The Angels selected catcher Taylor Ward out of Fresno State University (1st round, 26th overall) and outfielder Jahmai Jones (2nd round, 70th overall) on the first day of the 2015 First-Year Player Draft. The announcement was made by Angels' Director of Scouting Ric Wilson.
Ward, 21, started all 59 games for Fresno State (only player on team to do so) during the 2014-15 season and ranked among the Bulldogs leaders with a .304 (65/214) batting average (3rd), 14 doubles (2nd), seven home runs (T-1st), 42 RBI (1st) and 104 total bases (1st). Behind the plate, he successfully caught 13 of 23 (56.5%) runners attempting to steal a base this season. Among Mountain West Conference leaders, Ward ranked tied for seventh in home runs and walks (35). For his three-year career at Fresno State, Ward batted .288 (157/545) with 29 doubles, 16 home runs and 98 RBI in 162 games played, while successfully throwing out 33 of 55 (60%) potential basestealers. He is the only current Bulldog named a back-to-back All-Mountain West Conference selection.
Jones, (first name is pronounced : Jah-my-uh), 17, was a two-sport start at Wesleyan High School in Norcross, Ga., playing both baseball and football. He had a verbal commitment to the University of North Carolina and was named a 2015 Perfect Game 1st Team All-American. His late father, Andre Jones was a linebacker on the national championship winning Notre Dame football team in 1988. His older brother, T.J. Jones (who also played football at Notre Dame) is currently a wide receiver with the Detroit Lions.
The draft will continue tomorrow (June 9) with rounds 3-10 and conclude on Wednesday (June 10) with rounds 11-40.