"I ended up getting on the mound one day after practice, as a joke," Kohn said. "I hit 95, 96 mph on the radar gun."
That was no joke. Kohn hit the pro radar in a hurry. After a college pitching career that consisted of 13 innings, and after he had not been drafted as a position player after his junior year, Kohn got picked by the Angels in the 13th round of the 2008 draft.
The righthander has rocketed up the Angels' depth chart. He pitched at Rookie-level Orem in 2008 and at Class A stops at Cedar Rapids and Rancho Cucamonga in 2009, with these career numbers: 8-1, 1.72, with 37 walks and 147 strikeouts in 89 innings.
In his pro career, he has faced 341 batters and given up two home runs.
Kohn, 23, gives the credit to the Angels coaches who helped transform him from a guy that "basically just reared back and fired" to a more well-rounded pitcher: Mike Butcher, Brandon Emanuel, Kernan Ronan and Zeke Zimmerman.
The Angels invited him to Butcher's January camp for top pitching prospects. They project him as a power reliever, and the 6-foot, 200-pound Kohn said no one has suggested trying him as a starter.
"I go 110 percent on every pitch," he said. "I'd probably blow out by the third inning."
He still misses hitting, but he takes his swings now by teaching hitting to children during the winter.
"Other than that," he said, "hitting a golf ball is about all the hitting I do."
• Chris Pettit, 25, who would have competed for a reserve big league outfielder job in spring training, will miss the season after surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder. Pettit, who had tried to rehabilitate the winter ball injury, hit .321/.383/.482 at Triple-A Salt Lake last season.
• Outfielder Terry Evans, 28, who is trying to make his first Opening Day roster, did not strike out in his first 12 Cactus League at-bats. Evans has six strikeouts in 18 career major league at-bats.