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Angels Select a Pair of Shortstops on Day One of the Draft.

During the Billy Eppler and Matt Swanson era, the Angels have never taken a pitcher in the first round, and that continues to be the case as they selected middle infielder Will Wilson out of North Carolina State. This is the first time since 2016 (when they went with catcher at the time Matt Thaiss out of the University of Virginia) that the Angels have drafted a non outfielder in the first round. Wilson, who stands at 6”0’ and weighs 185 pounds, had a solid junior season as he batted .335 with 20 doubles, 16 home runs, 55 runs, 57 RBI, 46 strikes outs, and 33 walks in 221 at bats. In the field, he committed 9 errors in 55 games. MLB Pipeline had Wilson ranked as their 28th best prospect in the 2019 draft. Wilson is a high floor guy who compares himself to “Trea Turner and Alex Bregman.” He has some raw power to all parts of the park, and finds a lot of barrels. He has some speed, but lacks a quick first step which might make him make a move to second base or short stop. Wilson is one of those guys who will move quickly through the farm system, and you might see him at the big league level as early as 2021. 

Photo via NC STATE ATHLETICS

In the second round, the Halos had the 55th pick and selected Kyren Paris, a 17-year-old short stop out of Freedom High School in Oakley, California. Paris is 6”0’ 165 with some growing left to do. At the plate he has a loud bat, “makes hard contact and allows speed to provide extra base hit opportunities ” according to Taylor Blake Ward. Paris hasn’t shown a whole lot of power at the plate, and will need to work on that part of his game at the next level. Defensively, Paris will more than likely stay at the position as he is athletic enough and moves well enough to do so. 

COURTESY OF KYREN PARIS

Take Aways:

  • The Halos made a “safe pick” in the first round that might be able to impact the big league team as early as 2021.
  • They went high upside in the second round with a chance to be a very good everyday player.
  • The Halos did not pick any pitchers on the first day, which isn’t a surprise if you look at what they have done in the in the Eppler/Swanson era.

Expectations for Rounds 3-10

  • Last year the Angels took 8 right handed pitchers on day two, 7 of which were college arms, and William English who was a 2-way high schooler. In fact, they picked 11 pitchers in a row last year after they picked Jordyn Adams and Jeremiah Jackson day one.
  • Expect the Halos to go after athletic pitchers with a high K%.

The draft will continue tomorrow starting at 10 AM PST with rounds 3-10, and you can follow all the Angels draft coverage on MLB.com.

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