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Angels Draft Pitchers With All 20 Picks In 2021 MLB Draft

The Angels had a philosophy for the 2021 MLB Draft.

If you don’t stand on the pitcher’s mound, you’re a better fit somewhere else.

The Angels had 20 picks in this year’s draft. They selected 20 pitchers—14 righthanders and six lefthanders.

This is becoming a trend for the Angels. Last year, the club picked two pitchers and two hitters with its four picks in the five-round draft.

In 2019, the Angels did pick position players with their first two picks, but 17 of the team’s remaining 18 picks in the top 20 rounds were pitchers. It was similar in 2018. The team’s top two picks were hitters but 16 of the remaining 18 in the top 20 rounds were pitchers.

Angels amateur scouting director Matt Swanson said he didn’t begin the draft planning to avoid ever taking a hitter. He says they really did consider taking hitters at various points in the draft. But they liked the pitching depth. They like drafting pitchers. And once the trend really got rolling on the final day of the three-day draft, it created a momentum of its own.

“There were situations throughout the entirety of the draft where you are considering position players,” Swanson said. “We did get to a point today where you let it ride . . .  It got to the point where you almost have to laugh and say let’s keep this going. It’s not a slight on position players we were considering. Considering the depth of pitchers we were considering, it’s a group of players I’ve been drawn to throughout my career. It’s a really attractive fit to me.”

Swanson said that the team expects to have a chance to sign all 20 of its picks—none were taken as unlikely to sign backup options. He said that the split of starters and relievers will be about 50-50 with this group. Considering the number of new arms being added to the system if everyone signs, there aren’t really enough innings to do it any other way.

And Swanson said that even with the steady focus on pitchers in the top 20 rounds of the draft in recent years, the club’s existing prospect depth was more weighted to the position player side. Picking all pitchers helps even up the club’s talent.

“I think one of the strengths of our system is the young position players we have,” Swanson said. “A little more advanced pitching group offsets the depth of position players we have.”

Thanks to the Pramana Labs Shift Tool we have the answer that yes, this is an all-time record. Here are the most pitchers selected by a team in the top 20 rounds, all-time.

Los Angeles Angels202021
Atlanta Braves182015
Baltimore Orioles172016
Toronto Blue Jays172011
Toronto Blue Jays172010
Milwaukee Brewers172008
Atlanta Braves172006
Minnesota Twins172004
Los Angeles Angels162019
Texas Rangers162019
Kansas City Royals162018
Los Angeles Angels162018
Chicago Cubs162016
Kansas City Royals162004
Cleveland Indians162001
New York Yankees162001
Chicago White Sox161999
Baltimore Orioles161998
Chicago White Sox161998
Seattle Mariners161996
Toronto Blue Jays161993
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