On day one, commentators speculated that the Halos might not be committing the type of financial resources necessary to fully exploit their advantageous draft position. I was among said detractors. I take it all back now, because it's becoming clear that the Angels have not yet finished sniffing around for top shelf talent, and appear able and willing to pay for it.
Today's drafting followed a predictable pattern - the Halos even snagged their gratuitous undersized middle infielder - until the eighth round, when Eddie Bane picked ASU catcher and middle-of-the-line-up fixture Carlos Ramirez. As a junior with a successful track record in a top program, Ramirez has significant leverage and therefore commands above slot money.
That trend intensified in the 10th and 11th rounds, when the Angels picked Jacob Locker and Dillon Baird respectively. In another year, both those guys have the potential to go much, much higher in the draft, so the Halos are rolling the dice on their ability to get them to commit to professional baseball in 2009. They're setting themselves up to shell out a lot of cash.
4th Round, 141st Pick - Wes Hatton, 2b. Norco HS
For those of you who were wondering, here's the Halos next sub-six-foot middle infielder. Hatton's the max effort kind of guy who becomes a team and fan favorite. His right-handed bat has a little pop and he pitched in high school, so his arm should be more than enough for second.
5th Round, 171st Pick - Casey Haerther, 1b. UCLA
Haerther is a big, right-handed first baseman with above-average pop and contact skills. In three years at UCLA, he's hit .305 with 22 home runs, 34 doubles, and 109 RBI over 147 games. He's a recently converted third baseman, so he's got a shot at being at least average defensively. The only knock on him is his lack of patience. He just wrapped up his junior year and he may be difficult to sign.
6th Round, 201st Pick - Daniel Reynolds, rhp. Durango HS
Reynolds is a bit undersized for a pitcher, coming in at just under six feet. As is their habit, the Angels ignored the conventional wisdom regarding pitcher height, and instead focussed on his low to mid 90's fastball and promising slider combination.
7th Round, 231st Pick - Jon Karcich, ss. Santa Clara University
At 6'2", Jon's big for a shortstop, but he was touted before the '09 season as being the best defensive infielder in the Western Conference. He hit 12 home runs last year, but dropped off in the power department this season and posted a mediocre 57% stolen base success rate, so he's not the most toolsey guy. Still, between the defense and power potential, he's interesting. He's another junior who won't be the easiest signing in the world.
8th Round, 261st Pick - Carlos Ramirez, c. Arizona State University
The Halos selected Ramirez in the 2007 draft, but declined to sign and instead attended Chandler-Gilbert Community College. He transferred to ASU at the end of last year, and went into the draft as one of the better-hitting college catchers, having put up a .349/.462/.674 line with 18 homeruns. Scouts like his defense too, but again, he's a junior, so you can't take signing him for granted.
9th Round, 291st Pick - David Carpenter, rhp. Paris Junior College
Carpenter's a 6'3", 215 lb righthander. He pitched a strong season in '09, recording a solid 133 K/22 BB ratio over 109.1 innings.
10th Round, 321st Pick - Jacob Locker, cf. University of Washington
This is an interesting one. The Halos drafted him as a pitcher in the 40th round of the '07 draft, but he elected to follow his football scholarship. Locker's a tremendous athlete - he's University of Washington's starting QB - and apparently flirted with baseball again in a summer league last year. He has little track record, but he's very much on the Halos' radar, and could be a tremendous high risk, high reward type signing. As a junior deeply immersed in another sport, it'll take a lot to sign him.
11th Round, 351st Pick - Dillon Baird, 3b. University of Arizona
I was going to stop at the tenth round, but then did some homework on Baird, and liked him a lot. First things first: he's only a sophomore, and he's coming off of a phenominal season, so it is going to take a lot of dough to sign him. He hit .433/.504/.716 with 8 homeruns, 34 total extra base hits, and a 25 SO/22 BB ratio. I couldn't find much on his defense, but with a bat like that...