Angels For The Outfield

L.A. tabs prep outfielders Grichuk, Trout in first round

Click here to see the complete Angels draft class of 2009 and track signings

ANAHEIM—The Angels haven't developed a starting outfielder since Darin Erstad, drafted in 1995. They haven't developed a power hitter since Troy Glaus, drafted in 1997.

They hope they filled both needs with the high school outfielders they selected with their two first-round picks in this year's draft.
The Angels had five of the first 48 picks and have lots of interesting players as a result. LHPs Tyler Kehrer (supplemental first round), Pat Corbin (second) and Josh Spence (third) probably went two or three rounds higher than the consensus. There's upside throughout the class, though, and the biggest wild card of all with athletic Washington QB Jake Locker, whom the Angels will try to persuade to return to baseball.

With the 24th overall pick, Los Angeles selected Randal Grichuk from Lamar Consolidated High in Rosenberg, Texas. One pick later, they took Mike Trout from Millville (N.J.) High.

Grichuk batted .613 this season and clubbed 21 home runs in 75 at-bats. He notably hit a 475-foot shot during a January scouting showcase at Tropicana Field, home of the Rays, and he dazzled the Angels at a pre-draft workout at Angel Stadium.

Angels scouting director Eddie Bane said Grichuk had "lightning in his bat" and projected him as a right fielder.

"Trout is obviously a more toolsy guy," Bane said. "Grichuk is no slug with the glove. He's a good athlete. His main attraction is the bat."

Trout projects as a center fielder with speed and power. He hit a state-record 18 home runs this season. He said he hoped to make the major leagues in three to four years. He also was the only 2009 draft pick who attended the televised event at the MLB Network's studio in Secaucus, N.J.

"It couldn't happen with a better organization," Trout said. "I love the Angels and their winning history. This is the best feeling in the world right now."

Bane said scout Kevin Ham "fell in love" with Grichuk's ability, even as draft forecasts pegged Grichuk below the first round.

"I'm overwhelmed with excitement," Grichuk said. "Being able to go in the first round of the major league baseball draft is unbelievable."


• Although the Angels had focused on power hitters, Bane said Grichuk and Trout were rated the best available players when the Angels drafted, not just the best available power prospects. The Angels spent four of their next five picks on lefthanders. "I didn't go in with any intent of taking lefthanders, either," Bane said. "They were the best guys available."

• The Angels' other Day One picks, the first three of which were supplemental first-round picks: lefthander Tyler Skaggs from Santa Monica (Calif.) High at No. 40, righthander Garrett Richards from Oklahoma at No. 42, lefthander Tyler Kehrer from Eastern Illinois at No. 48, lefthander Pat Corbin from Chipola (Fla.) JC at No. 80 and lefthander Josh Spence from Arizona State at No. 110.