Angels end up with best possible scenario in latest expert mock draft

One can only hope that this is how the 2024 MLB Draft starts for the Angels.
Oregon State University v University of Arkansas
Oregon State University v University of Arkansas / Kate Woolson/Texas Rangers/GettyImages

While the Los Angeles Angels toil away during what has proven to be a difficult 2024 season, the 2024 MLB Draft is coming up fast and LA has the eighth overall pick. With such a high pick and pretty poor farm system at the moment, a lot is riding on the Angels' front office getting this selection right.

Fortunately, this year's draft class does seem deep enough on both sides of the ball that the Angels should be able to land an impact player. Nothing is guaranteed whatsoever when it comes to draft prospects, but there plenty of solid options that should be available when Perry Minasian and Co. will be on the clock.

Baseball America's latest mock draft dropped on Friday and it has the Angels getting insanely lucky and landing Arkansas LHP Hagen Smith in the first round.

Angels land Hagen Smith in Baseball America's mock draft in what would be a steal

In the mock, BA has Wake Forest's Chase Burns going third overall and being the first pitcher taken, but they also acknowledge that Smith could (and maybe should) be considered the best arm in this draft class, and may not make it to No. 8. That said, things do break down in the mock in a way that makes some sense, and Angels fans need to be cheering hard for that to happen.

One, LA desperately needs pitching, and fast, so an elite college arm like Smith makes loads of sense. Smith is also going to have an extremely strong case as being the best player available regardless of position if he is sitting there when the Angels pick. His fastball and slider are at least plus pitches right now and his splitter could develop that way too. A left-handed power arm with two swing-and-miss pitches that he can land for strikes? Yes please.

Unfortunately, other mocks haven't been quite as bullish on the Angels' chances of getting a shot a Smith as MLB Pipeline's most recent mock as the Cardinals taking him one pick before the Angels (and most agree he is at least a top-five talent in this draft class. It sounds like the Rockies are targeting pitching at No. 3 and Smith will absolutely be in the mix. Also, no one should sleep on the Royals snatching him up at No. 6, as scouting director Brian Bridges is no fool, especially when it comes to pitching.

In short, Angels fans need to be crossing their fingers and toes that Hagen Smith does indeed make it to their pick, but there are going to be plenty of strong options available even if that doesn't end up happening.

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