The Angels received a significant boost in young talent last year after acquiring Shohei Ohtani, Kevin Maitan and Jo Adell, replenishing a farm system that had previously been considered among the worst in the Majors. Ohtani has already shed his prospect status, but his graduation has not diminished the excitement about the next wave of impact players who are rising quickly through the Angels' improving Minor League system.
They'll look to add more promising young players this week during the 2018 MLB Draft.
The 2018 Draft will take place today through Wednesday, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB Network and MLB.com today at 3 p.m. PT. MLB Network will broadcast the first 43 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, with a preview show beginning at 9:30 a.m. PT. Then on Day 3, Rounds 11-40 can be heard live on MLB.com beginning at 9 a.m. PT.
:: 2018 Draft coverage ::
Go to mlb.com/draft to see the Top 200 Prospects list, projected top picks 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 17th overall pick.
In about 50 words
After years of decline, the Angels' farm system is on the rise again and brimming with high-end athletes who are rising quickly through the lower levels.
"I feel good about the growth in that system," general manager Billy Eppler said recently.
Amateur scouting director Matt Swanson will oversee his second Draft with the Angels after joining the organization in August 2016. Last year, the Angels selected Adell, a prep outfielder, with the 10th overall pick. Adell, 19, is considered the Angels' No. 1 prospect by MLB Pipeline.
Callis has the Angels taking Loretto High School (Tenn.) left-hander Ryan Weathers with their first-round pick in his most recent mock draft. The Angels have also shown interest in Green Hope High School (N.C.) outfielder Jordyn Adams, who has committed to play wide receiver at the University of North Carolina, and Georgia prep right-hander Ethan Hankins, per Callis.
Each pick in the first 10 rounds has an assigned value, and the total for each of a club's selections equals what it can spend in those rounds without incurring a penalty. Any bonus money above $125,000 given to an individual player picked in rounds 11-40 also counts against a team's allotment. If a player selected in the first 10 rounds doesn't sign, his pick's value is subtracted from his club's pool. If a team exceeds its allotment, it faces a penalty.
A team that outspends its pool by 0-5 percent pays a 75 percent tax on the overage. At higher thresholds, clubs lose future picks: a first-rounder and a 75 percent tax for surpassing the pool by 5-10 percent; a first- and a second-rounder and a 100 percent tax for 10-15 percent; and two first-rounders and a 100 percent tax for more than 15 percent.
This year, the Angels will have a bonus pool of $6,984,400 for the first 10 rounds. Their 17th overall pick has an assigned value of $3,472,900.
Though the farm system has improved considerably in recent years, the Angels are still short on high-ceiling infield prospects. They took a step toward filling that void by nabbing former Braves prospects Maitan and Livan Soto over the offseason and converting Jahmai Jones into a second baseman, but they could look to replenish their ranks even further during the Draft.
The Angels have gravitated more toward taking toolsy prep players with high upside in the earlier rounds in recent years. In addition to Adell last year, they selected outfielder Brandon Marsh with their second-round pick in 2016. Adell and Marsh are considered top 100 prospects and have progressed to Class A Advanced Inland Empire this season.
Right-hander Griffin Canning was the Angels' second-round pick out of UCLA in 2017 and has quickly emerged as one of the organization's brightest pitching prospects. Canning didn't pitch last summer due to concerns about his workload in college, but he's looked very impressive this season, starting two combined no-hitters and logging a 1.49 ERA over 36 1/3 innings in eight starts between Inland Empire and Double-A Mobile. The 22-year-old is rated the Angels' No. 7 prospect by MLB Pipeline.
Matthew Shoemaker went undrafted in 2008 before the Angels signed him as a free agent for $10,000. Defying the odds, Shoemaker rose through the Minor League system and broke into the Majors in 2013. He's become a key contributor to the Angels' rotation since, though he's been limited to only one start this season because of a right forearm issue.
In The Show
Eleven members of the current 40-man roster were originally Angels Draft selections: Michael Trout (2009, 1st round), Kole Calhoun ('10, 8th round), Tyler Skaggs ('09, 1st round), Garrett Richards ('09, 1st round), Cam Bedrosian ('10, 1st round), Martin Maldonado ('04, 27th round), Justin Anderson ('14, 14th round), Keynan Middleton ('13, 3rd round), Kaleb Cowart ('10, 1st round), Jake Jewell ('14, 5th round) and Michael Hermosillo ('13, 28th round).
The Angels' recent top picks
2017: Jo Adell, OF (Class A Advanced)
2016: Matt Thaiss, 1B (Triple-A)
2015: Taylor Ward, 3B (injured, Double-A)
2014: Sean Newcomb, LHP (Braves)
2013: Hunter Green, RHP (retired)