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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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ST LOUIS, MO – SEPTEMBER 25: Jack Flaherty #22 of the St. Louis Cardinals delivers a pitch against the Milwaukee Brewers in the second inning during game one of a doubleheader at Busch Stadium on September 25, 2020 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
ST LOUIS, MO – SEPTEMBER 25: Jack Flaherty #22 of the St. Louis Cardinals delivers a pitch against the Milwaukee Brewers in the second inning during game one of a doubleheader at Busch Stadium on September 25, 2020 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Jack Flaherty (2014)

Jack Flaherty was a highly-touted prospect when he was drafted after being rotation mates with Atlanta Braves ace Max Fried and Chicago White Sox stud Lucas Giolito at Harvard-Westlake High School in Los Angeles. Flaherty always had electric stuff and the St. Louis Cardinals saw a lot in him and have recently been proven correct with their assessment.

Flaherty was selected in the compensatory round of the 2014 draft at 34th overall. The Angels had the 15th overall pick in the draft and used it on left-hander Sean Newcomb. Newcomb became a solid major league asset unlike many other players we have mentioned the Angels drafting, but I’m sure the Halos would have loved to have gotten Flaherty instead.

In addition to Jack Flaherty, the Angels also could have had defensive wizard Matt Chapman who instead was drafted by the Oakland Athletics at 25th overall.

Outside of Flaherty and Chapman, the Angels also could have had top prospect Michael Kopech, solid major leaguers Luke Weaver and Michael Chavis, as well as Boston Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo or Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins.

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