The Angels have been truly terrible this season, owners of the worst record in the American League. So it’s understandable for some to have shifted focus in this truncated, cursed year toward the future.
At .333, the Angels are tied with Boston for the second-worst winning percentage in the majors, ahead of only the Pirates (10-23, .304). In a normal year, this would mean the Angels would get the second pick in the draft. But the quest for Kumar Rocker or Jack Leiter, or any of a number of prospects expected to be picked at the top in 2021, isn’t that simple.
The 2021 draft will reportedly be pushed back to July 11-13 and held in Atlanta during next year’s All-Star Game festivities, per Carlos Collazo and J.J. Cooper at Baseball America as well as Kiley McDaniel at ESPN.
The details of the draft are being finalized, though it will be at least 20 rounds per the March agreement between the league and players union, after just a five-round draft his year. But that same March agreement also allows for tinkering with the draft order since this season is so short.
From Baseball America:
While sources believe nothing will change in terms of how the draft order is determined, teams have been told that commissioner Rob Manfred has the right to modify the order with a season shorter than 81 games, as agreed to with the union in March. It is not expected that any final decision on the determination on the draft order will be announced anytime soon.
So while it might seem advantageous on some level for the Angels to keep losing (I don’t share this belief; I think teams that tank on purpose should be catapulted into the sun), it’s not a sure thing that they would be rewarded with a high draft pick commensurate with their dismal performance. It almost seems too perfect for 2020, in a macabre way.
Links & notes
The Angels activated pitcher Dillon Peters off the injured list on Tuesday, and optioned him to the alternate training site in Long Beach. Peters has been on the injured list since the first weekend of summer camp.
Mirin Fader wrote an excellent profile for Bleacher Report on Tyler Skaggs, catching up with his wife and mother more than a year after his death. This passage is from Skaggs’ mother Debbie, on the ongoing investigation of his drug overdose:
And not knowing? “It’s hell,” Debbie says. “There’s no closure in not knowing. No closure to not know how your son died. OK, yeah, it says in the autopsy it was accidental death, but at the end of the day, that doesn’t tell you very much.”
Joe Maddon’s assessment on Monday about what the Angels need to do to actually contend: “We need to do some work.” Maria Torres at the Los Angeles Times on another lost season for the Halos.