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Grichuk, Trout headline solid '09 Draft class

Grichuk, Trout headline solid '09 Draft class

With the 2009 season and Arizona Fall League (where several 2009 draftees got their first taste of pro ball) in the books, we take a look at the early results of each club's '09 Draft class: how their top picks did; late-round picks that fared well; which picks are likely to move up the ladder quickest; and which picks clubs were unable to sign.

In the 2007 and '08 Drafts, the Angels had just one supplemental pick in the two first rounds combined. This past June, they made up for it with two in the top 30 and three more in the supplmental first round.

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NL East
ATL | FLA | NYM | PHI | WAS

AL East
BAL | BOS | NYY | TB | TOR

NL Central
CHC | CIN | HOU | MIL | PIT | STL

AL Central
CWS | CLE | DET | KC | MIN

NL West
ARI | COL | LAD | SD | SF

AL West
LAA | OAK | SEA | TEX

Just where did this cornucopia come from? The Angels actually lost their natural first-round pick at No. 32 when they signed Brian Fuentes last offseason. Picks No. 24 and No. 25 came their way when former Angels Francisco Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira both headed to New York (with different teams, of course). The three sandwich-round selections came courtesy of Tex, K-Rod and Jon Garland (Diamondbacks).

Having five picks before the second round is a treat for any scouting staff and the Angels put together an interesting quintet of high school bats (picks one and two), a high school arm (pick three) and a pair of intriguing college pitchers (four and five). They continued to think a little outside of the box by doing things like picking a college quarterback who hadn't played baseball since high school in the 10th round.

Top five picks

1. Randal Grichuk, OF: The first of two high school outfielders taken in succession in the first round, the No. 24 pick had a very nice debut in the rookie-level Arizona League. Grichuk hit for average and power, finishing with a .322/.352/.551 line. He led the AZL in hits, was second in extra-base hits and finished in the top 10 in six other offensive categories. The strikeout and walk rates weren't great, but that shouldn't dull the shine of what was a terrific debut for the teenager.

1. Mike Trout, OF: Taken right after Grichuk at No. 25, the two have become fast friends. The Angels would love if they continued to feed off each other and push each other to excel. It certainly worked in the AZL. Trout finished second in the league with a .360 average in 39 games. He had a .418 OBP and .506 SLG (7 doubles, 7 triples) and stole 13 bases in 15 tries. He also showed the skills that could make him a plus defensive center fielder.

1s. Tyler Skaggs, LHP: After signing about a week before the deadline, the big lefty from the California high school scene made brief stops in the AZL and with Orem in the Pioneer League. Combined, it was just 10 total innings, during which he allowed nine hits and two walks while striking out 13. He's big, he's projectable and he's left-handed. What else could you ask for?

1s. Garrett Richards, RHP: Richards was a bit of an enigma at the University of Oklahoma in terms of having great stuff, but not having matching results. That wasn't the case during his debut with Orem in the Pioneer League. The right-hander went 3-1 with a 1.53 ERA over 35 1/3 IP, walking four and striking out 30. If he can maintain that kind of consistency, he could be a steal.

1s. Tyler Kehrer, LHP: Kehrer had his moments at Eastern Illinois and there's definitely a lot to work with here. The southpaw went to Orem and finished with a 4.75 ERA in 14 starts, allowing 57 hits in 55 IP, while walking 22 and striking out 57. It's a small sample size, but those thinking he might be better as a reliever can see that he held lefties to a .179 batting average against, striking out 20 in 11 1/3 IP.

Best of the rest

Fifth-rounder Casey Heaerther played third for Orem and hit .350/.386/.456 over 206 at-bats, good for third in the league in batting average. He drove in seven runs in the championship-winning game to bring home the Pioneer League crown (He hit .455 in five playoff games with two homers and 13 RBIs.). ... C Carlos Ramirez (8th round) is a solid backstop who was taken by the Angels in 2008 out of Chandler-Gilbert Community College, but he opted to head to Arizona State for the 2009 season. The Angels took him again and this time he signed, then went to Orem, where he hit .376/.500/.638 over 149 at-bats. ... OF Jake Locker signed in the 10th round, but didn't play and the question is if he'll ever actually don an Angels uniform. That's because he's the University of Washington quarterback and could be a high NFL draft pick. ... 1B Dillon Baird (11th round) led the Pioneer League with his .372 average. He also hit seven homers and drove in 49 runs while posting a .452 OBP and .567 SLG.

Fast Risers

If the Angels decide to make Kehrer a reliever exclusively, he could zip through the system as a lefty coming out of the 'pen. The same could be said for Richards, though he's looking like a starter at this point. Even in that role, if he pitches like he did last summer, he'll jump ahead of the younger arms in a hurry.

Unsigned

The Angels signed most of those picks up top -- all six through the first two rounds and 16 of their first 17 selections -- but they couldn't agree on a deal with third-rounder Josh Spence. The Australian lefty returned to Arizona State for his senior year. With the resignation of coach Pat Murphy, the question is whether he regrets that decision. The Angels were active in New Jersey. After taking Trout in the first round, they took a shot on righty Andrew Del Colle in the 16th. There were some question marks about his health leading up to the Draft, forcing him to fall a bit, so he went on to Boston College instead of signing. Los Angeles made 54 selections in total and signed 34 of its picks.

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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