During the recent draft, I happened to be on vacation, and even though I love this game and I LOVE prospects, there isn’t much that could take my focus away from my wife, the Atlantic waves and a cocktail. Still, I’d done some homework before the draft on some players and did a little more digging following the draft as well. We here at MWAH do our best to talk to the right people when dealing with prospects we haven’t scouted for ourselves. Of the ones I have had the opportunity to watch, it’s been in shorter video clips, so I did the best I could. Obviously, we’ll all get a better read on these guys once the season starts and can start watching them on a regular basis. However, for now, here’s what we have on the newly drafted Angels prospects.
*Note – If you don’t see anything on a particular prospect that was drafted, just know that I couldn’t find anything substantial on them and have heard nothing from anyone within the Angels organization about this player either.
36th round pick Brandon Bayardi – He’s a very well-built corner OF from UNLV. An impressive blend of speed, strength and power. I’m not entirely sure what I’m looking at here, but I am impressed by the numbers Bayardi put up against competition that wasn’t exactly the easiest among the college ranks.
35th round pick Eric Weiss – A third baseman from the University of Texas. He played for the Team USA collegiate team, so obviously he was a decent college player. He doesn’t have a ton of power, but there’s lots of athleticism and projection here. Very similar to a high school player in that he’s raw but has upside. Listed as a catcher on the Angels website, so that’s either a mistake or a move they’re hoping to make.
34th round pick LF Eric Aguilera – Aguilera fits the profile of a big athletic OF whose value is tied into his ability to climb the ladder quickly. Collegiate 34th round picks rarely make any headway in the minors but Aguilera actually has quite a bit going for him. There’s considerable power, and he has a sweet swing from the left-side. His coach even claimed he was one of the best hitters in the Midwest. We’ll have to take a closer look.
28th round pick Miguel Hermosillo – This one I’m actually a bit excited about. Hermosillo was a running back for the University of Illinois and was considered to be one of the better RB in the country, even projected to possibly play in the NFL. He’s reportedly excellent defensively, very explosive and quick. He’s probably the best pure athlete of the draft, and that’s saying something considering who the Angels drafted in the 3rd round.
24th round pick Mark Shannon – Before you do anything else, check out this catch he made:
He has a solid mix of speed and gap power.
23rd round pick Matt Hernandez – 6’2" LHP has been clocked at 92 mph with his fastball and has a soft breaking ball in the upper 60’s/low 70’s.
22nd round pick Trevor Foss – I really like what I’ve heard about him and seen from video on this kid. He’s a big RHP from Texas A & M Corpus Christi. He has a slow but deliberate delivery that can really throw hitters off. Really good arm action for a starter, he hides the ball extraordinarily well. Big, bending slider that lacks drop but cuts well. There isn’t much to speak of as far as stuff, but it looks like he can get hitters out.
20th round pick Brian Loconsole – 6’2" RHP with a low 90’s fastball. He was a closer at a small college back East.
19th round pick Cole Swanson – 6’5" LHP, has a pulse, will likely make the major leagues because of the aforementioned factors. Fastball reportedly has good late movement, his best pitch is a change up. Looks like a starter for sure. Think Will Smith, no not the Fresh Prince, the one the Angels traded to KC for Alberto Callaspo.
16th round pick Ryan Etsell – Big RHP, fastball sits in the low 90’s. There’s reportedly a lot of arm strength, and even more potential but he’s still raw. He’s not a strikeout pitcher right now, but could be in the future.
15th round pick Zach Hinshaw – Angels really like this kid. Not much to speak of in his college numbers but he’s a CF with 70 grade speed (on a scale to 80) apparently and they see him developing into a much better pure hitter with some adjustments.
14th round pick Riley Good – I don’t know a lot about him, just that I was told he may have been a very under rated hitter in the draft. Numbers suggest he was a hit machine and his learning curve in the minors shouldn’t be very steep at all.
12th round pick Blake Goins - He's a 6'0" RHP with a stocky build, stiff mechanics but loose arm slot. He's sitting 91-93 mph with constancy and 93-94 looks likely in the future. Goins has the curve in place already (according to reports) and has a willingness to learn and work on other pitches, but will be a tough sign away from Texas.
