As Angels prepare for MLB draft, Mike Trout relives his draft experience every year
The Angels will have the 17th overall pick in the amateur draft, which begins with the first round, a competitive-balance round and the second round Monday, and concludes with the 40th round Wednesday.
MLB Network will provide live coverage of the first round and the competitive-balance round beginning at 4 p.m. PDT, giving a few dozen players the same thrill two-time American League most valuable player Mike Trout had when the Angels took him with the 25th pick in 2009.
With all that Trout has accomplished in seven big league seasons, the six-time All-Star and three-time MVP runner-up from Millville, N.J., said being in the MLB Network studios in Secaucus, N.J., for the draft is still one of his most treasured memories.
“As a kid, that’s probably one of the coolest things possible, a dream come true,” Trout said Sunday. “All the hard work pays off. It’s fun to go back and watch the draft and hear your name being called. I try to watch it every year and follow a lot of the top guys.”
This will be the Angels’ second draft under amateur scouting director Matt Swanson. Their top pick from 2017, high school outfielder Jo Adell, who was the 10th overall pick, has advanced to Class-A Inland Empire this season. Their second-round pick, former UCLA pitcher Griffin Canning, has advanced to double-A Mobile.
The Angels will have a signing bonus pool of $6.984 million for the first 10 picks, with the 17th overall pick assigned a slot value of $3,472,900.
Backup catcher Rene Rivera said the doctor who performed surgery for torn cartilage in his right knee in late May was surprised when he made his incision and took a look under the hood.
“He said it looked like an 8-year-old’s knee,” Rivera said. “He couldn’t believe I’ve been playing professional baseball for 18 years.”
Despite the thousands of times he has squatted, the hundreds of foul tips off various body parts and the 46 times he has been hit by pitches in 1,390 professional games, Rivera had never gone on the disabled list or had surgery until this season.
“I really don’t know,” Rivera said, when asked the secret to his excellent health. “I would just say take care of your body, rest, eat right, play the game right, and know what 100% is for you.
“Know the maximum you can do without trying to do too much. I never think that if I do this, I’m going to get hurt. I always do it. I have confidence that this is the best thing, and [getting hurt] is something you can’t control. “
Rivera, who hit .259 with three home runs and 10 RBIs in 22 games before getting injured, is expected to be out for four to six weeks.
Shortstop Andrelton Simmons, who started 57 of the first 59 games and has been one of the Angels’ most consistent and productive hitters, was given Sunday off. Zack Cozart, who sat out the last three games because of tightness in his left forearm, started at shortstop and singled and scored in the second inning.
Simmons suffered a gash on his left shin when he was spiked by the Texas Rangers’ Rougned Odor on Friday night, and he was hit in the left knee by a pitch and injured his left hand when he planted it on a slide into second Saturday night.
“But this is not based on anything that’s happened short-term,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “He’s been playing a lot. We had targeted a day for Simba to get off his feet and waiting for Coz to get back, and this was a good day to do it.”
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