The Los Angeles Angels have had a knack for looking at players in the MLB Draft who can make an impact as soon as possible. There's no doubt in my mind that had the Angels had the first overall pick, Paul Skenes would've been the pick because some argue he could even be MLB-ready right now.
With the 11th selection in the first round, the Angels selected first baseman Nolan Schanuel out of Florida Atlantic University.
While Schanuel was not ranked as high as 11th in pretty much any mock draft, he's a player who had monster numbers in college and should be ready to contribute in the majors fairly quickly. Players like Zach Neto, Ben Joyce, Sam Bachman, and Chase Silseth among others are recent Angels picks who have debuted very quickly.
LA Angels make surprising but not surprising selection with Nolan Schanuel
The pick was surprising in that Schanuel wasn't ranked as highly as they selected him, but unsurprising in that he should make an impact rather quickly.
The 21-year-old played three seasons at FAU, slashing .386/.516/.698 overall with 46 home runs and 176 RBI. His numbers were at his best this past season as he slashed .447/.615/.868 with 19 home runs and 64 RBI in just 59 games. He drew an absurd 71 walks compared to 14 strikeouts. Yes, he homered more than he struck out. Video game-type numbers. He won the Conference Player of the Year award rather easily.
Schanuel is a first baseman who can also play in the corner outfield. Standing at 6'4 and weighing 220 pounds, Schanuel swings a left-handed power bat with a really strong eye. The Angels drafted him for his bat, and he could potentially even start or appear in AA this season, much like Zach Neto did last season.
Schanuel might not play a premium position like Neto, but boy, can he hit. The Angels add another legitimate power bat into their system, and Schanuel should rank as one of the team's best prospects from the jump.
The Angels did not have a second-round pick thanks to the Tyler Anderson signing, so Schanuel was the only player selected by the team. They'll make more picks today when the third round begins.