2021 MLB Draft Recap: Los Angeles Angels 

2021 MLB Draft Recap: Los Angeles Angels 

by July 14, 2021 0 comments

A lack of strong pitching has been an Achilles’ heel plaguing the Los Angeles Angels over the past few seasons. It shouldn’t surprise observers that the team focused on developed pitchers in the draft, using all 20 selections exclusively on pitchers. Clearly, the focus for Perry Minasian’s organization is to seek arms that have the potential to fast-track to Anaheim. Several of the new draftees could potentially help a 2021 team that’s within six games of a playoff berth at draft day. 

 

Draft Selections

 

Round 1, Pick 9: Sam Bachman, Right-Handed Pitcher, Miami (OH) 

 

The Angels passed on Kumar Rocker at pick No. 9. Instead, they selected the projectible, high upside of Bachman, who is a lesser-known prospect to observers. Rocker’s velocity has been inconsistent in recent months. Bachman’s velocity, on the other hand, has only increased every year as he’s progressed through college. The right-hander’s pitches clocked as high at 101 mph this season and he features a plus breaking ball. Bachman could find himself on a fast track to aid the Angels’ bullpen as early as this season. With the long-term development to be stretched out to a starter. The Halos brass see a ceiling comparable to Justin Verlander or Emmanuel Clase in the bullpen based on pre-draft profile. Slot value: $4,949,100 

 

Round 2, Pick 45: Ky Bush, Left-Handed Pitcher, St. Mary’s College (CA)

 

The Angels opened Day 2 of the draft with another advanced college pitcher. The Ogden native is built into an intimidating 6-foot-6, 240-pound frame. The left-hander has bounced around throughout his college career, spending this past season with his third program in three years. He responded by striking out 112 batters and walking 19 in 78.1 innings for the Gaels. Expect the Angels to start his development as a starter with a potential future role out of an MLB bullpen. Our MLB Draft Profile projects C.C. Sabathia as a potential ceiling for Bush. Slot value: $1,650,000 

 

Round 3, Pick 80: Landon Marceaux, Right-Handed Pitcher, LSU (LA) 

 

Marceaux is a re-drafted pitcher who was a late-round selection by the New York Yankees before going to LSU. He is a low-90’s fastball pitcher who relies heavily on his curveball to retire opposing hitters. While not overpowering, Marceaux managed to strike out 116 batters in 102.2 innings for Tigers this past season. Another pick with a lot of exposure on the showcase circuit in high school and college. Slot value: $767,800 

 

Round 4, Pick 110: Luke Murphy, Right-Handed Pitcher, Vanderbilt (TN)  

 

Murphy missed 2019 due to Tommy John Surgery only to be limited to four games in 2020 due to the COVID-shortened season. He appeared in 27 games out of the Commodores’ bullpen in 2021. His mid-90s fastball, low-80s curve, and changeup will likely all lead him to continued development as a reliever. Murphy struck out 61 and walked 15 in 41.1 innings pitched at Vanderbilt this past season. Slot value: $527,800 

 

Round 5, Pick 141: Brett Kerry, Right-Handed Pitcher, South Carolina (SC) 

 

This 22-year-old Kerry made only seven starts in his 45 games pitched during his Gamecocks career. He finished 11-2 with a 2.54 ERA, 167 strikeouts, and only 26 walks in 127.2 collegiate innings pitched. Kerry has a 93-96 mph fastball and three additional pitches with good control. His experience would indicate a future in the bullpen, though he’s capable of being stretched to a starter. Slot value: $390,400 

 

Round 6, Pick 171: Jake Smith, Right-Handed Pitcher, Miami (FL)  

Round 7, Pick 201: Ryan Costeiu, Right-Handed Pitcher, Arkansas (AR)  

Round 8, Pick 231: Nick Jones, Left-Handed Pitcher, Georgia Southern (GA)  

Round 9, Pick 261: Braden Olthoff, Right-Handed Pitcher, Tulane (LA)  

Round 10, Pick 291: Andrew Peters, Right-Handed Pitcher, South Carolina (SC) 

Round 11, Pick 321: Chase Silseth, Right-Handed Pitcher, Arizona (AZ) 

Round 12, Pick 351: Mason Albright, Left-Handed Pitcher, IMG Academy (FL) 

Round 13, Pick 381: Mo Hanley, Left-Handed Pitcher, Adrian College (MI) 

Round 14, Pick 411: Eric Torres, Left-Handed Pitcher, Kansas State (KS) 

Round 15, Pick 441: Glenn Albanese Jr., Right-Handed Pitcher, Louisville (KY) 

Round 16, Pick 471: Brandon Dufault, Right-Handed Pitcher, Northeastern (MA) 

Round 17, Pick 501: Mason Erla, Right-Handed Pitcher, Michigan State (MI) 

Round 18, Pick 531: Nick Mondak, Left-Handed Pitcher, St. John’s (NY) 

Round 19, Pick 561: Nathan Burns, Right-Handed Pitcher, Oregon State (OR) 

Round 20, Pick 591: Marcelo Lopez, Right-Handed Pitcher, TCU (TX) 

 

Best Pick 

 

Round 1, Pick 9: Sam Bachman, Right-Handed Pitcher, Miami (OH) 

 

The Angels had their opportunity to draft Kumar Rocker. They passed on talented prep stars Kahlil Watson and Brady House. This team’s brass clearly believes in Bachman and it’s not hard to see why. The right-hander’s pitch velocity has increased significantly in recent years and enhanced the collegiate righty’s ceiling. From their current rotation, the Angels have only Shohei Ohtani, Patrick Sandoval, and Juan Suarez under control next year. Adding Bachman to a crop of young pitchers that includes last year’s first-round pick Reid Detmers and rookie Chris Rodriguez makes sense. Remember, eight other MLB teams also passed on Rocker in addition to the Angels. Obviously, Minasian and company felt Bachman’s abilities were trending in a more positive direction than other experienced college pitchers.

 

Worst Pick

 

Round 7, Pick 201: Ryan Costeiu, Right-Handed Pitcher, Arkansas 

 

The biggest mystery pick in the Angels’ first 10 rounds is Costeiu. The Angels stuck exclusively to college pitchers on the first two days of the draft, so this would have seemed to be the perfect spot to draft a catcher. Costeiu’s ceiling projects to be lower than later selections Jones, Olthoff, and Peters. The front office ignored UCLA’s Noah Cardenas, Vanderbilt’s Dominic Keegan, or prep options Creed Williams or Rene Lastres in these rounds. Yes, the Angels have done well with international signings at the catcher position in recent months. Despite these efforts, the lack of good catching depth in their farm system is irrefutable, leading to this missed opportunity to add needed depth to an area of organizational weakness. 

 

Draft Grade: C 

 

20 pitchers were selected over 20 draft picks, including 19 at the college level. The decision to avoid prep talent places even more significance on the team’s upcoming international signings. This clearly sends a message to fans and other organizations that the Angels are focused on improving pitching. First-year general manager Perry Minasian used this draft to replenish his system with more developed arms. This increases the chances of landing legitimate MLB pitchers while making the position expendable in trades. Signing Albright could potentially increase this draft grade by a whole letter.  


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Lifelong baseball fan, writer, IBWAA member, and source for all things Los Angeles Angels. Future, current, and past Halos news. Follow on Twitter @_HaloLife.

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