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Los Angeles Angels 2022 Amateur Draft Recap


Chuckster70

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By Taylor Blake Ward, AngelsWin.com Columnist

GENERAL THOUGHTS

Perspective only comes with a full view. I write this as a caveat, as most will make an initial knee-jerk reaction to any club's first-round selection and make that the brash opinion of the entire draft for the club as it has the most value and is the one with the most accessible perceptions as to the player taken. For example, speaking to a Texas Rangers fanatic on Sunday night, he was distraught that Texas spent their first-round pick on Kumar Rocker much earlier than anticipated he would go and could not surrender the thought of losing value with the pick, and later altered his opinion when the team took Brock Porter in the fourth round. It's easy to make a reaction, but a full view can give you proper perception to how any given team did with their draft on paper.

In the case of the Angels, their first-round selection gives them upside at a premium position. With position players suddenly being the lack of depth of the organization, the Angels went against what the industry felt would be one of the first landing spots for a pitcher and selected Zach Neto, the second-best college shortstop in the nation behind only Brooks Lee. With a firm belief he will stay at shortstop, a challenging position to fill organizationally that has long-lasting effects, there is an opportunity for not only a premium position player but also one that has everyday upside due to his hit and power balance.

As the Angels went into day two and three of the draft, there was some repetition to what they did in 2021, altering from taking 20 pitchers in 20 picks to taking seven college power hitters with their final 16 selections.

"Things just fell that way," said Tim McIlvaine, Angels Amateur Scouting Director, following day three of the draft. "We talked about a lot of different types of players on day one, and then day two as well, and then it gets tough to sign some of the high school kids. They end up going down the college road. We talked to a lot of high school kids for day three as well. Ended up taking one with our first pick (of the third day). It's kind of how it shakes out. You go down all the avenues you can, you talk to all the players you can, you try and get as much information on them as you can, then you try and make the best decision."

As a general proviso among the industry, if two or three players make it to the big leagues with some form of Major League success (three-or-more years of average value), you can call the draft a success. In this scenario and with last year included, if two pitchers from the 20 taken in 2021, and one of the power hitters taken in 2022, have moderate success at the Major League level in the coming years, you can call these drafts successful. As opposed to altering options across 20 rounds, the Angels have set themselves up well to have hopes of one of their power bats finding success and being successful in the draft room for 2022. Of course, more could find success and make it even more beneficial to the club. The same can be said of the pitchers taken, hoping that one or more will find a relief role or be even more successful finding a true rotation option which is near as rare as finding an everyday shortstop. Notably, four of the Angels draft picks were among the top nine in college baseball in 2022 in both OPS and SLG% (Zach Neto, Sonny DiChiara, Matt Coutney, Luke Franzoni).

"It's something we certainly look at," McIlvaine said. "We looked at a lot of different avenues of players. We looked at some guys that are huge speed guys, we looked at some that are big hit guys that didn't have a ton of power and ended up being able to take guys with a lot of power. It's something in our system that we wanted to improve a little bit and I think a lot of these guys are gonna help do that. We got some big boys with some big power that like to hit homers. Hopefully, it gets into the system and translates for us, but you know, it's something we want. OPS has been shown to be a good determining factor of moving forward, what guys are gonna be able to do. I wouldn't say it's just what we were targeting or what we were looking for. It kind of fell that way but we're excited to have it. Power is fun to watch. I think there's going to be some fun batting practice at a few of the affiliates this year. I can't wait to go see it."

Every year the question will always arise: will the [insert team] sign all of their draft picks? Just as a generality, there are usually one or two total players taken in the first two days of the draft, combined, that do not sign, so it's fair to just believe anyone taken in rounds 1-10 will sign with ease. Day three is where the questions will arise, and once again as a generality, high schoolers, college juniors, and JUCO players will be the ones with the biggest question mark attached to their name. In the case of the Angels, there was one high schooler taken on the third day (though we will touch on that later and the likelihood he will sign); with four juniors in Jared Southard (a re-draft for the Angels), Bryce Osmond (the biggest question mark due to his day two opportunities), Sammy Natera Jr., and Max Gieg; and two JC players in Tucker Flint and Sabin Cabellos. Any questions about signability with this group will not come with answers until the end of the signing period, though as a reminder, most will sign and have already spoken to the club about what is expected for their signing bonus and future with the organization.

