While it wasn’t their intentional plan going in, the Los Angeles Angels managed to make history by selecting 20 pitchers in 20 rounds of the MLB Draft. They were the first team to select only pitchers in the draft — with the exception of the five-round 2020 Draft — and the first team to take pitchers in more than 17 consecutive rounds.
Even though it wasn’t intentional, it certainly doesn’t hurt them. The Angels are a team in desperate need of organizational pitching depth. Beyond just their Major League team, they need pitching at all levels, and bringing in 20 new faces could be a reset button that the Angels have been searching for.
It’s also possible that the Angels chose to go this route because of the value that Minor League pitchers — especially collegiate pitchers — have on the trade market. They learned this lesson due to their reported pursuit of a quality starter during the offseason, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic:
And finally, the Angels selected pitchers in each of the draft’s 20 rounds not only because they are perennially short on quality in arms, but also because pitching is always in demand in trades.
Right-hander Joe Musgrove was among the team’s targets last offseason, but the Angels could not match the Padres’ offer, which included four pitchers in a three-team deal with the Pirates and Mets.
Nineteen of the 20 pitchers the Angels picked were collegians.
With this year’s trade deadline fast approaching, it’s unlikely that anyone they drafted will be used in a deal considering they have not come to contract agreements with most of them. However, drafting 20 pitchers will perhaps allow them to trade some of their current Minor League pitchers knowing they have reinforcements coming.
There are so many big decisions that general manager Perry Minasian has to make before the July 30 trade deadline, and as it stands, it feels as though the team is in an awkward middle ground between buying and selling. Drafting pitchers not only helps the team in the long term, but also gives them flexibility to go either way at this year’s deadline.
Angels bullpen falters in Oakland
The Angels could have made a drastic move towards the postseason with two wins against the Oakland Athletics. However, a pitiful two days by their bullpen has left the team reeling and in that awkward middle ground. They sit at 46-48, 7.5 games back of a playoff spot.