Angels Draft Report Card

Analyzing the Angels' 2008 draft




QUICK TAKE
The Angels lacked a first-round pick for the third time in four years, and for the second straight draft, they ranked 29th among the 30 teams in bonus spending. Second-round pick Tyler Chatwood ($547,000) landed the biggest bonus. Not signing two of their first five picks was another blow, so their draft again rests on late-round picks.
POSITION PLAYERS

BEST PURE HITTER: 1B Gabe Jacobo (10) reached low Class A and hit .324/.357/.556 with 10 homers in his first pro summer. He may not have enough power to profile at first base, so he'll need to work hard to play third base or the outfield. 1B/OF Roberto Lopez (25) also opened eyes with a stunning pro debut.  >>  BEST POWER HITTER: Jacobo has the most current power, but 1B Nick Farnsworth (9) should pass him as he adds strength and experience.  >>  FASTEST RUNNER: OF Matt Crawford (23) may have been old for the Rookie-level Arizona League, but he used his plus speed to win the batting title (.373) and steal 19 bases in 21 tries. OF Marcel Champagnie (15) also has above-average wheels.  >>  BEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER: Rolando Gomez (11) is a cousin of former all-star and Gold Glover Tony Fernandez, and he has similar actions at shortstop. He signed for $450,000.

PITCHERS

BEST FASTBALL: RHP Tyler Chatwood (2) is figuring out command, but velocity is no problem. He repeatedly hit 94 mph during his pro debut and can touch 97. RHP Michael Kohn (13) did the same, utilizing a short arm action that made his fastball seem to get on hitters even quicker. Both were two-way players as amateurs; Chatwood in high school and Kohn at the College of Charleston.  >>  BEST SECONDARY PITCH: Chatwood's size (5-foot-11) and fastball/curveball combination have earned comparisons to Roy Oswalt. RHP Kevin Nabors' (26) curveball may enable him to make it to the majors as a reliever. RHP Ryan Chaffee (3) has a plus changeup—and a low-90s fastball—though he has yet to make his pro debut after injuring his ankle at the Junior College World Series.

ODDS AND ENDS

BEST PRO DEBUT: 1B/OF Roberto Lopez (25) was the Rookie-level Pioneer League's MVP, leading the league in batting (.400), runs (68), hits (108), RBIs (72), on-base percentage (.480) and slugging (.667). LHP Jayson Miller (30), a finesse pitcher, was PL pitcher of the year after going 8-2, 2.33 with a 68-7 K-BB ratio in 81 innings.  >>  BEST ATHLETE: Chatwood was also a prospect as a multitooled outfielder.  >>  MOST INTRIGUING BACKGROUND: Gomez. Unsigned OF Zach Cone's (3) father Ronnie was a Georgia Tech running back drafted by the New York Jets.  >>  CLOSEST TO THE MAJORS: Los Angeles didn't sign a four-year college player until Jacobo in the 10th round, so it's unlikely anyone will make a quick impact. Kohn or Nabors could be the best candidate as a reliever.  >>  BEST LATE-ROUND PICK: Lopez or Kohn.  >>  THE ONE WHO GOT AWAY: The Angels failed to sign the two best athletes they drafted, Cone and OF Khiry Cooper (5). They met Cone's asking price twice only to be turned down so he could attend Georgia, while Cooper opted to play wide receiver at Nebraska.