The Angels plucked their second-round selection in the 2017 MLB Draft from their local talent pool, taking UCLA right-hander Griffin Canning with the 47th overall pick on Monday.Canning, 21, is a highly regarded college arm who went 7-4 with a 2.34 ERA in 17 starts for the Bruins this season
The Angels plucked their second-round selection in the 2017 MLB Draft from their local talent pool, taking UCLA right-hander Griffin Canning with the 47th overall pick on Monday.
Canning, 21, is a highly regarded college arm who went 7-4 with a 2.34 ERA in 17 starts for the Bruins this season and led the Pac-12 in strikeouts (140) and innings (119). He has a fastball that sits in the low 90s and can hit 95 mph. He also wields a plus changeup, a curveball and a slider, all of which he throws for strikes.
:: 2017 MLB Draft coverage ::
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The 6-foot-1, 170-pound hurler could make a quick rise through the Angels' system and become a mid-to-back of the rotation starter, a key factor for an organization with a dearth of quality starting pitching depth in the upper Minors.
"I think what really impressed us was just his track record [and] his performance against some of the best competition in the country," new amateur scouting director Matt Swanson said. "We view him as just a guy who when we sign him, he just moves really quick through our system."
Canning had been projected to be taken in the middle of the first round, but many teams were scared off because of a potential issue with an MRI exam, according to Draft insiders Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo of MLBPipeline.com. Canning was ranked the 17th-best Draft prospect by MLBPipeline.com.
Still, Swanson said the Angels reviewed Canning's medical records and were comfortable making the selection.
"I think everything is checked out, and we're OK with the player that we're going to be getting," Swanson said. "We have no concern."
A native of Coto de Caza, Calif., Canning attended Santa Margarita Catholic High School and was previously selected by the Rockies in the 38th round of the 2014 Draft, but he did not sign.
Earlier Monday, the Angels drafted high school outfielder Jordon Adell in the first round with the 10th overall selection. The Halos are hoping that the addition of Adell and Canning will help infuse their depleted farm system with fresh talent capable of contributing in Anaheim down the road.
"I think when you look at Jordon, his timeline is a little bit longer," Swanson said. "Griffin is somebody we view that we can push and move really quickly through the system."
The Draft continues on Tuesday with Rounds 3-10. The MLB.com preview show begins at 9:30 a.m. PT, with exclusive coverage beginning at 10 a.m. PT.
Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com.