Ranking each of the last 10 Angels first round draft picks from worst to best

With the MLB Draft beginning tonight, let's take a trip down memory lane at some recent Angels first-round draft picks
June 11, 2023; Anaheim, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels shortstop Zach Neto (9) is greeted by
June 11, 2023; Anaheim, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels shortstop Zach Neto (9) is greeted by / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
4 of 10

7) Matt Thaiss: 16th overall, 2016 MLB Draft

Matt Thaiss was selected in the first round in 2016 out of the University of Virginia as a catcher, yet he was developed primarily as a corner infielder. He didn't catch his first game in the Angels organization until the 2021 season, five years after he was drafted.

Thaiss wasn't drafted for his glove, he was drafted for his bat. Unfortunately, his numbers in the minors were never anything special and his numbers in the majors were abysmal prior to this season.

Thaiss entered this season with a .205/.299/.373 slashline with 11 home runs and 32 RBI in 93 games and 278 plate appearances. Not great at all.

He made the Opening Day roster this season mainly because Max Stassi was on the IL and he was out of options. If Thaiss had an option, it would not have been surprising to see Chad Wallach break camp as Logan O'Hoppe's backup. With the way Thaiss began this season, I and other Angels fans wished Wallach would've been the one to crack the roster, but with the way he's played overall, he's made us eat our words.

Thaiss went hitless in his first 12 at-bats of the season. Nobody can forget the two catchers interferences he committed in one inning which cost the Angels a game in Boston.

Since his rough start, he's slashed .281/.376/.418 with five home runs and 22 RBI. He's been slumping a bit of late, but has for the most part excelled as the team's number one catcher, and he's proven he can last at the MLB level for a sustained period of time. A 109 OPS+ is quite good, particularly for a catcher. Even with his defense not being anything special, that bat makes him a player worth rostering.

Thaiss is still seventh because he's been good for just the 62 games he's played in this season. He needs to show a bit more, especially since we had to deal with him producing nothing when given the opportunity in previous years.