"Some of these kids are in great situations with where they are," said McIlvaine. "Some of them have expressed to us that they're ready to get started with their careers even though they have other opportunities still. I'm sure there's other colleges or schools - other opportunities that will be tugging on them, but a lot of these kids are ready and wanna get going. It's part of what we try and talk to them about before the draft. Make sure pro ball is the avenue they're looking to go down at this point. With that you take a risk every once in awhile that a kid is ready to go, and this is what they want to do, and you put that opportunity in front of them and if they're ready to go now then we're happy to make that a reality."

I don't give out grades for drafts as it takes at minimum four to five years to really see how successful a draft was when players are reaching their Major League potential, and another four or five years beyond that to see how productive each pick has become. On paper, I like what the Angels did. They addressed organizational needs, though I would have liked to have seen more outfielders taken but sticking to the best player available with each pick, there is a lot to like in the upside of this class for the Angels.

PICK ANALYSIS

1st Round: Zach Neto, SS, Campbell

- I think everyone and their brother expected the Angels to select a pitcher in the first round, but it was nice to see them pivot to a position player with some premium position value. Zach Neto is two-way player in the traditional sense (non-Ohtani version) of being solid at the plate and in the field. Neto is a solid hitter who has a wood-bat track record - hitting for average and power in the Cape Cod League - who has plenty of power potential at the plate. His setup and load are quite unorthodox as he starts with a big inwards leg kick while his hands move all around but it doesn't keep him from getting direct to his separation and in a good position to cover the zone with strength - not dissimilar to Bo Bichette or Javy Baez though I wouldn't compare him to either as he doesn't have the immense bat wrap of Bichette or elite bat speed of Baez. Though unorthodox, Neto syncs everything together and is able to be a rhythmic hitter who utilizes his hand-eye coordination and above-average bat speed to drive the ball with authority and with his natural loft that bat-speed and raw power should be able to produce some easy double-digit home run production. With the load being complex, there may be some offensive inconsistencies and streakiness that are timing based for Neto, which shouldn't deter from the overall full-season offensive production. He's an aggressive baserunner who has average speed and pending the Angels approach to stealing could be an easy double-digit stolen base threat.

Possibly the most important part of Neto's game, and in particular to the Angels, is the belief he can stay at shortstop long-term. I've mentioned it many times over but finding an everyday shortstop - i.e., one who can hit and play solid defense at the position - is hard to come by and even looking at each Major League club in 2022, only about two-thirds of the league have a player of this caliber (same can be said about catcher). Neto's primary value will be in staying at the premium position of shortstop. He's a solid athlete who has soft hands and makes the transfer with ease. He has more than enough arm strength for the position - he's pitched in the past and been up to 93 on the mound though the Angels will not try to utilize him in a two-way role - but the use of that arm will draw questions as he has shown tendencies to try and throw runners out by a mile whether the runner is close or far and will lose some accuracy, which may lead to having to tone down some of his throwing decisions. Neto is light footed with good-but-not-great lateral movement, which could be the only hinderance to his long-term ability at the position. He's shown versatility playing all over the dirt, but there's little question to him staying on the left side of the diamond, and a strong enough chance to stay at shortstop for a lengthy period of time.

Comments from Tim McIlvaine: "First of all, he's athletic. He moves really well. He's got great body control. He goes well laterally, in, out, to his left, to his right. Then when you get to the box, he's got a nice big swing. He's got big bat speed and he'll show you surprising power for his size. He can really get into the ball. What we really like too is how well he knows the strike zone. He doesn't get himself out. He doesn't chase. He makes pitchers throw pitches in the zone and then he hits them hard. There's a lot to like with him. We really hang our head on the athleticism up-the-middle. That was a big focus for us."

