The Los Angeles Angels wrapped up the Major League Baseball draft Tuesday by spending every last one of their 20 draft picks on pitchers.
After going with Miami University of Ohio right-hander Sam Bachman with the ninth overall selection in the first round Sunday, the Angels remained single-minded in their pursuit of arms. Nineteen of their 20 picks were on college pitchers; 12th-round selection Mason Albright of the IMG Academy was the only high schooler they chose.
On a conference call with reporters, Angels scouting director Matt Swanson said the team hadn’t ruled out drafting a position player, but eventually the call was made to “play the hot hand” and keep loading up on pitchers.
“It’s not excluding other subsets of players, but I was a pitcher myself and understand the wear and tear and how difficult it is to find pitching,” Swanson said. “Again, it’s a commodity you can’t have enough of, so take as many as you can and take the ones you believe in.”
They are believed to be just the second team in history to spend an entire year’s worth of draft picks exclusively on pitchers. The Miami Marlins did so just last year, but the 2020 draft was shortened to five rounds due to the pandemic.
The result of that condensed draft, to Swanson, was that there was a wealth of pitching prospects available this time around. He also reasoned that the Angels were comfortable with the position players already in their system.
“It’s not fully intentional, but a little more of an advanced pitching group (in the draft) sort of offsets the depth of position players we have,” Swanson said. “It probably injects a little bit of balance into the system.”
–Field Level Media