Angels Mock Draft Roundup: Latest mocks show chaos, but great options for LAA

Alright, what do we got?!
Arizona State University v Texas A&M University
Arizona State University v Texas A&M University / Kate Woolson/Texas Rangers/GettyImages
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It's fair to say that the Los Angeles Angels' track record in the MLB Draft is spotty at best. The Angels' last two first round picks in Zach Neto and Nolan Schanuel clearly have a lot of talent, but have yet to really capitalize on the big league opportunities that were thrust upon them.

Beyond that, there have been several guys of questionable value and little to show when it comes to developing a pitching staff. With the Angels set to pick eighth when the 2024 MLB Draft gets under way in less than a month, there is a lot at stake for Perry Minasian and the rest of the front office.

Top 10 picks in the draft are precious and have a chance to completely alter the course of a franchise in most instances. Get it right and the Angels could really set themselves up well for the future. However, a miss this year could relegate LA to being also-rans for years to come.

Fortunately, the top 10-11 draft prospects this year appear to be a strong group with good options on both sides of the ball. However, the latest mock drafts seem to be showing that there is a good bit of uncertainty as to who will even be available when the Angels pick.

2024 MLB Draft: Angels' 2024 first-round pick remains up in the air

The focus here is going to be on three of the more higher-profile and respected mock drafters out there in Baseball America, MLB Pipeline, and The Athletic. This isn't a knock on any other outlets, but these are all outlets that are well-connected and generally do the most work when it comes to trying to weed out what is going to happen once the draft starts on July 14.

Starting with MLB Pipeline, they are seeing some shifts in how the top 10 could play out. Flamethrower Chase Burns has moved up their board and most of the top college arms outside of ECU's Trey Yesavage are off the board in their latest mock draft, so they have the Angels taking Wake Forest first baseman Nick Kurtz with their first-round pick. Kurtz is a bit redundant after the Schanuel selection last year, but Kurtz has big time power and the Angels could find a way to get his bat into their lineup soon.

Next up is Baseball America, who also has roughly the same 10 players going in the first 10 picks as other mocks, but in a different order with JJ Wetherholt (who was a popular Angels target early) a candidate to go first overall now. According to BA's Carlos Collazo, LAA could turn to a different college bat in outfielder Braden Montgomery in his most recent mock draft. Montgomery did break his ankle late in the season, but he is still considered a lock to go in the top 10 because he's a switch-hitter with power from both sides of the plate and an absolute cannon of an arm in the outfield.

Finally, we come to The Athletic's Keith Law, whose mocks can defy industry consensus at times. However, he also has roughly the same names in the top 10, but again in a different order, with Kurtz going in the top dive and Montgomery falling to No. 10 given his injury uncertainty. In Law's mock, he has Arkansas starter Hagen Smith dropping in the Angels' laps instead. Smith has a real argument for being the most complete college pitcher in this year's class, and if he's somehow available when LA picks, it would be pretty foolish for them to pass on him unless there is some unknown injury issue that pops up. He is a top-five in this year's draft without a doubt.

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