The Los Angeles Angels started the 2022 MLB Draft off strong by selecting the elite contact and speed threat Zach Neto out of Campbell University. The selection has been met with high praise, and was the Angels’ only pick on Day 1 of the draft.
Day 2 — which covers rounds 3-10 out of 20 — included eight selections for the Angels. Among this group of eight was four pitchers, three position players, and one two-way player. It also included eight college players, meaning that of the team’s last 29 draft picks, only one was a high school player.
The Angels are clearly looking for players to make their way through the Minor League system quicker in the hopes that their MLB roster can be bolstered as soon as possible.
Below, we’ll break down each of the Angels Day 2 selections and what the outlook might be for the newest faces in the Halo farm system.
Round 3: Ben Joyce, RHP, Tennessee
The Angels’ 89th overall pick has more hype around him than anyone the team drafted in the first two days. Ben Joyce made headlines for his fastball, which consistently sits between 100 and 102 miles per hour and has hit nearly 105 on a radar gun.
He also underwent Tommy John surgery and missed the entire 2021 season before pitching just 32.1 innings at Tennessee in 2022. In that time, he had a 2.78 ERA and 0.990 WHIP while striking out an impressive 14.8 batters per nine innings.
His fastball is by far his best attribute, but he also has a useful slider in his repertoire. Like most flamethrowers out of the bullpen, Joyce needs to work on command before moving up to the Majors. But the hope is that he can become an elite closer or set-up arm in the Halos relief crew.
Round 4: Jake Madden, RHP, Northwest Florida State
Originally committed to South Carolina, Jake Madden chose to forgo the large Division 1 program for Northwest Florida State after undergoing Tommy John before his Freshman season. He pitched just one year at the college level in 2022, but impressed with a solid three-pitch mix.
He, like Joyce, has an absolute fireball of a four-seamer. He can reach 98 mph consistently and has topped out near 100. But he also can turn to a upper-80s slider and a mid-80’s changeup that make him a slightly more versatile pitcher than Joyce.
Of course, with Tommy John and the limited college innings, he had some issues with consistency. But scouts firmly believe his stuff is good enough to figure things out at the Minor League level.
Round 5: Sonny DiChiara, 1B, Auburn
The first position player taken by the Angels in Day 2, Sonny DiChiara absolutely raked during his senior season at Auburn University. With a slash line of .384/.549/.777, he put up a 1.326 OPS in 61 games of work. He hit 22 home runs and walked a whopping 68 times.
He has a rare combination of power and on-base ability, shown by his Senior numbers. However, he is already 23 years of age, which means he may not see the Majors until his mid-to-late-20s. He is also a true first baseman, and likely doesn’t have the physical gifts to play other positions.
Round 6: Victor Mederos, RHP, Oklahoma State
Through two college seasons and some time in the Cape Cod League, Victor Mederos’ biggest enemy has been the strike zone. He has solid stuff, especially on his slider, but has consistently struggled with command and finding the zone.
He walked 3.2 batters per nine innings in his two college seasons, and walked over five batters per nine during his time in the Cape Cod League. When he gets to the Minor Leagues, he’ll need to find a way to utilize his great slider and strong fastball to throw strikes.
Round 7: Roman Phansalkar, RHP, Oklahoma State
A reliever and Mederos’ college teammate, Roman Phansalkar went to the Angels in the seventh round. He brings with him a 3.46 ERA and 1.226 WHIP in his Junior season of college. Phansalkar had similar walk issues to his Oklahoma State and Angels teammate.
Round 8: Dylan Phillips, 1B/OF/LHP, Kansas State
The Angels used their eighth-round pick to land a two-way player in Dylan Phillips. Over four years and Kansas State and some time in the Cape Cod League, Phillips strutted his stuff as an above average bat and a really solid relief pitcher.
He didn’t put everything together at the same time until his Senior season, when he was an .875 OPS batter and a 2.66 ERA and 0.787 WHIP pitcher. He dominated in 20.1 innings out of the bullpen, but remained disciplined at the plate, despite having a slight down year from his Junior season and his time at Cape Cod.
Round 9: Joe Stewart, OF, Michigan
Joe Stewart is already 24 years of age, which some might consider a negative attribute. However, he is coming off of his best season at Michigan, posting a .349 batting average and .982 OPS. A contact and speed player, mainly, Stewart stole 23 bases his Senior year.
Round 10: Matt Courtney, 1B, Old Dominion
Matt Courtney is a left-handed batter that plays first base and hails from Canada, but played his college baseball at Old Dominion in Virginia.