It took the Angels a year to sign Jered Weaver after they chose him in the first round of the 2004 amateur draft, coming to terms with the former Long Beach State ace only hours before he would have re-entered the draft in 2005.
There will be no such haggling with this year’s top pick. Outfielder Jordyn Adams, the 17th pick of Monday’s first round of the draft, announced Tuesday that he has agreed to terms with the Angels and will sign in the next few days. The assigned slot value of his pick is about $3.5 million.
“I’m thrilled, very happy to be in this spot,” Adams, a two-sport star from Green Hope High in Cary, N.C., said on a conference call. “I felt like the earlier I can get out there, the better I can acclimate to the organization.”
The 6-foot-2, 180-pound Adams, a speedy receiver who had committed to play baseball and football at North Carolina, is graduating high school June 13. He will report to the Angels’ complex in Arizona shortly thereafter.
Adams, 18, hit .453 (34 for 75) with five doubles, three triples, one home run and 15 runs batted in as a senior. His father, Deke, is the defensive line coach at North Carolina, but Adams felt no pressure to attend college or continue his football career.
“He was behind me every step of the way,” Adams said. “He made it clear since all this started that what’s best for me is what’s best for him. He’s always been that kind of parent.”
Two ways about it
Scouting director Matt Swanson said Monday that Shohei Ohtani’s success as a pitcher and hitter would increase his willingness to draft players with similar potential. Tuesday, the Angels did just that, announcing fifth-round pick William English as a two-way player.
English, a 6-4, 190-pound right-hander, starred on the mound and in center field for Western International High in Detroit. His fastball has touched 95 mph, he has power potential and his athleticism plays well on defense.
Tampa Bay announced compensation-round pick Tanner Dodson, a pitcher and outfielder from the University of California, as a two-way player.
“Obviously, I think if any organization is open to it, it’s us,” Swanson said. “I think you’re starting to see an evolution in organizations that are open to drafting a player like that and just saying, ‘We’ll see. We’ll develop you and see where your path takes you.’ ”
The right stuff
After taking high school position players with their top two picks Monday, the Angels made a run on right-handed pitchers Tuesday, using all eight picks on right-handers, seven from college.
Third-round pick Aaron Hernandez (Texas A&M Corpus Christi) has a 94-mph fastball and a slow breaking ball. Fourth-round pick Kyle Bradish (New Mexico State) mixes a 91-93-mph fastball with an overhand curve. Sixth-round pick Austin Warren (North Carolina Wilmington) struck out 64 batters in 51 relief inningsand has a 91-mph fastball.
Seventh-round pick Andrew Wantz (North Carolina Greensboro) has a 92-mph fastball and struck out 81 batters in 55 relief innings. Eighth-round pick Tyler Smith (Canisius) relied on a slider-curve mix to pick up 10 saves and finish with a 0.98 earned-run average.
Ninth-round-pick Jake Lee (Oakland University, Michigan) struck out 112 batters and has a 94-mph fastball plus a slider, changeup and split-fingered pitch. Tenth-round pick Ben Morrison (Western Kentucky) has a low-90s fastball.
Albert Pujols, who has started 35 games at first base after playing six games in the field last season, is nursing a sore left knee that kept him out of the lineup Tuesday night and will probably sideline him Wednesday.
“I could have played today, but it’s not September, it’s June,” said Pujols, who is hitting .252 with eight home runs and 32 RBIs. “I’m going to take [Tuesday] and [Wednesday] off, and with Thursday’s off-day, it will give me three days to get my legs fresh.”