Angels Raid Georgia Prep Ranks On Draft Day





ANAHEIM—The conference call had not yet started, so righthander Cam Bedrosian and outfielder Chevy Clarke decided to talk to each other.

"I can't believe it, man. This is crazy," Bedrosian said. "We're going to L.A."

The Angels tapped into Georgia's talent pool for their first three picks on draft day. With pick No. 18, they took third baseman Kaleb Cowart from Cook High in Adel, Ga.

With back-to-back picks at Nos. 29 and 30, Los Angeles selected two friends from the greater Atlanta area—Bedrosian, who hails from Sharpsburg's East Coweta High ans is the son of former big league pitcher Steve Bedrosian, and Clarke, a Marietta High product.

The Angels had five of the first 50 picks, with four coming as compensation for the loss of John Lackey and Chone Figgins in free agency.

"It's really fun to have five," scouting director Eddie Bane said. "It's no fun to lose John Lackey and Chone Figgins, but this is a little bit of payback."

The Angels will have to buy Cowart out of a Florida State scholarship, but they took a big first step by drafting him as a third baseman. The switch-hitter batted .654 with 11 home runs and stole 36 bases without getting caught. But he also had a 1.05 ERA and 116 strikeouts in 73 innings, with a fastball that touched 95 mph. Some teams scouted him as a pitcher.

"Kaleb is a hitter for us," Bane said. "There's no thought of him pitching."

Cowart would not go so far as to say he would not have signed with a team that wanted him to pitch, but he was pleased the Angels announced they had drafted him as a third baseman.

"A few years down the road, if it doesn't work out, and I'm struggling, I can move to the mound," Cowart said. "I'd love to be the future third baseman for them—in the near future. I feel I can be an everyday third baseman for a major league club."

ANGEL FOOD

• The Angels did not conclude their Day-One selections with pick No. 30. They held two supplemental picks and used them to select shortstop Taylor Lindsay, No. 37 overall from Desert Mountain High in Scottsdale, Ariz.; and outfielder Ryan Bolden, No. 40 overall from Madison (Miss.) Central High.

• The Angels chose high school players with all five of their first-day picks, a high-risk, high-upside bet aimed at replenishing the farm system. "Other teams don't have that luxury," Bane said. "Maybe they have one pick."