Zach Neto 2022 college stats: 256 PA, .407/.514/.769, 65 R, 50 RBI, 15 HR, 19 SB

 

3rd Round: Ben Joyce, RHP, Tennessee

No arm in the 2022 draft class had as much attraction or as much anxiety as Ben Joyce. A true unicorn, Joyce is the owner of the third hardest pitch ever thrown in baseball's metrically recorded history at 105.5 miles-per-hour, only topped by Aroldis Chapman. With the only challengers to his premier velocity being Chapman and Jordan Hicks, Joyce saw his average fastball sit at 101 miles-per-hour and peak at over 105 multiple times, which again is only challenged in metric history by Chapman and Hicks who have reached the feat a combined 10 times (Chapman, 8; Hicks, 2). A transfer from Walters State, Joyce did not pitch in 2021 after having Tommy John surgery in October of 2020, and returned with fire in 2022, hitting 103 in his second outing which sparked attention from Rob Friedman (a.k.a. Pitching Ninja) which led to attention from the masses. Joyce will use his fastball over three-quarters of the time and can disappear on hitters not only with its velocity but it's angle, coming in from a lower three-quarter arm slot with some inversion to his arm action. It has minimal movement which can make it easier to square up, and also among the reasons he was expected to go in the third or fourth round as opposed to first or second. As much of a rarity it is to have Joyce's velocity, there is some alternate weapons in his arsenal. Grades on his slider will range from "meh" to "plus" pending who you ask, but it is a pitch separated by some 15 miles-per-hour to his fastball and sweeps through the zone. The knock here is that Joyce has little command for the pitch, and it is predictable with advanced hitters who aren't automatically setup for the fastball. There is a changeup with some progressive signs, but it is a distant third pitch at the moment. His frame may indicate a starter profile, and the Angels haven't ruled out using him as a starter in development somewhere down the road (not this year), but his limited health track record, violent velocity, and irregularity to sync up his body should keep him in the bullpen. I believe that if the Angels were in the playoff race, he could be an arm you throw out at any given time during the 2022 campaign as a velocity-only weapon that Major Leaguers haven't seen, but with the Angels timeline and current state this year, he should be destined for development with a potential shutdown for 2022. In recap, you can't just find velocity like this, and it will always be worth the gamble to take something no one else has or may ever have.

Comments from Tim McIlvaine: "He's probably one of the more famous amateur players. His fastball touching 105 and just all the hoopla that has come with him. It's fun to watch. I live in Nashville, Tennessee myself so I've seen him a good bit when he was in Junior College, and then as he went to University of Tennessee seeing him there, so kind of seen him grow into this a little bit and grow up. It's really fun to watch. It's a big arm and he has stuff and I think we feel like there are a few things that we can work on with him to make him even more effective instead of just having him throw as hard as he can all the time. He's got a nice breaking ball in there too that he doesn't always get to because he doesn't need it a lot of times but it's a big fastball and he's a good kid. He's got a good head on his shoulders - very disciplined. We met with him at the Major League Baseball Combine all together and we were very impressed coming out of that as well. For us it's not just how hard you can throw or how hard you can hit it but also in between the ears and what's inside. He checks that box for us as well.

"We may explore (the opportunity to let him start). We're gonna see how Ben feels and walk him through that. We're not going to close the door to that. We're going to leave that possibility open but for now as he goes out, we're going to run him out of the bullpen and see where it goes. He had a few extended outings this year out of Tennessee and making one start so it's not out of the realm possibility but we're going to take it slow and see where it goes."

