LA Angels: Getting to know the Angels draft picks

Billy Eppler, Arte Moreno, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (Photo by Matt Brown/Angels Baseball LP/Getty Images)
Billy Eppler, Arte Moreno, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (Photo by Matt Brown/Angels Baseball LP/Getty Images) /

With the aid of their former coaches, we get a look at the prospects the Angels picked up in the 2020 MLB Draft.

With the MLB draft come and gone, the Angels had four draft picks which featured loads of raw talent coming from various positions. As usual, the team focused on college arms and high-upside prep hitters.

I was able to chat with two people that knew two of the draft picks well and provided detail into what the Angels were getting.

Adam Seminaris – LHP, Long Beach State

With their fifth and final selection in the draft, the Angels took a left-handed pitcher out of Long Beach State who is known to use deception to help get batters out. Seminaris started just three games before the shutdown, and while it’s a small sample size of just 22 innings pitched, he went at least into the sixth inning in each of those starts. He also finished with 36 strikeouts and a 1.23 ERA before his season was ended abruptly due to COVID-19. He recently signed with the Angels for $140,000 which was under the slot value projected at $390,400.

I got to speak with Long Beach State’s Head coach, Eric Valenzuela, who spoke highly of crafty lefty by stating “He’s special, throws 4 quality pitches and he’s a local guy.” Playing in a local environment like Long Beach gives fans some connection to this pitcher should he reach the Majors and could give him some popularity being the hometown hero.

“He’s a hard worker and a leader,” Valenzuela states when asked what Angels fans can expect from him should he get a shot in the starting rotation down the road. If he can carry his leadership role into the Angels starting rotation in the future, then the Angels may have found themselves an unexpected ace in the rotation should he develop properly.

Of course, that is some big pressure as for now he’ll get a chance to prove himself in the minor leagues and it should allow himself to develop into a solid pitcher for the Angels. Now with college behind Seminaris, Valenzuela stated: “He can focus on baseball and his future is bright.” Noting the difficulties of managing school, life, and baseball which can be stressful for some.

Werner Blakely

Blakely was taken with the Angels fourth-round selection, he’s a shortstop coming from Detroit Edison Public School Academy with multiple tools, and if he can develop he can become something special for the Angels. According to Greg Amsinger of MLB Network, Blakely is known as the best high school player in the Detroit area which is, of course, something he can be proud of as he gets ready for his future with the Angels. Blakely’s baseball season was also put on hold as the only stats provided are from the 2018-2019 season where he had a .400 batting average, .600 OBP, 3 RBIs, and 2 stolen bases.

Of course, some fans may question why they went shortstop with Andrelton Simmons already there and may get an extension, however, keep in mind that these picks are not only for the now but for the future as well which we will see how he develops. Dan O Dowd of MLB Network also stated: “They’re taking the highest player on the board” when asked his take on the shortstop noting that he is a high-risk high reward type player. Should he develop right, he should have a high ceiling and look to make a big contribution to the Angels, regardless of what happens in the future.

The MLB Network analysts also mention he has an athletic frame which is something Angels gm, Billy Eppler, doesn’t shy away from taking as he is known for taking truly athletic players. Blakely has a reported deal already in place with the Angels, although nothing is official yet with his projected slot value at $522,600.

David Calabrese

Calabrese was taken with the Halos’ second-round pick in the draft and he was considered to be the best available on the draft board when the Angels got to select. He recently signed with the Angels for $744,000 which was the projected slot value for that pick, so that firmly keeps him committed to playing with the Angels.

I got to talk with Joe Ellison, the general manager of the Ontario Blue Jays, on what Angels fans can expect from the center fielder and how he can fit in the Angels plans. “You’re getting a young, athletic, and talented baseball player with game-changing speed.” Ellison states which show that his speed is more than likely his best asset which can play in any Major League organization because the run game is important in any game environment. Ellison compliments Calabrese on his hitting abilities by stating “He’s got the ability to hit and hit with some power, drives the balls to all fields and plays a very strong center field.”

This shows that Calabrese isn’t just going to be some player that pinch runs, rather, a player that if he develops properly, can help the Angels and possibly fit into their plans in the outfield for the future. Ellison wraps up by stating “I think he’s going to be someone Angels fans will see grow up in their system and will get excited for the day he steps foot at Angels stadium.” Angels fans will certainly appreciate the homegrown talent should he stay with the organization and Ellison affirms that with his previous statement, while his future is unknown, it sounds like the Angels got another solid outfielder in their organization.

Reid Detmers – LHP, Louisville

Reid Detmers is the Angels’ most prized pick-up. Being the 10th overall pick in the first round, he is a starting pitcher with a lot of potential to be a middle of the rotation arm in the Angels rotation. Like the other players already mentioned, Detmer’s season was cut short by the pandemic, however, he did start in four games for the Louisville Cardinals where he went 22 innings and posted a 1.23 ERA similarly to the Angels pick Adam Seminaris. His last full season was in 2019 where he started 18 games and pitched 113.1 innings, in those innings, he pitched to a 2.78 ERA with 167 strikeouts. There have been talks of him pitching in the Major Leagues, which would definitely be something to watch as he could instantly help the Angels in the hunt for a playoff spot.

He spoke with Roger Lodge on AM 830 radio on The SportsLodge to give fans a perspective of what he’s like and what Angels fans can expect from him. He mentioned that having fun in baseball is important to him and even off the field humor is also important which sounds like he could fit right in with the Angels team as the clubhouse is loose and Mike Trout being the funny guy on the team. He also mentioned that he didn’t throw a curveball upon the teachings of his dad until high school which shows that his dad was thinking about his long term success which the Angels can benefit from as he seems to pitch with intelligence rather than just being a thrower.

He lastly mentions that bus rides for away games were always fun to him as he and his teammates would play games in the back which just shows that he can also help keep the clubhouse loose. His talent is most certainly there, as he is projected to fit in the middle of the Anaheim rotation, he also provides humor as he mentioned in his interview with Roger Lodge which can certainly benefit the team.

"Angels News: Three MLB draft picks are expected to sign"

He hasn’t signed with the Halos yet with his projected slot value at $4,739,900, however, this is an important player for the Angels, signing him shouldn’t have issues unless something major came up.