We will begin our draft reviews with the American League West, starting with the Angels.
Los Angeles Angels:
1) Kaleb Cowart, 3B, Georgia HS: Cowart represents a signability risk, but I doubt the Angels would have picked him if the deal was undoable. They'll let him play third, and his arm and power potential play nicely there. He'll need time, but is an excellent pick.
1) Cam Bedrosian, RHP, Georgia HS: Great bloodlines, makeup, and a plus fastball make this a solid pick, and the Angels aren't afraid to give "undersized" right-handers a fair shot.
1) Chevez Clarke, OF, Georgia HS: The Angels scouting staff in the Southeast was very busy. Clarke has excellent athletic upside, but his bat is unrefined at this point...high risk/high reward type.
1S) Taylor Lindsey, SS, Arizona HS: This is a moderate overdraft, Lindsey being more of a third or fourth round talent according to other sources. Pure hitting skills are his calling card, but his power is marginal and he faces a move to second base. The pick is defensible considering the money it will take to sign the guys above him.
1S) Ryan Bolden, OF, Mississippi HS: Raw tools athlete with plus speed and some power potential, but unrefined like a lot of guys in this category. The Angels trust their coaching staff to mold talents like this into useable players. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Another high risk/reward player like Clarke.
2) Daniel Tillman, RHP, Florida Southern: Some college leavening. Tillman has a hot fastball and could move through the system quickly as a relief option. Outside chance to be a major league closer.
3) Wendell Soto, SS, Florida HS: Highly-regarded for his defense and speed, but hitting skills need a lot of work.
3S) Donnie Roach, RHP, College of Southern Nevada: Got a lot of exposure when scouts went to see Harper. Roach can hit 93-94 MPH, has a good curve, and showed greatly improved command this year. I like him.
4) Max Russell, LHP, Florida Southern: Tillman's teammate, Russell has an average fastball but a good curve and was successful in college. Possible fourth/fifth starter or relief type.
5) Jesus Valdez, RHP, California HS: Projectable home state right-hander, works in low 90s with strong curveball, needs refinement with his delivery.
6) Brian Diemer, RHP, California: Erratic in college, but big at 6-5, 235 and can hit 93 MPH on his best days. Needs more refinement than the average college type but has upside.
7) Josh Osich, LHP, Oregon State: Currently rehabbing from Tommy John. Hit 97 MPH pre-injury, could be an interesting "draft while injured" guy.
8) Kole Calhoun, OF, Arizona State: Undersized and not toolsy but a very good college hitter with a chance to be a role player.
9) Drew Heid, OF, Gonzaga: Similar to Calhoun: small guy, but hit the hell out of the ball in college, great track record with wood.
10) Aaron Meade, LHP, Missouri State: Finesse lefty with good changeup, fills a slot in the system and has an outside shot at reaching the majors eventually.
FOUR OTHERS OF NOTE: 12-Justin LaTempa, RHP, Oregon; 14-James Sneed, OF, Virgin Islands; 15-Carmine Giardina, LHP, University of Tampa; 25-A.J. Schugel, RHP, Central Arizona JC.
COMMENT: A very tools heavy draft at the top, with a few stathead-type college picks in the later rounds to provide some balance. The Angels put almost all their eggs in the upside basket. It's a risk, but if these guys develop as expected, the system will thrive in coming years. Pre-draft speculation that the Angels would stay close to home with their early picks was completely wrong. Overall, a bold strategy that warms the hearts of scouting traditionalists, but could also be a big bust if the risks don't pan out.