Ben Joyce 2022 college stats: 32.1 IP, 2-1, 2.23 ERA, 14 BB, 53 K, 0.990 WHIP, 14.8 K/9

 

4th Round: Jack Madden, RHP, Northwest Florida State

A standout for Florida scouts in the spring coming off Tommy John in 2020, Jake Madden is a tall and lean on-mound athlete at six-foot-six with a loose and free arm with electric stuff. He works primarily off of his fastball which has boring action when thrown down and can run away like a two-seamer when up. It simmers around 93-96 but can get as high as 97 early in outings. Madden's slider is a real weapon as it has power in the mid-to-upper 80's and shows sweeping action against right-handed hitters and he can bury it to the back foot on lefties. His firm changeup has inconsistencies but can be a solid pitch against lefties as he'll throw it to the outer part of the plate and let it drop and fade out of the zone, while it has only worked against righties when located down. Madden is athletic on the mound and has a free-and-easy arm and room for physical development that could aid in power and durability, but his inability to throw regular strikes and below-average fastball command will leave lingering questions to his long-term ability to start. He has the looks of an electric two or three-pitch power reliever.

Jack Madden 2022 junior college stats: 47.2 IP, 4-4, 4.53 ERA, 24 BB, 76 K, 1.34 WHIP, 14.4 K/9

 

5th Round: Sonny DiChiara, 1B, Auburn

They call him Thicc King in Auburn, and there's not much debate once laying your eyes on Sonny DiChiara. Listed at six-foot-one and 263 pounds, DiChiara is a big boy who is known solely for his prowess at the plate. He has a simple power load and gets to his big boy strength with relative ease. There is no doubt about DiChiara's raw and in-game power. An ambush hitter who feasts of fastballs, even those with high velocity, there is discipline in the approach (led D1 in on-base percentage in 2022) to find his pitch to drive, which will be vital to his ability to hit for any average as he'll have to continually line the ball. Though more athletic than expected for someone his size, he is a well below-average runner and has little-to-no defensive value even at first base. The comparisons may be unfair and solely based on his size, but a hopeful outcome would be that DiChiara becomes a similar player to Billy Butler or Dan Vogelbach.

Sonny DiChiara 2022 college stats: 286 PA, .383/.549/.777, 59 R, 59 RBI, 22 HR, 0 SB

 

6th Round: Victor Mederos, RHP, Oklahoma State

Once seen as a projectable power arm in high school, the projection hasn't disappeared, but the performance has faltered Victor Mederos some into mid-day-two territory. Strong with a starter's kit physical profile, strike-throwing ability - or the lack thereof - has altered Mederos' projection and may land him in a relief role down the road. The inability to find the zone cost him a weekend rotation spot with Miami his freshman year and he transferred to Oklahoma State as a draft-eligible sophomore where he was able to start but with lackluster performance. His fastball can be explosive in the mid 90's, sitting 93-96 while touching 98-99 at times, though it is solely arm-speed based and is a dart that has been hit. The slider is Mederos' best weapon as he can alter its shape while getting whiffs in different forms, whether it be a tight two-plane offering playing off his fastball, or sweepy breaker that can force chases out of the zone. Mederos will throw a spike curve and changeup that both show promise, but he struggles to locate either making them purely raw average-or-better offerings at present. Mederos will get a look as a starter in development but with his high-effort delivery, irregular strike-throwing, and high-tempo on the mound, he seems like a reliever with some high-leverage upside.

Victor Mederos 2022 college stats: 66.0 IP, 4-4, 5.59 ERA, 21 BB, 62 K, 1.36 WHIP, 8.5 K/9

 

7th Round: Roman Phansalker, RHP, Oklahoma State

Going back-to-back on Oklahoma State arms, Roman Phansalker differed from his counterpart as a solid mid-relief arm. Scrapping his traditional four-seam for a two-seam fastball, Phansalker has impressive arm-side run upwards of two feet that will sit 91-95 that plays well from a lot three-fifths slot. He compliments this with a changeup that is mostly slot-and-separation based but will fade similar to his two-seam. Altering paths and crossing over, Phansalker can miss bats with his tight slider. He has enough fastball command to focus on the secondaries in hopes of a weak contact mid-relief profile.

