The Los Angeles Angels will welcome 10 more new faces to their organization on Tuesday during Day 3 of the MLB Draft, but they have already made a massive statement with their first 10 selections. On Sunday, they selected RHP Sam Bachman from Miami (OH) with their ninth overall pick.
On Monday, with rounds 2-10 on the docket, the Angels decided not just to add a couple more pitchers. Rather, they selected nine college pitchers in nine picks, bringing their total count to 10 college pitchers over 10 selections. It was believed by draft experts that the 2021 class was going to be among the best in recent memory for pitchers, and that’s certainly how the Angels felt.
Angels scouting director Matt Swanson said that it was not an intentional strategy, but one they’re absolutely happy with in hindsight, according to J.P. Hoorsntra of The O.C. Register:
“The funny thing is, I didn’t realize until I think the seventh or the eighth round that we had taken all pitchers,” Swanson said. “You’re so ingrained on each pick, working through and navigating, comparing different players to different players across the whole country – a shortstop to a college pitcher – it takes you a second to look at the board.”
It’s not just pitching that is dominating the 2021 MLB Draft, it’s specifically right-handed pitching. 11 righties were taken in the first round, and eight of the 10 Angels selections have been right-handed college pitchers.
Bachman, the Angels’ first round pick, has plenty of potential to be a Major League starter in a couple years, but could be a reliever as soon as next season. A full breakdown of his scouting report should give fans some excitement. Here, we’ll take a look at shorter breakdowns of the Angels’ nine Day 2 picks.
Round 2: LHP Ky Bush, St. Mary’s College
One of two lefties selected by the Angels through the first 10 rounds, Bush is more of a long-term development project than Bachman. In his final season as a starter as St. Mary’s, Bush held a 2.99 ERA and a 7-5 record. He led the West Coast Conference in strikeouts, K’ing 112 in 78.1 innings of work. He has some bullpen risk attached, but will develop as a starter.
Round 3: RHP Landon Marceaux, LSU
Coming off of his junior season at LSU, Marceaux held a 2.54 ERA through a remarkable 102.2 innings of work. He recorded 116 strikeouts during this time, and also went 33.1 innings without allowing a run to start the season.
Round 4: RHP Luke Murphy, Vanderbilt
While Kumar Rocker and Jack Leiter certainly got the most attention, their bullpen had a gem in Murphy. He pitched 41.1 innings in 2021 — all in relief — and struck out 61 batters in that time. He had a 2.40 ERA.
Round 5: RHP Brett Kerry, South Carolina
Kerry — like Murphy — was also a reliever at South Carolina. He had 17 appearances in 2021 (three starts), and had a 2.15 ERA and 84 strikeouts in 54.1 innings. He is also the oldest player the Angels drafted thus far, as he’ll be 23 on Opening Day 2022.
Round 6: RHP Jake Smith, Miami
Smith was selected out of high school in the 21st round of the 2018 MLB Draft, but decided to go to school. He started as a reliever at Miami, but worked his way up to a starter during his third season. He improved his draft stock by 15 rounds in that time.
Round 7: RHP Ryan Costeiu, Arkansas
Costeiu is undoubtedly a project in the seventh round. He was exclusively a bullpen pitcher at Arkansas, and had a 5.10 ERA in 30 innings of work. He did, however, have 40 strikeouts and went 8-3.
Round 8: LHP Nick Jones, Georgia Southern
The second lefty selected by the Angels is also the tallest player they drafted in the first 10 rounds. At 6-foot-7, he served as a closer for Georgia Southern. In 29 appearances this season, Jones had 17 saves, a 1.48 ERA, and 67 strikeouts. He pitched 42.2 innings in total.
Round 9: RHP Braden Olthoff, Tulane
Olthoff is a local prospect — from Oceanside — that was a starter in three years at Tulane. This season, he had 13 starts and held a 3.78 ERA.
Round 10: RHP Andrew Peters, South Carolina
The second Angels selection from South Carolina was a former draftee of the Tampa Bay Rays. He chose to return to school, where he had an opponent batting average of .205 in 2021.