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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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SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 08: Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees bats against the Tampa Bay Rays in Game Four of the American League Division Series at PETCO Park on October 08, 2020 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 08: Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees bats against the Tampa Bay Rays in Game Four of the American League Division Series at PETCO Park on October 08, 2020 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Aaron Judge (2013)

This might be the most heart-breaking scenario in Angels history. Aaron Judge, when on the field, has a genuine claim to being the third best player in the sport. He is very gifted on both ends, boasting an electric power bat and height that can allow him to snag home runs out of the right field stands at Yankee Stadium.

Judge was selected 32nd overall by the New York Yankees back in 2013, a draft where the Angels had no first-round pick. The reason they did not have a first-round pick? They signed Josh Hamilton to a monster contract. We all know how that turned out. Not ideal.

Judge took some extra minor league seasoning to become what he is, but the Angels easily could have had him playing right field right now alongside Mike Trout. He has posted a lifetime 151 wRC+ which is quite frankly Hall of Fame caliber. The Angels could have had an outfield for the ages, but instead had Josh Hamilton.

Other notable players that came from the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft include right-handed reliever Corey Knebel, recent National League Rookie of the Year Devin Williams, MVP outfielder Cody Bellinger, and Mets utility man Jeff McNeil. The Angels could certainly use one of those guys!

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