Los Angeles Angels MLB Draft History And Projections
As we approach the 2018 MLB Draft on June 4, we’ll break down each major league team’s recent draft history, picking out tendencies where applicable, highlighting the team’s 2018 draft pool and also touching on the organization’s most successful recent draft picks.
Additionally, each team is listed with potential draft targets. These players either fit the typical modus operandi of the organization or are players who have been specifically linked or rumored as fits with a team throughout the spring. Baseball America will continue to add and subtract players from the potential draft target section as we continue to gather information in the final weeks leading up to the draft. Players are listed with a line of skinny to get a quick idea of who they are, but our full scouting reports will give a more complete picture of a player.
It’s also worth pointing out that while in some cases a team might appear to have a clear tendency with certain demographics (i.e., high school pitchers or college hitters), the sample we are looking at is small enough that teams could simply be following a best player available strategy and the results are showing something that’s not an overarching scouting philosophy. It’s more likely that tendencies can be discovered at the extremes, rather than slight apparent preferences in the last five years.
Here is a breakdown of the recent MLB Draft history of the Los Angeles Angels:
General Manager: Billy Eppler
Scouting Director: Matt Swanson
2018 Bonus Pool (Rank): $6,984,400 (23rd)
2018 MLB Draft Order:
1st Round: 17th
2nd Round: 57th
3rd Round: 93rd
4th-40: 17th in each round.
First Round Picks Since 2013:
2017: Jo Adell (10th)
2016: Matt Thaiss (16th)
2015: Taylor Ward (26th)
2014: Sean Newcomb (15th)
Best Recent Pick (2010-2017 Drafts):
Teams look to find everyday players in the first round of the draft, so getting OF Kole Calhoun in the eighth round of the 2010 draft is a huge coup for the Angels. Calhoun isn’t a star, but from 2014-2016 he was an above-average major league hitter and won a gold glove award in 2015.
Recent Tendencies (Last Five Years/Top Five Rounds):
The Angels have a slight preference for college players at the top of the draft over the last five years, selecting college prospects 58.3 percent of the time (45.8 percent four-year and 12.5 percent junior college) and high school prospects 41.7 percent of the time.
Still, there are only five teams who have selected four-year players at a lower rate than the Angels (Orioles, Rangers, Padres, Braves, Royals) so it would be lying to say they have been college-heavy—at least relative to the league.
The Angels have had just four first-round picks in the last five years, as the team did not have a first-round selection in 2013. Three of those picks have gone to college players, while one—Jo Adell in 2017—came from the prep ranks, though that was scouting director Matt Swanson’s first year in charge.
The 2017 draft might have signaled a shift in philosophy for the Angels, as four of the team’s first five picks were high school players, which is a larger percentage than any of the team’s previous four drafts and the first time since 2010 that the team took a prep player in the first round. The Angels have been rumored to be after pitching as well.
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The 17-year-old righthander traveled south of the border to get evaluated during a draft year unlike any other.
Potential Draft Targets:
RHP Jackson Kowar — Lean, wiry and with a good frame, Kowar has an above-average fastball and plus changeup
RHP Ethan Hankins — Previously the top prep player in the class thanks to a potential 80-grade fastball, Hankins has been slowed by injury but is trending in the right direction
LHP Ryan Weathers — The son of David Weathers, Ryan is a polished lefty with solid control of a heavy fastball and an improving curveball
RHP Logan Gilbert — Gilbert has a heavy fastball that plays up with elite extension and more projection remaining than other college arms
C Noah Naylor — The younger brother of Josh Naylor, Noah is more hit over power with exceptional barrel awareness and a track record against professional arms
LHP Ryan Rolison — A high-floor college lefthander, Rolison shows a three-pitch mix including a fastball up to 96 mph with good life
RHP Mason Denaburg — An uber-athletic catcher-turned-pitcher, Denaburg has great arm speed and feel to spin a breaking ball
OF Connor Scott — A plus runner with good feel for the barrel, Scott is developing power and has a plus arm with good chance to stick in center field—aka toolsy
RHP Grayson Rodriguez — The Texas pop-up overhauled his body in the offseason and has been up to 97-98 mph with ease out of a big, 6-foot-4 frame
IF Triston Casas — Casas has plus-plus raw power and an advanced, patient approach at the plate with surprising athleticism in the infield
SS Jeremy Eierman — A tooled-up college shortstop with a plus arm, Eierman also possesses plus speed and plus power