Round 1(10th overall): OF Jordon Adell, Ballard High School(Kentucky)
Approx pick value: 4.4 million dollars
An almost obvious fit from the get go, the Angels selected the highly talented prep outfielder from Kentucky. Adell absolutely demolished high school pitchers this year to the tune of a .562 batting average and 25 home runs compared to only 10 strikeouts. He played against weaker competition than most of your usual top prep outfielders but the raw talent combined with the video game like numbers made him a top target for the Angels. Adell combines off the chart makeup with premier power and speed along with a plus throwing arm. Adell has electric bat speed with natural raw power, which he started really getting into games this spring, negating some of the worries scouts had about his raw feel for hitting. Scouts believe he has the potential to be an everyday star in right field with 25+ home run power with the ability to run the bases well and be a solid defender.
Scouts who aren’t on the hype train believe Adell might max out physically a bit too young and lead to a quicker decline when he is in the majors. Some scouts also believe there are a ton of raw elements in his game, including some swing and miss concerns at the plate due to a noisy swing. The risk involved in his game is the reason why he was picked 10th and not any higher. The Angels are buying all in on this skill set and rightfully so. Adell offers some of the best upside of any player in this class and is the type of impact talent the system needs. Adell almost certainly becomes the best prospect in this system the second he plays a professional game.
Round 2(47th overall): RHP Griffin Canning, UCLA
Approximate pick value: 1.5 million
As recently as a week ago, Griffin Canning was a projected top 20/25 talent in the draft. A MRI scare that revealed a shoulder issue arose last week, which promptly bumped his stock down and had some scouts believing he wouldn’t be drafted on Day 1. The Angels took on this risk, regardless of the health concerns, and are bringing in a serious talent if these injury concerns are all for naught. When he’s on the mound, Canning is an absolute gamer with premier command of 4 above average pitches or better. Canning is a bit undersized at 6’1″ and doesn’t have the wipeout stuff of a premier top line starter but he offers a significantly high floor with mid rotation upside. The So-Cal product has a repeatable delivery that helps him throw plenty of pitches for strikes thanks to easy and loose arm action along with an athletic frame. Canning throws a 90-95 mph fastball, a plus change up with similar arm action to the fastball that lends fade and deception to the pitch and offers a slider/cutter hybrid and curveball that are more of pitches he can throw for strikes rather than “out” pitches. There are real worries about Canning’s shoulder and his workload at UCLA, which is documented here, which scared some teams off. If this injury issue does in fact disappear, this is a steal at #47.
Round 3(85th overall): OF Jacob Pearson, West Monroe High School(Louisiana)
Approximate pick value: 656.3 K
For the 3rd straight round, the Angels picked one of the best available players available, selecting the Louisiana Gatorade player of the year. Jacob Pearson, who has a strong commitment to LSU, is considered a bit of a tough sign but the Angels clearly feel they can sign the talented outfielder given they picked him in the top 100. Pearson combines a strong blend of above average raw power and speed along with a smooth swing. Pearson shows the ability to create backspin already at a young age and projects as an above average hitter down the road and has already shown he can hit quality pitching. Another plus: Pearson was an integral part of his high school team reaching the Louisiana 5A State Championship game so he’s been part of winning teams. The reason Pearson slipped so far was due to the aforementioned commitment to LSU, which some scouts believe he will honor, and Pearson features well below average arm strength due to labrum surgery he had during high school. Scouts believe he might stick in center field but if the arm issues persist, a move to left field is likely, where there is way more pressure on the bat developing. If the arm issues are worse than expected, you could even see a move to first base in the future, which puts even more pressure on his bat. Pearson is considered a tough sign but the Angels appeared to go under slot on the next 2 picks in an effort to save money.