Roman Phansalker 2022 college stats: 54.2 IP, 6-3, 3.46 ERA, 22 BB, 45 K, 1.23 WHIP, 7.4 K/9

 

8th Round: Dylan Phillips, TWP, Kansas State

Taken as a two-way player by some surprise, Dylan Phillips will enter pro ball as a DH/reliever with intrigue to follow on his two-way progression. At the plate, Phillips has a swing meant for damage while throwing the barrel through the zone and lift with an uppercut finish. His defensive profile will be held to corner outfield or first base. On the mound, he has been up to 95 from the left-side and the Angels had interest in him as a pitching prospect, as well as at the plate, though most believe his value is on offense.

Comments from Tim McIlvaine: "We do want him to pitch so we're gonna be careful with that. Right now, we're probably going to DH him and let him pitch out of the bullpen until he can kind of get it going a little bit and get a little more comfortable in that role and figure out how much he's able to do. He will be doing both. We like him both ways. We had him as a prospect as a hitter and we had him as a prospect as a pitcher as well. He wants to do both. We talked to him about it and he's all good for it."

Dylan Phillips 2022 college stats: 257 PA, .283/.362/.513, 40 R, 44 RBI, 13 HR, 8 SB / 20.1 IP, 0-1, 2.66 ERA, 3 BB, 26 K, 0.79 WHIP, 11.5 K/9, 8 SV

 

9th Round: Joe Stewart, OF, Michigan

Joe Stewart is one of the eldest players for the class as a senior at Michigan, who put together two strong performance seasons for the Wolverines. A solid athlete, Stewart has the defensive traits and above-average speed (used on the basepaths as well) to chance him staying in center field long term. The athleticism plays at the plate as he can make adjustments quickly and has some natural strength and power in his lofty swing.

Joe Stewart 2022 college stats: 303 PA, .349/.409/.572, 73 R, 56 RBI, 13 HR, 23 SB

 

10th Round: Matt Coutney, 1B, Old Dominion

Finishing their second day of the draft, the Angels day two tone didn't alter when taking another big-bodied masher in Matt Coutney. A fifth-year senior, Coutney was among the eldest statesmen for the class who punished younger talent throughout two years at Old Dominion. The left-handed hitter has excellent barrel control that helps gives him plenty of zone coverage. His swing has some natural loft and will put the ball in the air with normality. Among the college leaders in home runs, OPS, and slugging, Coutney’s calling card is his all-fields power that should translate into pro ball, and he has more value than a standard fifth-year senior sign with upper-level and Major League platoon upside. His defensive value is limited to first base.

Matt Coutney 2022 college stats: 275 PA, .376/.473/.808, 66 R, 70 RBI, 27 HR, 3 SB

 

11th Round: Caden Dana, RHP, Don Bosco HS (NJ)

Kicking off the third day with a big projection arm, Caden Dana is a New Jersey prep whose data-based pitches were a drawing tool upwards of the third round and will be an over slot sign for the Angels. Dana's projection starts with his frame, standing tall at six-foot-four and physically stout at 215 pounds, he has the present body of a workhorse starter already as a high school senior. With a clean and easily repeatable delivery, Dana is an arm-strength based pitcher, Dana will work his high-spin fastball 92-95 and has touched higher in shorter stints, and let's it play all over the zone with feel for command. Dana's curveball is the calling card as another high spin offering with some power. It's a big-breaking pitch that arcs high with a late vertical drop. In its raw present state, it's a plus offering, but he'll have to locate it better through development to make best use of it becoming a premier swing-and-miss option against more advanced hitters, but it should serve well through the low minors. There will be focus on his other breaking ball, a sweepy mid 80's slider, and changeup, as he shows some feel for both but are below-average offerings currently. Although a big kid, there is room to fill in the frame to leave little doubt about his durability and chance to remain a starter, and potentially see some velocity jumps. Everything in the package has the makings of a workhorse starter.

