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MLB mock draft: NC State catcher Patrick Bailey linked to Angels

Angels select 10th overall in the first round

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NCAA BASEBALL: JUN 02 Div 1 Championship Greenville Regional - East Carolina v North Carolina State Photo by Greg Thompson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

We’ve seen several mock drafts over the last six weeks or so, but finally we have some variance for the Angels’ first-round selection. Keith Law in his latest mock draft at The Athletic projects them to take North Carolina State catcher Patrick Bailey 10th overall in the MLB Draft.

“Bailey is a no-doubt catcher with good instincts on both sides of the ball, solid contact rates, and a little pop,” Law wrote. “With catching a perpetual area of need in the majors, I would expect Bailey to go in the same range as Shea Langeliers (No. 9 last year), maybe higher since there isn’t another catcher above him.”

National mock drafts have centered mostly around pitchers and outfielders to date for the Angels’ first-round pick. The last time the Angels drafted a catcher in the first round was Taylor Ward in 2015, but Ward has since shifted to third base and the outfield, having last caught in 2017.

The switch-hitting Bailey was on fire before his junior season was cut short by a pandemic, hitting .296/.466/.685 with six home runs and 20 RBI in 17 games. Bailey, who was second-team All-ACC in 2019, hit .302/.411/.568 in his three seasons at NC State.

Law ranked Bailey the 10th-best prospect in the draft, and MLB.com had Bailey at No. 17.

Baseball America ranked him 14th, and praised his defensive skills:

He earns plus grades for his catching and his throwing arm, giving pitchers tremendous confidence that they can rip off their best breaking ball without having to worry about it trickling to the backstop. Bailey is also one of the rare college catchers who calls his own game.

Bailey was drafted in the 37th round by the Twins in 2017, but did not sign.

The recommended slot bonus value for the 10th overall pick is $4,739,900, and the Angels’ overall bonus pool is $6,397,100 for their four picks. The MLB Draft will be held June 10-11, and will be televised by both MLB Network and ESPN/ESPN2.