Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB Draft presented by T-Mobile

4th-rounder Blakely signs contract with Angels

Suarez, Sandoval, Walsh among players yet to arrive for camp
@RhettBollinger
July 7, 2020

ANAHEIM -- The Angels agreed to terms with fourth-round 2020 MLB Draft selection Werner Blakely on an over-slot deal worth $900,000, according to MLB.com’s Jim Callis, and the club officially announced the signing Tuesday. The No. 111 overall selection carried a slot value of $522,600, but Blakely, an Auburn commit,

ANAHEIM -- The Angels agreed to terms with fourth-round 2020 MLB Draft selection Werner Blakely on an over-slot deal worth $900,000, according to MLB.com’s Jim Callis, and the club officially announced the signing Tuesday.

The No. 111 overall selection carried a slot value of $522,600, but Blakely, an Auburn commit, was the lone Angels Draft pick to receive more than slot. Blakely is the Halos' fourth and final Draft selection to agree to terms, joining first-rounder Reid Detmers, who signed for $4,670,000 (slot value of $4,739,900), second-rounder David Calabrese, who also finalized a deal Tuesday for $744,200 (slot value of $744,200) and fifth-rounder Adam Seminaris, who signed for $140,000 (slot value of $390,400).

Angels Draft Tracker

Blakely, 18, fits the Angels' mold, as he's an athletic high school shortstop from the Detroit area with plenty of tools. The 6-foot-3, 185-pounder is a high-risk, high-reward pick and has experience in Major League Baseball's RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) program. Blakely also increased his stock by playing in a summer league with the East Coast Sox in Mississippi last year, alongside fellow shortstop Bobby Witt Jr., who was the No. 2 overall selection by the Royals in the 2019 Draft. Blakely is expected to add strength and power as he develops.

Suarez, Sandoval, Walsh absent from workouts
Angels manager Joe Maddon said first baseman Jared Walsh and left-handers Jose Suarez and Patrick Sandoval are among those who have yet to arrive for Summer Camp. Maddon, though, said that MLB protocols won’t allow him to say why.

The three players join right-hander Julio Teheran and first baseman Matt Thaiss as those who have not reported to camp. Maddon said at the beginning of camp that roughly nine to 10 players hadn’t arrived yet.

With both Thaiss and Walsh out, the Angels plan to give Tommy La Stella some reps at first base, as he could serve as the backup to Albert Pujols. La Stella, though, remains the primary second baseman with David Fletcher set to be the club’s super utility player, seeing time in both the infield and outfield.

“We’ll probably give him a little bit of a first base look just in case we need him over there,” Maddon said of La Stella. “Fletch has more of an opportunity to move to different places, including the outfield. That’s how we’re looking at it right now. Nice names, nice ballplayers. I’m really excited to see these guys in action.”

With Suarez and Sandoval not in camp, it hurts the Angels’ starting rotation depth, especially considering Teheran also isn’t in camp. Maddon said Matt Andriese and Félix Peña are now the top two candidates to fill out the back of the rotation.

The Angels are expected to use a six-man rotation to open the year, as two-way star Shohei Ohtani will pitch once a week. Veterans Andrew Heaney and Dylan Bundy will also be in the rotation along with Griffin Canning. If Teheran isn’t ready, it could leave two spots in the rotation for Andriese and Peña to open the season. Right-hander Jaime Barria is also in the mix.

Heaney expected to start Angels' 2020 opener

Angels tidbits
• Maddon said the intrasquad games are not just helpful for the development of prospects, but they'll also allow several of them to experience Angel Stadium for the first time. Maddon compared them to dress rehearsals on Broadway and said getting used to the ballpark is a good thing for younger players.

“It helps break the ice a little bit,” Maddon said. “Moving forward, they’ll know what the backdrop looks like. They’ll know what it feels like. It’s like dress rehearsal: I’m sure people on Broadway want to get up on that stage, and get up there a little bit before the actual event to feel it. You’re still going to be nervous, but it might be easier to control all that emotion.”

• After the Angels had an issue with testing on Sunday, they are all caught up with their COVID-19 testing, and Maddon said he doesn’t anticipate any more issues.

Rhett Bollinger covers the Angels for MLB.com. He previously covered the Twins from 2011-18. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.