The Angels knew going into the 2020 MLB Draft they would have to make the best of the limited number of selections available to them.
The club lost their second-round selection due to their offseason signing of free agent third baseman Anthony Rendon.
Billy Eppler, Matt Swanson, and co. did well by selecting a high-end college lefty starter, two high-ceiling athletic prep position players, and finally another left-handed college pitcher.
Here’s a look and breakdown of the four Los Angeles Angels selections in the 2020 MLB Draft.
Round 1: Reid Detmers (LHP, Louisville)
The Angels kicked off the draft by getting an almost-MLB-ready southpaw from the ACC’s Louisville in Reid Detmers. Jim Abbott was the last Angels pitcher to be drafted (1988) and then debut for the Angels without playing a game in the minor leagues for the franchise.
While there is a likely chance Detmers begins his career at Double-A Rocket City next year, with a strong spring training showing (either this summer or next March), he wouldn’t surprise many if he cracked the Angels’ starting rotation. The 10th overall selection in the first round has a sharp curveball that’s just nasty against left-handed hitters to go with a mid-90s fastball.
Detmers joins Shohei Ohtani, Griffin Canning, Patrick Sandoval, Chris Rodriguez, Aaron Hernandez, and Jose Suarez in a talented pool of controllable young starting pitchers in the Angels’ stable. Expect the Angels to sign Detmers quickly with hopes of getting a look at him a team uniform soon.
Detmers was also a teammate with Angels top outfield prospect Jo Adell as prep players in the Area Code Games.
Angels fans are clamoring for a top-of-the-rotation starter and Detmers could develop into that type of MLB ace in years to come.
Round 3: David Calabrese (OF, St. Elizabeth Catholic HS)
The left-handed-hitting Canadian outfielder was projected by some draft experts as a first-round talent but his verbal commitment to Arkansas clearly was a deterrent for other clubs. Angels fans can hope that numbers were exchanged and the club feels confident they can convince Calabrese to join the franchise.
Calabrese would join about a dozen other very talented outfield prospects in the Angels’ farm system but would get plenty of time to develop in a system behind the likes of Mike Trout, Adell, Brandon Marsh, and Jordyn Adams.
Calabrese ran a 6.88-second 60-yard dash and he projects to be a factor on the base paths at the MLB level. Calabrese’s swing has an uphill path that could lead to legitimate power as he develops in the coming years.
Round 4: Werner Blakely (SS, Detroit Edison)
The Angels went with yet another athletic prep position player by selecting Auburn commit Werner Blakely with their fourth-round selection. Blakely has good tools and as a high school selection could be developed patiently as a middle infielder behind 2018 shortstop selection and top-five prospect Jeremiah Jackson.
The 6-foot-3, 175-pound Blakely can play short, second, or third as he develops his defensive skills at the minor league levels in the Angels system. He’s a plus fielder with good speed and power potential as he grows as a professional and refines his hitting skills with Los Angeles.
Round 5: Adam Seminaris (LHP, Long Beach State)
The 21-year-old southpaw gives the Angels their second left-handed college starting pitcher with their final selection in the draft.
While scouts tend to believe his ceiling is considered low, they also believe Seminaris has a good chance to serve in the majors as a mid-rotation starter or bullpen asset.
The Chino Hills product finished his Long Beach State career with a 3.58 ERA in 40 NCAA appearances (27 starts), striking out 154 and walking 43 across 173.2 innings.
Seminaris has a four-pitch mix with a fastball that tops out in low-90s; he’ll rely heavily on the development and command of those secondary pitches in the Angels’ farm system.
While the Angels could see some obstacles signing Calabrese and Blakely, they have two advanced left-handed pitchers that have a very good chance of helping the Angels in Anaheim soon.
With Spring Training 2.0 yet to be announced, it will be interesting to see if either Detmers or Seminaris could factor into tune-up games for the 2020 Angels as they prepare for a July Opening Day.