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Born To Be An Angel

June 7, 2005
By Bill Shaikin

ANAHEIMFor a team that now sells itself as the Los Angeles Angels, Trevor Bell makes for a perfect draft choice. He worked as a child actor, appearing in commercials for Old Navy, Kelloggs and Hot Wheels. His father did construction work at Barry Zitos Hollywood home and introduced the former Cy Young Award winner to his son.

Bell grew up within an easy drive from Dodger Stadium and attended his share of games there, but, he said, I was never really a Dodger fan. He called the Angels his favorite team, even before they selected him with their top draft pick (37th overall) on Tuesday.

He was born on Oct. 12, 1986the day Dave Henderson of the Red Sox hit the home run off Donnie Moore that deprived the Angels of what would have been their first World Series bid.

Oh my God, Bell said. Are you serious?

Bell, 18, went 8-3, 1.13 at Crescenta Valley (Calif.) HS, giving up 11 walks and 43 hits in 80 innings while striking out 113. Eddie Bane, the Angels scouting director, said he saw the righthander twice and personally clocked his fastball as high as 96 mph. Bane also said Bell has a major league curveball.

Now?

Yeah, Bane said, but not every time he throws it.

Bell also hit .367-8-20 as an outfielder.

Hed have been a prospect as a hitter, Bane said. Trevor needs to know his hitting days are over.

Said Bell: I like hitting. I love pitching.

The Angels signed their top pick last year, pitcher Jered Weaver, one week before this years draft. They expect to sign Bell very quickly, in part because he is not represented by Scott Boras and in part because he has not signed a letter of intent to attend college.

I just want to get out there and get started as soon as I can, Bell said.

ANGEL FOOD

The Angels first seven selections were high school players, although Bane said that was not by design. They did not pick a player from a junior college until the 7th round and a player from a four-year college until the 12th round. Were not one of those teams thats going to take college guys just to take college guys, Bane said.

The Angels notable selections included infielder P.J. Phillips of Redan (Ga.) HS (second round), brother of Cleveland prospect Brandon Phillips, and righthander Robert Romero (seventh round) of Grayson County (Tex.) CC, John Lackey's alma mater.

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