Draft Notes: Angels, Cubs, Whitson

The Angels took pitchers with their first seven picks in this weekend's draft, William Boor of MLB.com notes. Boor also points out that ESPN and Baseball America both recently ranked the Angels' system the worst in baseball, and that the reason the system has been so poor is because of the team's free agent signings. With the signings of Jeff Weaver, Gary Matthews Jr., Justin Speier, Torii Hunter, Scott Downs, Albert Pujols, C.J. Wilson and Josh Hamilton, the Angels have been missing either a first-round or a second-round selection, or both, in six of the last eight drafts. That includes 2013, when they went without a first round pick due to the Hamilton signing. The Angels made their first pick of the draft, Kentucky high school lefty Hunter Green, with the No. 59 overall selection. Here are more notes from the draft.

  • The Cubs are happy with their draft haul, Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago reports. "We definitely wanted to have a pitching-heavy draft again this year. After the (first 10 rounds) Theo (Epstein) and I were sitting there looking at the board and I felt really good about it," says vice president of scouting and player development Jason McLeod. After taking San Diego third baseman Kris Bryant with the second overall pick, six of the Cubs' next seven selections were college pitchers. That was a deliberate strategy, McLeod says, to infuse their system with advanced starting pitching prospects.
  • The Nationals took Karsten Whitson in the 37th round. As Jim Callis of Baseball America notes (on Twitter), the Padres picked Whitson ninth overall in 2010. Whitson opted to go to the University of Florida instead, and he pitched two seasons there before missing 2013 with a shoulder injury. Whitson turned down a signing bonus of over $2MM from the Padres.
  • Earlier today, MLBTR highlighted some stories of teams drafting players with big-league bloodlines. It's not uncommon for teams to draft such players, particularly in the later rounds, and there were so many on Saturday it would be difficult to name them all, but here are a few: Ben Verlander (brother of Justin; Tigers, 14th), Mike Yastrzemski (grandson of Carl; Orioles, 14th), Jonah Arenado (brother of Nolan; Giants, 16th), Torii Hunter Jr. (Tigers, 36th), JaVon Shelby (son of John; Brewers, 37th), Josh Pettitte (son of Andy; Yankees, 37th), Jon Nunnally Jr. (Blue Jays, 38th) and Jacob Heyward (brother of Jason; Braves, 38th).

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