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Angels Draft Kaleb Cowart in the First Round

Before: Draft Thread ... Day 1 Thread Part 2 ... and Draft Day 2 Thread ... & our Day 3 Thread.

With the 18th pick of the 2010 draft, the Angels selected Kaleb Cowart as a third baseman. All of the hype was half correct: the Halos used their first pick on one of the best right-handed prep arms in the draft, but are sending him to the hot corner instead of to the mound, at least to begin his career.

At some point this spring, most analysts decided that Cowart was definitely a first round pick as a right-handed pitcher, but probably not as a position player. This, despite the fact that he shows plus power from both sides of the plate, decent projection as a hitter, and outstanding actions in the field. He has the potential to develop into a gold-gloving bopper.  If that doesn't work out, he can always return to the mound. 

Cowart is currently wrapping up his prep career at Cook County High School in Georgia. You can catch MLB's video report on him here. I love the big, left-handed cut - the Halos are chronically short of athletic lefty boppers - and I think he could be a tremendous position player. He could also bust as a hitter due to contact issues, especially from the left side, but that downside is mitigated substantially by his potential to contribute on the mound.  That's worth much, if not all, of the $3 million that Baseball America and others report he's after. Halos Heaven community member HaloFaninDC also points out that the pick would come back to us in 2011, which is supposed to be a better overall draft, if we fail to sign Cowart, further diminishing possible downside for the Angels.

Not to toot my own horn, but I did ask MLB Bonus Baby's Andy Seiler about how Kaleb Cowart would fit with the Angels' 18th pick in an interview last February.  He said he didn't see it happening due to lack of organizational precedents, though to his credit, he's the first source I can remember who put Cowart as high as the middle of the first round.

The Halos grabbed Cam Bedrosian 29th overall with their second pick.  Bedrosian is the 6'1" son of Steve Bedrosian, who won the 1987 Cy Young Award closing for the Braves. He has a mid 90's fastball and a plus slider, but has also made improvements this past year with his curveball and change-up. See his scouting video here

The Angels completed their first round by selecting Chavez Clarke 30th overall. Clarke is a tremendous athlete, a good hitter from both sides of the plate, and will probably be a plus defender in centerfield.  Fans hoped to see more power out of this pick - the centerfield defense seems redundant, given the Angels' current depth there - but Clarke could provide Shane Victorino type pop down the line. You can view his MLB scouting video here