4th round(115th overall): RHP John Swanda, Theodore Roosevelt High School(Iowa)
Approximate pick value: 463.9 K
Swanda has a commitment to go pitch at the University of Nebraska but is expected to sign a contract to go pro with the Angels. Swanda is a tall, athletic right handed pitcher who has clean mechanics and arm action and is expected to add some strength, leading to a velocity boost. His best pitch is a 88-91 mph fastball that plays up due to his ability to locate the pitch to both sides of the plate. His best secondary pitch as an over the top mid 70’s mph curveball that has tight spin but Swanda doesn’t consistently throw it well or locate it. His change up has potential due to Swanda’s ability to maintain fastball arm action but it doesn’t have quite enough depth or movement to get hitters out right now. Swanda played both sides of the ball in high school, flashing the ability to hit for power but he’ll pitch at the next level. Swanda is athletic, projectable and was a smart kid in school, all attractable traits for the Angels and he’ll be a fun arm to watch develop over the years.
5th round(145th overall): RHP Joseph Booker, T.R. Miller high school(Alabama)
Approximate pick value: 346.5 K
Booker was the first clear “project” pick the Angels had, likely in an attempt to save money while also taking a chance on a raw but strong arm. Booker is an extreme athlete, evidenced by his strong performance on the gridiron and on the baseball diamond in high school. The Angels new regime likes their premier athletes and Booker fits the mold. Booker has an above average 89-93 mph fastball along with 2 average secondaries but his command is behind his control for now. He’s raw but pretty projectable and the Angels hope he can gain a few ticks of fastball velocity, which makes him an interesting arm going forward.
6th round(175th overall): OF Jonah Todd, Auburn University
Approximate pick value: 262.4 K
Jonah Todd was a walk on at Auburn after playing a few years at Marion Military J.C. after being recruited as a prep pitcher. By the end of the year, Todd was the full time center fielder, displaying an above average hit tool and good approach at the plate. Todd hit .376/.460/.471 with more walks than strikeouts, displaying a hitting ability that put him as a top 10 round talent. His upside is limited and he might be more of a 4th oufielder/tweener type but there’s not a ton of risk in his game and he might be a boring bench option in 2-3 years at the big league level.
7th round(205th overall): RHP Dennis Brady, Mercer Community College(New Jersey)
Approximate pick value: 205.1 K
Brady was one of the best Junior College performers in the country this season, striking out 118 batters and walking 10 in 84.1 innings along with a 0.96 ERA. Brady won’t wow you with overwhelming stuff but he has a solid 90-94 mph fastball and average curveball that he shows the ability to locate. He’s more of a command than stuff guy at present and the Angels clearly found something they liked in the numbers so he’ll be an arm to monitor as he faces sharper competition.
8th round(235th overall): RHP Connor Riley, University of South Carolina Aiken
Approximate pick value: 163.8 K
Riley is a senior sign who also happened to put up ridiculous numbers in his final collegiate season. He struck out 130 batters in 83 innings, good for a 14.10 K/9 rate. Reports are a bit limited on Riley but he does throw hard in the low-mid 90’s range and features a curveball that can miss bats. He profiles in relief down the road with the hope he sees an uptick in stuff to have 2 swing and miss offerings.
9th round(265th overall): RHP Brett Hanewich, University of Stanford
Approximate pick value: 143.9 K
Hanewich was a starter in the Stanford rotation but he’s almost certainly a reliever at the next level due to a high effort delivery and some crossfire in his arm action. His well below average command as a starter led to a ton of walks and hit by pitches, hampering his ability to eat innings in the rotation. Stuff wise, Hanewich can miss some bats at the next level. He sits 91-94 while touching 96 mph on the fastball while getting sink at times. His slider is a bit loopy right now but he does miss some bats with the pitch. This is likely a scenario where the Angels want to take the chance on a project arm with big stuff and hoping they can harness his control a bit, or a lot, more.
10th round(295th overall): RHP Daniel Procopio, Niagara University
Approximate pick value: 134.9 K
Procopio struck out 75 batters in 58 innings while allowing a superb .203 batting average against. The right hander has a strong 91-95 mph fastball that missed bats at the collegiate level but needs some development on his secondaries to progress through the Angels system. Procopio has a high effort delivery where he generates tons of torque due to a huge stride, which helps him get the most out of his 5’11” frame.