Caden Dana 2022 high school stats: 47.1 IP, 1.33 ERA, 70 K

 

12th Round: Jared Southard, RHP, Texas

A re-draft from 2019, the Angels took Jared Southard eight rounds earlier than when they did in 2019 out of high school in Leander, Texas, just north of Austin. Southard has filled out well into his physical frame and has a power relief arm. His two-pitch arsenal is pro ready, starting with his fastball that sits 92-96. His fastball has life and ride up in the zone but is best suited blending and tunneling with his slider, as the two alternate breaks across the zone. He'll work his fastball running away to his arm-side and counter it with a mid-to-upper 80's slider with a tight and late vertical break to his glove side. He comes at hitters with a low three-quarter slot that gives deception and allows the two pitches to work off of each other. There's some low-risk relief ceiling here.

Jared Southard 2022 college stats: 29.1 IP, 4-1, 2.76 ERA, 19 BB, 46 K, 1.159 WHIP, 14.1 K/9

 

13th Round: Tucker Flint, OF, Chipola College (FL)

Starting a back-to-back on junior college standouts, Tucker Flint went from a contact-first athlete in high school to a more power-toned hitter at the plate that was an offensive leader for one of the top JUCO's in baseball. There's some balance at the plate to believe in him getting to his power and potential for hard contact to the gaps. He can work counts and put together competitive at bats leading to some hopeful on-base potential. He is likely destined for a non-premier corner position.

Tucker Flint 2022 junior college stats: 242 PA, .370/.496/.708, 71 R, 41 RBI, 14 HR, 12 SB

 

14th Round: Sabin Ceballos, C, San Jacinto College (TX)

Sabin Ceballos is a converted catcher from the infield with twitchy athleticism to move around the field, anywhere from behind the plate, to the dirt, to the grass. He comes equipped with a plus-plus arm registered at 99 from shortstop. An MLB Draft League standout, coaches liked his potential behind the plate, and he shows good lateral movement. He has a physical and athletic build so there's hope of offensive upside, though it will likely come with some swing-and-miss.

Sabin Ceballos 2022 junior college stats: 281 PA, .338/.470/.530, 54 R, 46 RBI, 8 HR, 7 SB

 

15th Round: Bryce Osmond, RHP, Oklahoma State

Among all the Angels draftees, Bryce Osmond may have the biggest signability question and a return to Oklahoma State wouldn't be out of the realm of realities. Viewed as a day one pick as a high-schooler, Osmond still has top five rounds kind of stuff and upside in the bag. An athlete on the mound who was a shortstop prospect in high school, Osmond has a tall and lean build at six-foot-three and 185 pounds, giving indications of a lengthy workload. He works from a high arm slot with present arm speed and strength with some effort. Osmond is at his best when he can command his fastball to all quadrants of the zone and let's it play and ride up in-and-above the zone, sitting 91-95 with some mid's at its peak, though it is hittable due to its minimal movement. His slider is a true out pitch, with a sharp and late vertical break that he can locate well to the bottom of the zone and get under swings. He'll work in an occasional curve and changeup with the curve being the better of the pair, though they are distant to his fastball and slider. With his athleticism and size there is rotation upside but to reach that he'll have to develop his curve and/or changeup, and throw better strikes as his control is fine but command will come-and-go

Bryce Osmond 2022 college stats: 60.2 IP, 4-2, 4.75 ERA, 31 BB, 77 K, 1.37 WHIP, 11.4 K/9

 

16th Round: Casey Dana, OF, Connecticut

Going to another fifth-year senior, Casey Dana is the older brother of Caden Dana who the Angels took the 11th round. The organization's original interest came in the elder of the Dana's due to his grit and toughness, as well as his offensive toolset. Spending most of his time in the corners, Dana profiles as a hit-first left fielder or first baseman.

