Mock Draft season is upon us, with the 2021 MLB Draft quickly approaching. Here are the latest mock drafts from various outlets and who they have the Angels selecting with their No. 9 overall pick.
The Athletic - Kahlil Watson, SS, Wake Forest (NC) HS
The Angels might have a new GM but they’re still linked to the kind of high-ceiling athletes they’ve targeted since Matt Swanson took over as scouting director, including Watson, Bubba Chandler, Jay Allen (probably for the second round), and Jobe.
Baseball America - Matt McLain, SS, UCLA
2021 stats: .325/.432/.578/1.010, 9 HR, 27 RBI, 8 2B
We’ve heard the Angels like both Bubba Chandler and Jackson Jobe, so there’s a real possibility they go the high school route here. Sources also seem to think that there’s a solid chance McLain goes among the top 10 picks given his performance prior to sustaining a thumb injury. The college shortstops fall off extremely quickly once McLain is off the board.
MLB.com - Jackson Jobe, RHP, Heritage Hall HS (Oklahoma City)
One of the best and most advanced high school pitching prospects in recent years, Dylan Bundy went fourth overall as an Oklahoma prepster in 2011 and reached the Majors 15 months later. Fast forward a decade and the Sooner State has another high school arm whom some scouts say is even better in Jobe. He has one of the quickest arms and the best slider in the prep class, and his other pitches have improved this spring.
Jobe showcases a wipeout slider that sits in the low 80s with elite spin rates above 3,000 rpm, depth and the ability to locate it where he wants. He pitches at 92-94 mph and tops out at 96 with his four-seam fastball, which also features high spin rates and riding action. He has upgraded his low-80s changeup with tumble and will use it against lefties and righties — some evaluators say it’s almost as good as his slider — and he can give hitters another look with an upper-70s curveball with nice shape.
ESPN - Bubba Chandler, SS/RHP, North Oconee H.S. (GA), Clemson commit
The Angels have been all over Chandler all spring, and the chatter is that they prefer him as a switch-hitting shortstop, where some scouts have suggested physical and swing similarities to a certain former switch-hitting Braves legend and Hall of Famer that I won’t name. Making it even more intriguing is that most teams seem to prefer Chandler on the mound, where he’s up to 97 mph and flashes a solid three-pitch mix with some feel despite limited baseball reps. He’s also committed to Clemson to play quarterback and shortstop. One more element on the intrigue-o-meter is that Kumar Rocker also went to North Oconee three years ago.
The fascinating question is if the consensus view of Chandler is a mid-to-late first-round pitcher and a compensation-to-second-round position player, do you take him in the top half of the first round because he can do both, giving you a backup plan? Do you let him do both in pro ball? We still haven’t totally answered that question with Shohei Ohtani.