The Angels selected catcher Matt Thaiss out of the University of Virginia (1st round, 16th overall) and outfielder Brandon Marsh (2nd round, 60th overall) from Buford High School (Buford, GA) on the first day of the 2016 First-Year Player Draft. The announcements were made by Angels' Director of Scouting Ric Wilson.
Thaiss (pronounced: thyce; rhymes with ice), 21, wrapped up his junior season at the University of Virginia where he led his team in average (.375; 87/232), home runs (10), RBI (59), total bases (134), slugging (.578) and OBP (.473). The catcher also logged 13 doubles and two triples in 60 games for the Cavaliers. He finished the season tied for fourth in the ACC in hits, sixth in batting average, sixth in RBI, seventh in slugging and total bases and eighth in OBP.
Across his three seasons with the Cavaliers, Thaiss combined to hit .338 (187/554), with 115 runs scored, 36 doubles, two triples, 20 home runs and 130 RBI. The backstop was named a Second Team All-American by Baseball America following the 2016 campaign, his second straight season with All-America honors. He was a semi-finalist this year for both the Dick Howser Trophy (College Baseball Player of the Year) and the Johnny Bench Award (top collegiate catcher). He helped lead the Cavaliers to the College World Series Finals in both 2014 and 2015, with Virginia capturing their first national championship in school history last season.
Marsh, 18, was named the 2016 Region 8-AAAA Player of the Year in Georgia this season after finishing his senior campaign with a .559 batting average, 66 hits and 25 RBI. Buford HS, where Marsh also played for the Wolves' football and basketball teams, finished the 2016 baseball campaign as the Class AAAA state runner-up. The 6-4, 210 lb. outfielder was ranked by Baseball America as the #40 top prospect in this year's draft class and is a Kennesaw State University (Kennesaw, Ga) commit.