Angels mock draft gives fans hope team can fix weakest link

This would be a dream come true for the Halos.
Wake Forest pitcher Chase Burns
Wake Forest pitcher Chase Burns / Isaiah Vazquez/GettyImages

If you were to take a poll and ask the Los Angeles Angels fanbase what the team's biggest weakness over the past decade has been, over 90% would probably say starting pitching. And they'd be right. In fact, one could argue that the last time the Angels had an All-Star-caliber pitcher on the roster was when Jered Weaver was in his prime.

The new crop of Angels starters — Reid Detmers and Patrick Sandoval — have shown flashes at times, but overall there's a lot of skepticism surrounding the development of Los Angeles' starting pitchers.

But if MLB Pipeline's latest mock draft comes true, Angels fans might finally be excited about the prospects of having a top-end starting pitcher. Could Chase Burns actually fall into the LA's lap?

Angels mock draft gives fans hope team can fix weakest link

Burns, a Golden Spikes Award finalist, is one of the top pitchers in college baseball this season. The right-hander, now a product of the Wake Forest pitching laboratory, is following in the footsteps of last year's first-round selection Rhett Lowder. Formerly a pitcher for the Tennessee Volunteers, Burns has supplanted the departed Lowder in Winston-Salem and is the Demon Deacons' top starter this season.

Burns has a three-pitch mix with a fastball, slider, and changeup. The 21-year-old leads all Division-I pitchers this season with 169 strikeouts. This marks the third consecutive season in which Burns has eclipsed triple-digit punchouts. Burns has coupled his strikeout-heavy performance this season while also reducing the number of walks and hits allowed.

Burns has sparkling 0.843 WHIP and an insane 49.5% strikeout rate. While Detmers was a well-regarded strikeout artist during his tenure at the University of Louisville, Burns is on another level.

The Angels' front office would be quite content if they were able to land Burns with the eighth overall pick in the upcoming 2024 MLB Draft. With so little to enjoy about the season thus far, Angels fans could certainly celebrate securing one of the best pitchers in the upcoming draft class.

Unlike other spots, in baseball you never draft for need and always take the best player available. In this case, the Angels would be doing both.

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