Billy Eppler is not your typical Angels GM; that is, at least, the hunch I’ve had about our intrepid front office badass for awhile now, but today, during day 1 of the 2017 MLB Draft, Eppler proved my hunch to be 100% correct. Today, he did what no other Angels GM has EVER been able to do in the history of the Halos drafting baseball guys into their baseball organization. EVER!
Billy Eppler did NOT draft a catcher. I am not kidding, I’m being totes f’reals with you dudes right now, the guy is a madman. “Oh, you’re an Angels GM? Guess you’re gonna draft a catcher. WAIT, WHAAAAA???!!!” is how I reacted when I saw the Angels’ first pick being announced. Am I dreaming, or is this beautiful, catcher-less ether that I’m floating in an actual reality?!
They took a high school outfield guy in the first round, with the 10th overall pick (I am told his name is Jordon Adell). They could have had their pick of ANY catcher in the entire draft...all were at their fingertips. But where other Angels GMs would get sucked into that alluring thought of drafting a catcher, probably a few rounds too early, Eppler went his own way, and got a player that plays sooooooooooooo far away from the catcher spot (because OF is far away from where the catcher hangs out, behind the plate). That had to have been on purpose.
Then, in the second round, with a buttload of catchers still on the board, the Angels took a guy, UCLA RHP Griffin Canning, who throws to a catcher a lot, but he’s NOT a catcher. Eppler and his Office of the GM think tank defied the odds once again by passing on catchers for the 47th overall pick, and getting a pitcher instead.
So that’s two picks, and both ARE NOT catchers. I’m talking serious no catchers, bruhhhhh. These two dudes didn’t even play some catcher in college, and are expected to play a different position in their pro career. Nope, this is an absolute shocker of MLB Draft Day 1 for the Angels, where they’ve selected nothing that resembles a catcher in any way, whatsoever.
We’ll have to wait and see if this gambit pays off. What if they need a catcher in a few years? They’ll be sorry, if that day comes, I guess. Billy Eppler’s Halos team is eschewing catchers for positions that aren’t catcher, and if this plan works, you could have Moneyball 2.0.
To think, I was there when it all went down, and not only that, but I was the only one to notice, too. The history books will remember this day, and they’ll probably remember me, for being the one who noticed and pointed this all out, but they’ll remember Billy Eppler and the Angels, too. They’ll remember those guys they drafted...that were NOT catchers.
Baseball is amazing.