LA Angels News

LA Angels: 5 crazy ‘what-if’ first-round picks that could have been

By Daniel Preciado
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 09: Starting pitcher Gerrit Cole #45 of the New York Yankees pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays in Game Five of the American League Division Series at PETCO Park on October 09, 2020 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 09: Starting pitcher Gerrit Cole #45 of the New York Yankees pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays in Game Five of the American League Division Series at PETCO Park on October 09, 2020 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 09: Starting pitcher Gerrit Cole #45 of the New York Yankees pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays in Game Five of the American League Division Series at PETCO Park on October 09, 2020 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 09: Starting pitcher Gerrit Cole #45 of the New York Yankees pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays in Game Five of the American League Division Series at PETCO Park on October 09, 2020 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Gerrit Cole (2008)

Gerrit Cole was considered the crown jewel of the 2008 draft, but given his sign-ability concerns, he fell late into the first round and was drafted by the New York Yankees. He did not wind up signing even after getting drafted in the first round. He instead went to UCLA to be rotation mates with Trevor Bauer and then found his way to the New York Yankees eventually, signing a deal north of $300 million with them last off-season.

Even though Gerrit Cole was no obtainable for the Yankees, he very well could have been for the Angels. Gerrit Cole attended Orange Lutheran High School in the city of Orange, just a few miles away from Angel Stadium. Cole would have been offered the chance to pitch for his hometown team and likely would have bitten on the offer if the Angels paid up.

Instead, the Angels signed Torii Hunter away from the Minnesota Twins and lost their first-round pick. That selection would have been 27th overall. Gerrit Cole went at the 28th overall pick in 2008.

Other major leaguers who went outside of the first round include Jake Odorizzi, Lance Lynn, Brad Hand, and Craig Kimbrel.

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