Angels select HS LHP with first pick in Draft …
The Angels are in desperate need of high-ceiling pitching talent for their barren farm system, and that’s exactly where they went with their first pick of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft on Thursday night, taking high school left-hander Hunter Green with the 59th overall selection in the second round.
Green, 6-foot-4 and lanky, is from Warren East High School in Bowling Green, Ken. The Angels see him as a starter, and many considered him to be a first-round talent heading into the Draft, with a low-90s fastball, curveball and sinking changeup.
The Angels had gone away from high-school talent in recent Drafts, taking only a combined 12 the last two years after drafting at least 15 each year from 2006-10. But they were happy to see Green fall to their laps, even though they were once again left without a first-round pick.
Green, who doesn’t turn 18 until July 12, went 3-1 with a 0.14 ERA in 10 starts as a senior, striking out 110 batters and walking 37 in 51 2/3 innings.
He’s athletic but still raw, with some delivery issues he has to iron out. Some, including Baseball America editor John Manuel, believe he has instantly become the top prospect in the Angels’ system (that distinction currently belongs to third baseman Kaleb Cowart).
Several win-now trades, lucrative free-agent signings tied to compensation, a two-year absence in Latin America and, of course, the rapid graduation of top-tier prospects — i.e., Mike Trout — prompted ESPN and Baseball America to label the Angels with baseball’s worst farm system in 2013.
The Angels have been left without a first- or second-round Draft choice – and sometimes both – in six of the last eight years.