Angels 2019 MLB Draft preview


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ANAHEIM — Under general manager Billy Eppler, the Angels have done an impressive job of restocking their once-barren farm system in recent years. The club has the chance to add more impact talent with the 2019 MLB Draft, which begins today.
The 2019 Draft will take place today through Wednesday,

ANAHEIM — Under general manager Billy Eppler, the Angels have done an impressive job of restocking their once-barren farm system in recent years. The club has the chance to add more impact talent with the 2019 MLB Draft, which begins today.

The 2019 Draft will take place today through Wednesday, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB Network and MLB.com at 6 p.m. ET. MLB Network will broadcast the first 41 picks (Round 1 and Competitive Balance Round A), while MLB.com will stream all 78 picks on Day 1. MLB.com will also provide live pick-by-pick coverage of Rounds 3-10 on Day 2, beginning with a preview show at 9:30 a.m. PT. Then, Rounds 11-40 can be heard live on MLB.com on Day 3, beginning at 9 a.m. PT.

Go to MLB.com/Draft to see the Top 200 Prospects list, mock drafts from MLB Pipeline analysts Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo, the complete order of selection and more. And follow @MLBDraft on Twitter to see what Draft hopefuls, clubs and experts are saying.

Here’s how the Draft is shaping up for the Angels, whose first selection is the 15th overall pick.

In about 50 words: In recent years, the Angels have gone with high-upside picks in the first round, like athletic outfielders Jordyn Adams and Jo Adell, and are likely to go a similar route in 2019. Los Angeles has been linked to several pitchers with its first selection.

The Scoop: This is scouting director Matt Swanson’s fourth Draft, and it’s clear the Angels value a high ceiling over a high floor with their early picks. It carries some risk, but it’s been working out in recent years, with Adell leading the way. There aren’t as many high-upside outfielders in this year’s class, so the Angels might turn to taking a pitcher in the first round, especially one with high velocity.

Who might they take? In early mock drafts, the Angels were linked to position players such as prep outfielder Corbin Carroll and Texas Tech third baseman Josh Jung. But recently, there’s been more talk of them selecting a pitcher such as Georgia Premier Academy right-hander Daniel Espino, who will be at the Draft, as well as prep right-hander Matthew Allan, Elon right-hander George Kirby or high school right-hander Quinn Priester.

Money Matters: Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each team has an allotted bonus pool equal to the sum of the values of that club’s selections in the first 10 rounds of the Draft. The more picks a team has, and the earlier it picks, the larger the pool. The signing bonuses for a team’s selections in the first 10 rounds, plus any bonus greater than $125,000 for a player taken after the 10th round, will apply toward the bonus-pool total.

Any team going up to five percent over its allotted pool will be taxed at a 75-percent rate on the overage. A team that overspends by 5-10 percent gets a 75-percent tax plus the loss of a first-round pick. A team that goes 10-15 percent over its pool amount will be hit with a 100-percent penalty on the overage and the loss of a first- and second-round pick. Any overage of 15 percent or more gets a 100-percent tax plus the loss of first-round picks in the next two Drafts.

This year, the Angels have a pool of $7,608,700 to spend in the first 10 rounds, including $3,885,800 to spend on their first selection.

Shopping list: The Angels’ system is heavy with outfielders and athletic middle infielders, but they don’t have much in the way of power-hitting corner infielders or catching at the lower levels. Some of that is by design, as the Angels like to draft players who can handle premium defensive positions, but of their Top 30 prospects, according to MLB Pipeline, their only first baseman are Matt Thaiss (No. 8) and Jared Walsh (No. 20), while Kevin Maitain (No. 14) is their lone third baseman and Jack Kruger (No. 23) is their only catcher. Of course, the Angels will stock up on pitching, much like they did last year, but finding a corner-infield bat in the early rounds could make some sense.

Trend watch: The Angels are known for taking risks with their first pick, including taking Adams with the No. 17 overall pick in 2018 and Adell with the No. 10 overall selection in ’17. Adell has risen to become one of the top prospects in baseball and a future cornerstone player, while Adams is starting to heat up at Class A Burlington. Before that, the Angels selected catchers in the first round that they eventually converted to the infield, as Matt Thaiss (2016) is now a first baseman and Taylor Ward (2015) is a third baseman. Last year, the Angels selected Adams and then high school shortstop Jeremiah Jackson in the second round before selecting 11 straight pitchers. Of their first 32 selections, all were either a pitcher, a shortstop or an outfielder.

The recent top picks

2018: Jordyn Adams, CF (Class A Burlington)
2017: Jo Adell, CF (Class A Advanced Inland Empire)
2016: Matt Thaiss, 1B, (Triple-A Salt Lake)
2015: Taylor Ward, 3B (Triple-A Salt Lake)
2014: Sean Newcomb, LHP (Atlanta Braves)

Rhett Bollinger covers the Angels for MLB.com. He previously covered the Twins from 2011-18. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.



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