Los Angeles Angels Aggressive Approach in the 2021 MLB Draft

At some point, if you throw enough mud against the wall, some of it will stick. That appears to be the Los Angeles Angels approach to the 2021 MLB Draft.

The Angels selected a total of 20 pitchers with each of their 20 picks. Finally the Angels have decided that they need to scout, draft and develop young affordable pitching if they expect to be competitive.

Los Angeles selected Sam Bachman with their first round selection. Bachman, 21, recorded a 1.81 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 59 2/3 innings during his junior season at Miami University (Ohio).

Then added Ky Bush from St. Mary’s College, Landon Marceaux from LSU, Luke Murphy from Vanderbilt and Brett Kerry from South Carolina.

Aggressive Approach

Los Angeles has struggled to develop pitching mightily over the last handful of years. In fact, the last time the Angels made the postseason was in 2014.

The Angels currently have the games biggest and brightest star in Shohei Ohtani leading their rotation. Ohtani isn’t a true ace of a staff, but he’s the best the have at the moment.

Ohtani will start the MLB All-Star game on Tuesday night and he’ll also leadoff. He’s the first Angels pitcher to pitch in an All-Star game since Jared Weaver.

Angels Draft Focus

The Angels targeted all pitching. Angels scouting director Mike Swanson said the team didn’t necessarily rule out selecting a position player. However, that wasn’t a true priority since every pick was a pitcher.

“Today was really targeting pitching. It’s obvious,” he said. “We took 20 pitchers. That was a strong focus for us today. There were so many valuable pitchers to bring into the organization, so just go all out and play the hot hand.”

For an organization who doesn’t develop pitching very well, they’re really banking on these 20 arms to pan out.

Angels Core

The Angels currently have their core of position players locked up for the next four seasons. David Fletcher, Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon, Jared Walsh and Taylor Ward plus top outfield prospects Jo Adell and Brandon Marsh are signed long-term.

Los Angeles has their core intact, now general manager Perry Minasian has to hope some of the current pitching they have develops.

Reid Detmers, Jack Kochanowicz and Hector Yan make up three of their top-10 prospects, according to MLB Pipeline.

Detmers is the cream of the crop within the Angels farm system. The 6-foot-2 lefty has pitched very well this season. Detmers is 2-3 with a 3.60 earned-run average. He leads his league in strikeouts, with 91 in 50 innings.

Detmers was also featured in the Futures game prior to the MLB All-Star game. The 22-year-old will be a potential fixture in the Angels starting rotation but he’s at least a year away.


The Angels draft approach is somewhat odd and unfortunately they’ve put themselves in this position. They need quality young pitching, as of right now they added quantity.

Also, to the Angels credit, they’ve tried to develop pitching. They had Tyler Skaggs until his unfortunate passing in 2019. But beyond that they’ve added subpar pitchers in Alex Cobb, Dylan Bundy over the years. While signing Anthony Rendon when they could have used that money on a starter.

Minasian seems like he’s trying to change the formula in Los Angeles but it’s going to take time. While they change the course with pitching, stars like Trout, Ohtani and Rendon get one year old and so forth and so on.

Angels implored a bold strategy the last three days at the draft. Only time will tell if it works out.

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– Chris Henrique (@ChrisHenrique on Twitter)

Feature image courtesy of the Los Angeles Times

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