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Revisiting the 2023 Angels MLB Draft class after the conclusion of the minor league season.
Best Pure Hitter: First baseman Nolan Schanuel (1) was viewed as a standout pure hitter going back to his prep days, and he locked in that reputation with a sterling career at Florida Atlantic before he rocketed almost straight to the big leagues. His batting eye and pure bat-to-ball skills are exceptional and allow for a plus hit tool.
Best Power Hitter: There’s not a significant amount of power in this Angels draft class, but outfielder Rio Foster (14) put up some eye-popping exit velocity data in his pro debut, though he has significant swing-and-miss questions. Scouts thought Schanuel had above-average raw power in batting practice, but his approach to this point doesn’t come close to fully tapping into it.
Fastest Runner: Outfielder Joe Redfield (4) moves around the outfield nicely and has been a consistent stolen base threat throughout his college career. With Sam Houston State this spring, he went 15-for-19 (78.9%) on the bases.
Best Defensive Player: Redfield (4) is one of the only up-the-middle profiles the Angels selected in the 2023 draft, and among the top 10 rounds he is probably the only one. He has a chance to be a solid defensive center fielder.
Best Fastball: Righthander Camden Minacci (5) has a legit plus fastball that sits in the 94-96 mph range and has been up to 99 with a lot of riding life up in the zone. Righthanders Riley Bauman (13) and Zach Joyce (14) have fastballs that get into the mid and upper 90s as well.
Best Secondary Pitch: Minacci (5) pairs the fastball with a plus slider that is more of a short and tight-spinning breaking ball that will get up to 90 mph at times, but generated a 35% miss rate out of the bullpen with Wake Forest this spring.
Best Pro Debut: Schanuel (1) had a historically impressive pro debut by making it to the big leagues just 40 days after he was drafted. He immediately started hitting in the leadoff spot after only 22 games in the minor leagues and coming out of a mid-major college program. Schanuel finished the season as a roughly league average hitter with a .275/.402/.330 slash line and more walks (20) than strikeouts (19).
Best Athlete: Righthander Barrett Kent (8) played a number of different sports in high school, including football, basketball, golf and track. His father played football at Texas Tech.
Most Intriguing Background: Redfield (4) was more of an under-the-radar prospect who surprised Baseball America early on the second day of the draft, but not for any lack of 2023 production. He hit over .400 at Sam Houston State with a strong power/speed blend that included 15 home runs and 15 stolen bases, and he also looked solid in a brief stint in the Cape Cod League.
Closest To The Majors: Schanuel (1) is already there, so there’s never been an easier pick to make. If he doesn’t count, Minnaci (5) has the stuff to move quickly in a bullpen role.
Best Day Three Pick (Or NDFA): The Angels spent big on high school shortstop John Wimmer (11), who signed for $397,500, but first baseman Sam Brown (12) is also interesting and has solid feel for the barrel and an all-fields hitting approach.