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Angels' Draft Preview: The First Round

The 2010 MLB draft kicks off today, and expectations for the Angels couldn't be higher. They have five picks before the second round, including the 18th overall, and drafted very well under similar circumstances last year, when they nabbed high ceiling Mike Trout, Garrett Richards, and Tyler Skaggs, as well as guys with significant breakout potential in Randal Grichuk, Pat Corbin, Dillon Baird, and Carlos Ramirez.  Due in part to their success, Angels' fans will have Scouting Director Eddie Bane under a microscope through the coming days.

In order to lay the groundwork for tonight, I thought I'd review how some of the most recent mock drafts delt with the Angels. Now, I am NOT an expert in amateur talent, and none of the so-called experts ever really get inside of the Angels' heads anyway, so take this with a grain of salt:

18th Pick

MLB: Tyrell Jenkins

Baseball America: Dylan Covey

MLB Bonus Baby: A.J. Cole

Minorleague Ball: Stetson Allie

Most everyone agrees that the Halos will kick off their draft with a prep high school pitching selection, and for months mock drafts have assumed that it will be one of the four "famous guy" prepsters entering 2010: Dylan Covey, Stetson Allie, AJ Cole, or Karsten Whitson (I'm not including James Taillon, because he'll be off the board well before we pick). However, the more I chew over this, the more I like MLB's Tyrell Jenkins pick. Jenkins is a two sports guy, but is not considered an especially difficult sign (according to BA, anyway)  if he goes in the first couple of rounds. On arm strength alone, he matches up with most anyone in the draft except Taillon and Allie, but is considerably more raw. The Halos trust their staff with these kinds of projects, love the general athleticism that Jenkins brings to the table, and like to play contrarian to the draft group think.

RGHAN's pick is therefore... Tyrell Jenkins.

29th Pick

MLB: Dylan Covey

Baseball America: Seth Blair

MLB Bonus Baby: Nick Castellanos

Minorleagueball: Peter Tago

Again, the general consensus is that the Halos will use their first round picks to stockpile (mostly prep) arms.  Andy Seiler at MLB Bonus Baby went against the grain with his eighth and final mock draft, tagging the Halos to snatch up prep third baseman Nick Castellanos. While the Halos would have to consider Castellanos if he fell that far, I'm not sure they'd pull the trigger; he's one of the top prep bats in this draft, sure, but it's a weak draft for position players and Castellanos is short on premium athleticism and sure-thing power. It's not clear how much better he is than the second tier prep bats, and that, combined with his ambitious bonus demands, make me think the Halos would pass. I don't think Covey will fall this far either, and the Halos' will likely be looking for someone signable to set a price point for later picks. College lefty Sammy Solis or prepsters Aaron Sanchez, Ryne Stanek, Griffin Murphy are also possibilities here. 

RGHAN's pick is therefore...  Seth Blair

30th Pick

MLB: Peter Tago

Baseball America: Sammy Solis

MLB Bonus Baby: Seth Blair

Minorleagueball: Brett Eibner

More arms, though minorleagueball mock draft participant mrkupe introduced the intriguing possibility of college outfielder/pitcher Brett Eibner.  As a rightfielder, Eibner could provide plus defense and power, and he hit better this year than ever before. However, he has contact issues, and it's not clear to me that the Halos want to take on another Grichuk/Wood type K risk. Garin Cecchini would be a good wild card here, offering a plus left-handed bat and good defense at third, but he's been out all year with a torn ACL and the Halos put a lot of stock in predraft workouts.  I think I'll stick with the arms, and after the relatively safe pick above, I'll lean towards another prep.

RGHAN's pick is therefore... Peter Tago