The draft has arrived! This is an exciting time for high school and college baseball player all around the county. It’s an exciting time for fans, writers, and teams.
We’ll have a draft thread here on Halos Heaven kicking off at 3:30PM tonight. The draft starts at 4PM PT (7PM ET). Be sure to join in on the fun!
The 17th pick is about right smack in the middle of the pack. There have been some good picks in this spot over the years with Hamels, Halladay, and Pollock probably as the top 3. Here are some notable ones:
2014: Brandon Finnegan, KC
He’s picked for the Reds and has a career 4.11 ERA over 67 games.
2013: Tim Anderson, CHW
Anderson debuted in 2016 and has 37 career home runs over 30 games. He’s nothing super special so far but a solid draft choice.
2011: CJ Cron, LAA
Well, we all know about Cron. And now that he’s getting regular playing time he has a .329 OBP with 12 home runs to start the season for Tampa.
2009: AJ Pollock, ARZ
Hard to argue with a .343 career OBP. Pollack was a solid choice and in his 7th year in the majors he’s hitting .293 with 11 home runs.
2008: Scott Elbert, LAD
Elbert has a career 3.54 ERA over 127 games and that number has been in the 2’s the past 3 season.
2002: Cole Hamels, PHI
Hamels has logged 2,434 career innings with a 3.38 ERA.
1998: Roy Halladay, TOR
Halladay retired in 2013 after pitching 2,749.1 big league innings with a 3.38 ERA and 2,117 career strikeouts. He also had 203 wins. That’s a good career!
1988: Charles Nagy, CLE
Aside from being the Angels pitching coach, Nagy logged 129 wins and 1,242 career strikeouts. All but his last year (Padres) was with Cleveland.
Who might the Angels nab in round 1 this year?
Bleacher Report says: Mason Denaburg, RHP, Merritt Island HS (FL). Denaburg is a 6-3, 190# righty who was shut down for a month with “biceps tendinitis” but back on the mound in May. He throws in the mid 90s, can touch 97 MPH, and projects as a #2 type starter
MLB.com and FantasyPros say: Logan Gilbert, RHP, Stetson. Gilbert has a huge physical presence at 6’6, 225#. He throws 4 different pitches and has a high ceiling. Projects as a #2 type and is pretty certain to go in round 1.
MLB Pipeline says: Loretto High School (Tenn.) left-hander Ryan Weathers. Weathers is 6-2, 210# and is the son of former major league pitcher David Weathers. He’s a lefty with a low to mid 90s fastball and also throws a curve and changeup. As a high school pitcher, he will need more time to develop but should also gain a few ticks on his fastball as well. He was Gatorade player of the year.
Maria Guadado also links the Angels to Green Hope High School (N.C.) outfielder Jordyn Adams and Georgia prep right-hander Ethan Hankins. Adams has committed to North Carolina to play football and baseball. He’s game changed in CF and on the bases thanks to his speed. Hankins is expected to go in the first round as well and he also has a large frame at 6’6, 200#. He can touch 98 MPH with his fastball which puts it in the 70 or 80 scouting grade range.
What about a catcher??
We may joke, but the Angels DO need a catcher - maybe even in the early rounds. I think they would go college over prep. Here are some (college) options:
Joey Bart, Georgia Tech
The top catcher in the draft with good power, Bart may not last to pick 17. He may not even make it out of the top 5. Bummer.
Josh Breaux, McLennan
He didn’t even play in Division 1 but may be an early round pick. He was drafted in round 36 of the 2017 draft and his stock has risen. He has shown to be an excellent hitter AND has a great arm behind the plate. He’s made some pitching appearances and nearly touched 100 MPH. The only problem with drafting him as a catcher is that he could end up as a pitcher. But I guess that’s not a bad problem to have.
Grant Koch, Arkansas
Koch has power but the lack of an elite arm may put him out of range of the Angels. Despite not having an elite arm, he is a solid defender and he can hit.
Cal Raleigh, Florida State
Nick Meyer, Cal Poly
Projected at #166 in the MLB top 200 list, Meyer is said to have the best defense among top catchers in the draft. He’s a local boy from Mission Viejo and was named Big West defensive player of the year.