On day 2, the Angels picked up 6 more pitchers and 2 outfielders to finish off the top 10 rounds. Similar to last year, four out of the Angels’ first five selections were out of high school.
It’s not a bad thing to stockpile pitching arms since you never know how these guys will develop. Pearson and Todd come on board as athletic and toolsy outfielders.
3rd Round - 85th overall
Jacob Pearson, CF, West Monroe (La.) HS
Pearson comes in as one of the best pure-hitting high school players in the draft. He can also run. He may not stick in center field, though. Pearson is 5-foot-11 and 195#. He was the Gatorade Louisiana Baseball Player of the Year after batting .519 with 12 home runs and helping lead his team to a 38-3 record this year. He has the potential to be a 20-20 player at the big league level. He has a below average arm which he had labrum surgery on as a sophomore so will need to work on strength there. MLB.com had Pearson as their 56th overall prospect and Baseball America had him at 81st, so the Angels did good to nab him with their third round pick.
4th Round - 115th overall
John Swanda, RHP, Roosevelt HS (Des Moines, Iowa)
Baseball America had Swanda listed at 398 overall in the draft so the Angels must have seen something in him to draft him so early. He committed to Nebraska last June, but the 460K bonus money may just entice him to sign with the Angels. He sent out a tweet implying the later ““Thank you to the Angels for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime! Can’t wait to get started on the next chapter of my life!” Swanda has a low 90s fastball and a changeup that needs work. In 2016 he was named the Iowa Gatorade Player of the Year. As a senior in 2017 he had a 3-1 record, 2.83 ERA and 29 strikeouts. He also played SS and was good at the plate - batting .486 with seven homers and 61 RBIs.
5th Round - 145th overall
Joseph Booker, RHP, T.R. Miller HS (Brewton, Ala.)
Like Swanda, Booker was another two-way threat in 2017 batting .464 with 7 home runs and pitching to a 1.01 ERA with 112 Ks. In addition to being a pitcher, JoJo played SS and was also a quarterback. The athleticism is clearly there with Booker.
6th Round - 175th overall
Jonah Todd, CF, Auburn
Todd is a 6’ tall 180# outfielder who hit .376 batting leadoff for the Tigers this year. He has plus defense and pretty much has all 5 tools aside from consistent power. Todd has great plate discipline and made second-team All-SEC and the All-SEC defensive team.
7th Round - 205th overall
Dennis (Denny) Brady, RHP, Mercer County CC
Brady, who was New Jersey player of the year in 2016, is a 6’2” 210# righty with a 90 MPH fastball and a good curve. Logged 85 strikeouts to only 7 walks this past season. Scouts had projected him to go in rounds 5-10 and he landed right in the middle of that.
8th Round - 235th overall
Connor Riley, RHP, South Carolina - Aiken
Riley throws hard and struck out 130 batters in just 83 innings this year. He also has a good breaking ball. Last summer, Riley struck out 16 batters in one game and he became the 3rd player in Coastal Plain League history to log more than 100 strikeouts in a season.
9th Round - 265th overall
Brett Hanewich, RHP, Stanford
There’s nothing to write home about Hanewich’s stats. At Stanford out of the bullpen, he posted a 5 ERA and 18 walks in 27 innings. He was a starter at college for the first three years but moved to relief this past one due to command struggles. He is 6’3”, 240 though, and his fastball sits in the low to mid-90s with deception.
10th Round - 295th overall
Daniel Procopio, RHP, Niagara
A criminal justice major and an outstanding student, the 5’11”, 200 pound Procopio threw 58 innings as an Upstate New York starter with 75 strikeouts, 27 walks, and a 4.19 ERA. His fastball sits 91-95 mph, beyond that little information is known as the Angels dug deep to find him. He profiles best in the bullpen, though given the $134,900 slot value of the pick, the organization will try to develop him as a starter first and foremost. He truly does present a cornucopia of possibilities.