Posted May. 30, 2007 11:47 am by Jim Callis
Filed under: Draft Dope, Junior College
"Jordan Walden entered 2006 with the tag as the best high school prospect in the draft, not to mention seven-figure bonus aspirations. He had to wait a year, but Walden got his money Tuesday, agreeing to terms on a $1 million bonus from the Angels. He'll sign the deal today, the deadline for clubs to come to terms with the last-ever crop of draft-and-follows.
After the Angels drafted the righthander in the 12th round last June, Walden turned down a scholarship from Texas and opted to attend Grayson County (Texas) Community College in order to keep his draft options open. Inconsistent as a high school senior, when his velocity dropped to 85-88 mph at times, Walden performed much better this spring. His fastball sat at 92-94 mph and peaked at 97. He also improved his slider and the command of his two primary pitches. He has a classic pitcher's build at 6-foot-5 and 225 pounds.
Grayson's coaches also got him to use his changeup more often and toned down his delivery, though it still has some stiffness. He closed his season by striking out 15 and carrying a no-hitter into the eighth inning of a regional playoff game.
Unless they're still participating in the Junior College World Series, draft-and-follows must sign by 11:59 p.m. tonight or re-enter the 2007 draft. We'll be monitoring the highest-profile draft-and-follows-such as righthanders Max Scherzer (independent Fort Worth Cats) and Matt Latos (Broward, Fla., Community College)-throughout the day and will present a complete signing list when it becomes available in the next couple of days."