Angels 2002 Draft Overview
By Josh Boyd
Scouting Director: Donny Rowland (first year: 2000).
2000 Draft (First three rounds, picking 10th)
2001 Draft (First three rounds, picking 13th)
The Angels' emphasis on identifying and signing homegrown talent has never been more important, as they've seen division rivals in Oakland and Seattle become perennial contenders because of their scouting and player-development foundations.
Since coming over to the Angels from his post as the Yankees' national crosschecker, Rowland has injected talent into what was considered a depleted farm system.
In his first draft for the Angels, Rowland had an extra first-rounder courtesy of the Athletics, who had signed free agent reliever Mike Magnante. He took the top two pitchers on Anaheim's draft board in live-armed high school lefthander Joe Torres (10th overall) and Auburn righthander Chris Bootcheck (20th overall).
Anaheim had extra picks again last year, thanks to the Rangers' signing of Mark Petkovsek, but the organization's biggest windfall came when prep first baseman Casey Kotchman was still on the board when its first pick (13th overall) came up.
Kotchman, the son of Angels scout and minor league manager Tom Kotchman, was considered one of the best pure hitters in the draft, and the Angels did not expect him to be available when their pick came up. When he was, they jumped on him.
Rowland, who was a scrappy middle infielder during his playing days, likes athletes and power arms. And when it comes to making a decision on comparable prospects, and one of them is a lefthander, he'll choose the lefty.
That's an area where the draft class of 2002 is strong. Scott Kazmir and Adam Loewen probably won't be around when Anaheim picks first at No. 12, but Joe Saunders, Jeff Francis, Cole Hamels and Luke Hagerty all could be.
With all of the attention Rowland has given to loading up the system with arms--18 of the organization's top 30 prospects are pitchers, including 10 who were acquired during Rowland's tenure--they may follow their 2001 draft and opt for position players again. Potential targets are such pure hitters as outfielder Jeremy Hermida or shortstop Scott Moore.
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