LA Angels select college righty with No. 9 overall pick

LA Angels. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)
LA Angels. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) /

The LA Angels selected Sam Bachman with the No. 9 overall pick in the MLB Draft.

Bachman played for the University of Miami (Ohio) for three seasons, where the right-handed pitcher was primarily a starter for the university.

He’s 21 years old, and has 30 college starts under his belt.

Many around the league were surprised the LA Angels selected Sam Bachman.

The LA Angels didn’t necessarily reach for Sam Bachman, as he is No. 14 on the MLB’s Top 250 Draft Prospects.

Many were surprised, however, that they didn’t select Kumal Rocker, the superstar college pitcher from Vanderbilt University, who was the No. 6 prospect. It was a shocker that he dropped all the way down to No. 10, where the New York Mets picked him up.

Bachman has his upside, though.

He’s a mid-90s fastball pitcher and can get over 100. He was originally thought of as a reliever, but improved his command (as well as improved in general) this season.

He still needs to work on his changeup command, but it’s still a solid pitch, grading out at a 55 (20 to 80 scale).

His heater is his best pitch, as his fastball grades at a 70. His 1.81 ERA this year was a huge improvement from his 3.93 (2019) and 3.42 (2020) ERAs from his first two seasons in college.

He struck out 14 batters per nine innings in 2021, and ranked second in NCAA Division I baseball with a 0.77 WHIP.

He’s earned his status as the first-ever first-round pick from his school, and while many are surprised the Halos didn’t take Rocker, many are surprised a lot of other teams passed on him too.

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Perhaps there was a reason, and the Halos were able to identify that. It’s too early to judge the pick right now, as Bachman’s college career flashed lots of potential.