The Los Angeles Angels famously drafted 20 pitchers with their 20 selections in the 2021 MLB Draft. 19 of those pitchers taken were from college, with just one coming from IMG Academy. Sam Bachman, a right-hander out of Miami (OH) was the team’s first round pick.
Angels director of amateur scouting Matt Swanson said that part of their strategy in drafting almost entirely college players was to ensure that they would be able to sign all 20 of them to contracts without having any of them return to school. Swanson was confident they could get that done and have already started the process.
They have now knocked out the biggest piece of the puzzle, reportedly agreeing to terms with their Bachman, who figures to be a big part of the Angels’ future plans, according to Mike DiGiovanna of The L.A. Times:
Can confirm that #Angels first-round (ninth overall) pick Sam Bachman, RHP from Miami (of Ohio) University, is en route to AZ, and his signing is imminent. @CarlosACollazo reports Bachman's bonus at $3,847,500, which would be about $1.1 million under $4.95-million slot value.
— Mike DiGiovanna (@MikeDiGiovanna) July 21, 2021
With a slot value of $4.95 million for the No. 9 overall pick, the Angels got an absolute steal in drafting Bachman. Saving $1.1 million can allow the Angels to pay slightly more with their later selection to ensure they get them to sign.
While Angels fans were somewhat disappointed that their team did not select Vanderbilt pitcher Kumar Rocker — who was available at No. 9 — Bachman’s deal now shows why. Bachman signed for $3.85 million, $1.1 million under slot value. Meanwhile, Rocker — who went No. 10 overall to the New York Mets — signed his deal for $6 million. That means he would have been over one million over slot value.
Clearly, the Angels did not feel he was worth that price tag and would rather save some money to help them with their second-through-20th round picks.
Angels could use 20 pitchers drafted to make trades
While it’s unclear exactly how the Angels plan on attacking the July 30 trade deadline, it was rumored that part of the reason why they drafted so many pitchers was to have trade flexibility. Because of the quick turnaround time, it’s unlikely that any of their draft picks will get traded.
However, having 20 new drafted pitchers entering the organization may make the team more willing to part ways with young pitchers in order to improve the Major League roster this season.