Get to know Angels' No. 2 prospect Nolan Schanuel

August 18th, 2023

The Angels selected 1B/OF Nolan Schanuel with the No. 11 pick in the 2023 Draft with the thought that he would advance quickly through their Minor League system.

Advance quickly, he did. After only 21 games in the Minors, the Angels are reportedly promoting Schanuel to the Majors. Here's what you need to know about the club's No. 2 prospect.

Ht/Wt: 6-foot-4, 220 lbs.
B/T: Left/right
DOB: Feb. 14, 2002
College: Florida Atlantic
High school: Park Vista (Lake Worth, Fla.)
Born: Boca Raton, Fla.

Ready in a hurry

Schanuel was one of the best hitters in NCAA Division I this past spring, and he kept right on hitting once he reached the pros. He registered a .370/.510/.493 slash line in 21 games across three levels of the Angels' system prior to his call-up. That's the fewest Minor League games played before a merit-based promotion to the big leagues since 2003, when the Brewers selected second baseman Rickie Weeks for his MLB debut after the same number of games.

Schanuel spent the bulk of his Minor League time with Double-A Rocket City, where he batted .339 with a .480 on-base percentage in 16 games. He collected at least one hit in all but two of those games and compiled a 9-to-16 K/BB ratio through 75 plate appearances.

Leading the nation

Schanuel's first two years at Florida Atlantic, his hometown university, weren't too shabby. He registered a slash line better than .340/.440/.550 in each season. But now feast your eyes on Schanuel's slash line during his 2023 junior campaign:


Those numbers were achieved across 197 at-bats and ranked second, first and second, respectively, in Division I. He drew 71 walks, which tied the 2023 No. 2 overall pick, Dylan Crews, for the most in the nation. Schanuel homered 19 times and struck out 14 times. He was one of 25 semifinalists for the Golden Spikes Award, which recognizes the best player in the country.

Born to hit

After seeing those stats, you might assume that hitting kind of comes naturally to Schanuel. And you would be right. His mother, Erin, told that Nolan was smacking plastic balls all over the family's house when he was just 18 months old.

"After mom and dad, the next word he learned to say was ‘ball,'" Erin said.

Schanuel racked up the hits at Park Vista Community High School, batting over .400 for his career. However, he had only one home run. Something had to change for Schanuel to tap into his power, and that something was a drastic alteration to his loading mechanism in the batter's box. In high school, Schanuel tapped his right foot as he geared up for each pitch. Under the tutelage of former FAU hitting coach Greg Mamula, Schanuel instituted a leg kick that improved his timing and unlocked that power.

Schanuel saw immediate results, launching 11 homers as a freshman. That total increased to 16 and then 19 over the past two seasons. In 2023, he posted 41 extra-base hits in 59 collegiate games.

Burger, broccoli or beef jerky?

Schanuel's approach to hitting is pretty interesting -- and appetizing. He told Perfect Game that he has always described what he looks for at the start of an at-bat as food.

"When you're going up there, you don't want to eat the broccoli. You want that big, juicy burger," he said. "That first pitch, you want what's best on the menu. When I go up there, even if it's something like beef jerky ... I'll settle for it. I'm not going to let that one on the outside corner go away if I think that's the best pitch I'm going to get throughout that at-bat."

To recap: You want to swing at the burgers, spit on the broccoli and maybe go after that beef jerky on the edge. Baseball is delicious.

A night to remember

Some might try to discredit Schanuel's production in college by saying he did most of it against mid-major competition. But he has done damage versus formidable programs, too. The best game of his amazing 2023 season came against one of college baseball's top teams in its home park. On March 7, he slugged three homers versus the then-No. 6 Florida Gators.

Schanuel played five games this season against either the Gators or another high-major, top-25 squad in the Miami Hurricanes. He went 12-for-21 with seven home runs.