Comments from Tim McIlvaine: “We were talking about the older brother, Casey, who goes to UConn. We were talking about him the other day as just a guy we were targeting to begin with. Our scout up there has seen him at UConn. He's a tough kid. He got 28 stitches and missed like two days and then the next series went 8-for-13 in the series. He had a .926 OPS, 12 homers this year, hit a few really long home runs while we had guys in attendance there so he's actually a guy we were targeting as a draft pick to begin with and then once it kind of came together that we took his brother with our first pick on day three, that's when we said, 'We gotta get this guy. It'll be such a great story and what a neat thing for two brothers to play pro baseball together.' We were really excited about it. We're glad it came together, and we can't wait to see where that story goes. I think it'll be really fun.”

Casey Dana 2022 college stats: 310 PA, .313/.381/.546, 57 R, 61 RBI, 12 HR, 4 SB

 

17th Round: Sammy Natera Jr., LHP, New Mexico State

Pitching at a launching pad, you can toss any of Sammy Natera Jr.'s pitching performance numbers out the window as is the case with most New Mexico State arms. Natera has plenty of projection in a solid physical starter's kit frame at six-foot-four and 195 pounds. Natera will work his fastball in the low 90's and has been up to 95 from the left side. His breaking ball has plenty of growth remaining and there will be some questions answered quickly once he gets into pro ball as the thin air of Las Cruces made it challenging to project the future of the pitch with irregularities to its break, though it has bat-missing potential. Natera will have to improve his strike-throwing ability and find some more consistent command to have further success.

Sammy Natera Jr. 2022 college stats: 26.0 IP, 2-1, 6.92 ERA, 20 BB, 44 K, 1.65 WHIP, 15.2 K/9

 

18th Round: Max Gieg, RHP, Boston College

Seen more as a thrower than a pitcher, Max Gieg was a swing type for Boston College. A fastball dominant pitcher, he'll work in the mid 90's with some considerable run to his arm-side and ride up in the zone that plays best inside to right-handers and away from lefties. His slider has some sweeping action in the mid 80's. He'll have to throw more strikes. Gieg has a limited track record, but the frame (6'5, 200) and green arm suggests he could have some excess power in the arm.

Max Gieg 2022 college stats: 22.2 IP, 4-2, 2.78 ERA, 19 BB, 26 K, 1.46 WHIP, 10.3 K/9

 

19th Round: Luke Franzoni, OF, Xavier

After focusing on physical strength, Luke Franzoni had a power surge this spring, hitting 29 home runs which landed him second across Divison-1 baseball. Though it's a brief history of power output, scouts have faith that it will play in pro ball as his bat speed and physicality improved. Franzoni is a passive hitter who steadily awaits his pitch and will work counts and draw his fair share of walks. Despite a quiet setup that gets him to separation with ease there is some swing-and-miss in the game. He fits solely in a non-premier corner profile.

Luke Franzoni 2022 college stats: 270 PA, .358/.489/.825, 64 R, 78 RBI, 29 HR, 1 SB

 

20th Round: Brendan Tinsman, C, Wake Forest

Working as one of the primary catchers over his four years at an elite program, Brandon Tinsman brings an advanced backstop skillset to the Angels. Catching some premier arms and high-end velocity, which includes two first-round picks in Jared Schuster and Ryan Cusick (both first-round picks for Atlanta in 2020 and 2021), Tinsman has some fine qualities behind the plate, supported by a strong and accurate arm that will keep runners honest. Steadily becoming more aggressive at the plate over his time with the Deacons, Tinsman is an ambush hitter who found some success in driving the ball this spring, leading to a school single-season record, 24 home runs. There is a blend of enough offense and defense in the profile to feel comfortable in a long-term depth catcher with some backup hopes.

Comments from Tom Walter, Head Coach at Wake Forest: “Tinny (Tinsman) had one of the greatest seasons in school history. Throwing out nearly 40 percent of would-be base stealers and leading a really good offense in home runs and second in RBIs while catching 59 games in 15 weeks is beyond impressive. He is going to be a steal of the draft for the Angels.”

Brendan Tinsman 2022 college stats: 268 PA, .355/.397/.710, 63 R, 69 RBI, 24 HR, 1 SB

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