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Angels focus on collegiate players in '14 Draft

Club plucks just three high school players, 22 hurlers

ANAHEIM -- After selecting pitchers with their first five Draft picks, the Angels picked another 16 on Saturday to conclude the 2014 First-Year Player Draft.

The Angels began Day 3 by selecting just their second infielder of the Draft when they took third baseman Andrew Daniel from the University of San Diego in the 11th round. Daniel led the Toreros by hitting .369 with a team-high 82 hits, 28 of which went for extra bases. He also drove in 43 runs and led San Diego with 13 stolen bases.

In the 12th round, the Angels selected Jared Ruxer out of the University of Louisville. Ruxer, who was the Cardinals' No. 2 starter for most of the season, had Tommy John surgery on Thursday. Before the procedure, he was 7-1 with a 2.27 ERA in 75 1/3 innings. He held opponents to a .229 average and struck out 8.12 per nine innings.

Ruxer's Cardinals are one of 16 teams remaining in the NCAA Baseball Tournament. The Angels have seven draftees still alive.

One game Saturday will feature two Angels picks when 18th-round pick right-hander Austin Robichaux and Louisiana-Lafayette take on third-round pick right-hander Chris Ellis and Ole Miss.

Robichaux's teammate Caleb Adams (10th round), Kennesaw State's Bo Way (seventh round) and Mark Connell (26th round) and TCU's Jordan Kipper (ninth round) are the others.

After taking one high school player in each of the previous two days, the Angels picked one prep player Saturday, selecting shortstop Jose Rodriguez (Colegio Hector Urdaneta in Puerto Rico) in the 34th round.

From 2006-10, the Angels took at least 15 high school players in each Draft. But that figure has dropped each of the last four years, going from seven to five to four and three. Under general manager Jerry Dipoto, who took over in October 2011, the Angels have picked 12 high school players and 105 college players.

Only one of the Angels' final 34 selections was a high school player.

The Angels made University of Hartford left-handed pitcher Sean Newcomb their first first-rounder since 2011, when they took current Angel C.J. Cron with the No. 17 overall selection. The club was without a first-round pick the last two years after signing Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson in 2011 and Josh Hamilton in 2012. The Angels also drafted pitchers with their first picks in each of the last two Drafts.

After selecting Newcomb, the Angels picked just two left-handers in the next 31 rounds. They finished with six lefties -- and 22 total hurlers -- as part of their Draft class. The Angels also picked 22 pitchers in 2013.

Los Angeles followed Newcomb by taking right-hander Joe Gatto from St. Augustine Prep in New Jersey. Gatto is from south New Jersey, like current center fielder Mike Trout. Gatto has a scholarship offer to the University of North Carolina, and his fastball can touch 94 mph.

Gatto was one of only three high school selections by the Angels this year. The other two were left-handed-hitting outfielder Alex Abbott (Tiff County High School in Georgia) in the sixth round and Rodriguez. Rodriguez was the first Puerto Rican selected by the Angels since 2004.

Nine of the selections are from or went to school in California, while six hail from Georgia.

Matthew DeFranks is an associate reporter for

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim