See Also: 2023 MLB Draft Database
Draft Theme: Elite Vision & Contact Hitters.
Each of the first three players the Angels drafted in 2023 share similar traits when it comes to their bat-to-ball skills and ability to control the strike zone. 1B Nolan Schanuel was perhaps one of the most famous players in the class for his excellent contact ability and swing decisions, but both 3B Alberto Rios and OF Joe Redfield—who was an off-the-BA-board selection—stand out for their ability to cover the plate, draw walks and minimize strikeouts.
Most Interesting Day 2 Pick: RHP Camden Minacci, 6th round
A 6-foot-3, 210-pound righthander, Minacci has been an excellent reliever for Wake Forest for three seasons, and in 2023 posted a 2.83 ERA over 28.2 innings with a career-high 34.9% strikeout rate and career-low 7.9% walk rate. He’s a relief-only prospect with a high-effort delivery and a high, three-quarter slot. Minacci throws a fastball that averaged 95 mph this spring and has been up to 99, with tons of ride and around 18 inches of induced vertical break. It’s a definite plus offering and he pairs that with another plus pitch in his mid-80s slider. The breaking ball is short and hard, occasionally pushing 90 mph in velocity and generated a 35% miss rate this spring. An intense competitor on the mound, scouts love Minacci’s mound presence and intensity, and also note that he has steadily improved his control and consistency in each season with Wake Forest. He should be one of the first relievers selected and fits in the 3-5 round range as a potential fast-moving bullpen arm.
Most Interesting Day 3 Pick: 1B Sam Brown, 11th round
Brown had a great true freshman season in 2021 during which he hit .315 with 16 doubles, five home runs and 21 RBIs over the course of 47 games. After a down year in 2022, Brown decided to enter the transfer portal and ended up at Washington State, where he flourished in 2023. The 6-foot-2, 218-pound first baseman hit .370/.477/.667 with 11 home runs, 19 doubles, a 13.6% strikeout rate and an 11.2% walk rate this spring and made the All-Pac-12 team for his efforts. Brown’s approach improved dramatically, which led to improved strikeout and walk rates as well as an in-zone miss rate of just 14%. He sets up with a wide base and slightly open front side in the box with some pre-swing movement in the form of a bat waggle. Brown doesn’t have overwhelming hand or bat speed, but his sheer strength allows him to hit for power to all fields, and particularly to the pull side. He has an advanced feel for the barrel and keeps his hands inside the baseball. A solid defender at first, Brown’s overall profile makes for a quality late second day or early third day draft choice.