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

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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CINCINNATI, OH – SEPTEMBER 21: Christian Yelich #22 of the Milwaukee Brewers looks on before the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on September 21, 2020 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH – SEPTEMBER 21: Christian Yelich #22 of the Milwaukee Brewers looks on before the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on September 21, 2020 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Christian Yelich (2010)

Christian Yelich, another Southern California product out of Westlake High School in Thousand Oaks, was easily possible for the Angels. He was considered a solid defensive center fielder at the time with 20-30 stolen base ability, the ability to hit for a very high average, but with limited power. We now know that this is not the case. Yelich crushed 44 home runs in a tight MVP race with Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger back in 2019.

The Angels had the 18th, 29th, 30th, 37th, and 40th picks in the 2010 MLB First-Year Player Draft. Basically every one of those picks did not end well. The Angels took third baseman Kaleb Cowart with the first of the five picks — he didn’t amount to much. The Angels also took Cam Bedrosian who ended becoming a solid reliever, but never really amounted to much either and was recently released. The Halos also took outfielder Chevy Clarke, shortstop Taylor Lindsey, and outfielder Ryan Bolden, three players who never played in Major League Baseball.

Not only could the Angels have had Christian Yelich, though. Noah ‘Thor’ Syndergaard was available at pick 38 before he was taken by the Toronto Blue Jays and Nick Castellanos was also available at pick 44 to the Detroit Tigers.

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