, there is no minor league baseball planned for 2020, but we’ll take the good news and look to the future regardless.