11th round pick Jonah Wesely – Perhaps the prize of the draft for the Angels. Wesely was seen as almost a sure thing to sign with UCLA before the draft according to people. The Angels drafted him and signed him almost immediately, which must have come as a surprise. I like Wesely's mechanics, really simple, not a ton can go wrong. He's really strong for a LHP, really quick arm. Most arms as strong as his are prone to violent deliveries that can charge the ball up over 95 mph but usually have a shorter lifespan. Wesely however shows intelligence beyond that of a normal high school pitcher. He stays within himself, doesn't over extend or get too amped. He comfortably sits 91-92, which is good for a lefty and I can see him adding 1-2 mph in the future. His curveball is a thing of beauty and I know little about his change up except to say that I've read it has "life" or "depth” to it. Quite frankly I can’t believe Wesely went this far down in the draft. Big strong California LHP like him usually don’t leave the first 5 rounds. Though since he’s Nor-Cal it’s understandable as that area is tragically under-scouted. As far as a comparison, I see a lot of Pat Corbin in Jonah Wesely.
9th round pick Stephen McGee – Big strong catcher, hits for power, great discipline and patience at the plate. Could climb the ladder relatively quickly. Judging by numbers and scouting profile, probably a lot like current Angels catching prospect Zach Wright.
7th round pick Garrett Nuss – RHP, low 90’s fastball, great arm strength, speed and deception. Fastball really climbs in on RH batters. Nuss has a serviceable changeup that he can throw for a strike and a hard thrown slider that’s been inconsistent at best. He hasn’t signed yet, and though there’s a lot to like about him, I’m not entirely convinced the Angels and Nuss will work something out. Hopefully they do though.
6th round pick Harrison Cooney – 6’2" RHP, mid 90’s fastball with movement and a “plus” slider. He’s more of a thrower than a pitcher at this point, there’s not a ton of athleticism but offers tremendous upside as a pitcher that could end up being a mid-rotation starter or a late inning reliever.
5th round pick Kyle McGowin – Kyle uses the “inverted W” which has become prevalent in the minds of Angels fans with the likes of C.J. Wilson and Stephen Strasburg. The RHP has a quick arm with very good run on his fastball and a sharp breaking ball that is definitely plus. His changeup shows same movement as his fastball, but approximately 8 mph slower. The fastball sits in the low 90’s. So far his drawbacks include a tendency to leave the ball up and perhaps as Baseball America reported, shows a lot of emotion on the mound. He has not signed yet, but understandably so, as he has considerable potential to go higher in the draft with another good season. I’d consider it a huge victory if the Angels can ink him. – Note, as of Friday night, Kyle McGowin has signed with the Angels.
4th round pick Elliot Morris – Another tall (6’4") RHP, his fastball sits in the low to mid 90’s and he has a decent slider. His delivery is compact and repeatable with a high arm slot and good run on his fastball. Not a ton of projection, but he’s already a good pitcher. Needs to keep the ball down and find a way to get his breaking pitch over for a strike though. Has yet to sign.
3rd round pick Keynan Middleton – Super athletic RHP, fastball sits in the low 90’s with room for improvement as he irons some things out. His curve, slider and change up all show promise, though he hasn’t necessarily mastered any of these pitches yet. The biggest thing to be excited about here is now that Middleton is focusing solely on baseball (was a basketball standout in college as well), he might go from being a good pitching prospect to an outstanding Top 100 pitching prospect. He has that kind of potential. Deserves style points for rocking the fro out of the bottom/sides of his hat too. Seems like a really easy guy to root for, which is what we as fans love to see in the organization.
2nd round pick Hunter Green – Green is a 17 year old LHP with a loose arm and beautiful mechanics. He’s tall, projectable and is already really good but also really raw. Green’s heater sits in the low 90’s but most scouts agree that this can easily become mid-90’s within a couple years as he grows into his height. There’s considerable movement in his fastball especially (all his pitches really) as his release comes from a low to mid three quarters slot. His curveball is already strikingly sharp and his change up is deceptive with the chance to get even better as he adds fade to it. This was a huge signing by the Angels in the 2nd round. Some reports had him leaving the draft board in the Top 15 picks, most if not all had him being scooped up in the 1st round. It’s still unclear how he slipped to 58th overall, but I can easily see him emerging as a Top 50 prospect within the next couple years. Angels may have really hit the jackpot on this one.