06/09/2004 2:21 AM ET
Angels go athletic route in draft
Weaver, intriguing sleepers highlight 48 picks
By Doug Miller / MLB.com
|Matt Moore was seen in a Southern California semi-pro baseball league by Anaheim scouts. (Paul Sakuma/AP)
ANAHEIM -- Eddie Bane has proven to be quite outspoken so far in his first year as Angels director of scouting, but in assessing his 2004 First-Year Player Draft, the overwhelming feeling he got was that other teams were talking a lot more than he was.
Bane met reporters after the conclusion of Tuesday's second and final day of the draft and said he'd already heard plenty of talk about the Angels' headline-making selection of top pitching prospect Jered Weaver with the 12th pick in the first round.
For months, Weaver was expected to be either the first or second player picked overall, but teams shied away from Weaver because of perceived signability difficulties -- Weaver is represented by notorious baseball agent Scott Boras -- and the Angels snapped him up.
"I've been reading too many quotes from other teams on Jered's ability or non-ability," Bane said. "If there are any quotes, they should be coming from us and not them. He's our guy. We like what we've got and I hope they like what they've got."
What the Angels have is a brilliant, polished collegian who many scouts have said is as close to Major League-ready as any pitcher in the draft.
And Bane said the Angels found a way to take what was supposed to be a down draft year and turn it into something positive for the organization.
"I read that the talent wasn't really good, but we've got guys we think we can hit, we've got good athletes and we've got Weaver at the top of the list," Bane said.
Drafting athletes was the plan going in, and Bane said the Angels accomplished it on a few levels, with a few risks sprinkled in.
The Angels' second pick overall (fourth round, 113th pick), a high-school outfielder from Alabama named Patrick White, got more headlines because of his skills on the gridiron. White turned down an offer to play wide receiver at Louisiana State University to sign as an option quarterback at West Virginia.
White told reporters in Mobile, Ala., that he wouldn't sign to play baseball unless he was drafted in the second or third round, but Bane said the team is confident they can get him to agree.
Bane also said he was excited to get Tyler Johnson in the 12th round. Johnson, a 6-foot-2, 218-pound left fielder from Haskell (Okla.) High School, was going to play running back for Oklahoma State, but Bane said the Angels "probably have him signed."
Other sleepers from the Angels' draft are 14th-round pick Nick Adenhart, a right-handed pitcher from Hagerstown, Md., who would have gone very high in the first round if he didn't suffer an elbow injury last month that forced him to have season-ending Tommy John surgery.
Adenhart will probably sit out his injury at the University of North Carolina, but Bane said he would fly to Maryland next week and talk to Adenhart's family.
"We've got some idea of what we can do," Bane said. "It's a sad situation. He knows he's not going to get the money he would have gotten."
Other sleepers, according to Bane, include 30th-round pick Alan Horne, a right-handed pitcher from Chipola Junior College who played for the same high school as top Angels prospect Jeff Mathis in Marriana, Fla.
Horne was a first-round pick of the Cleveland Indians and "turned down a lot of money," as Bane put it, to pitch at the University of Mississippi. Since then, Horne has had multiple arm injuries.
"We think we might be getting him at the right time," Bane said.
Bane also said he thinks that about 22nd-round pick Matt Moore, a 6-foot-4, 180-pound third baseman better known as a quarterback at UCLA.
Moore is in the process of transferring to Colorado State, Bane said, but he said he thinks the Angels might be able to sign him, too.
"He wants to play baseball and he looks like a baseball player," Bane said.
Bane said Moore was seen by Angels scouts at private workouts as well as in a Southern California semi-pro baseball league.
"It was a beer league," Bane said. "But you could tell who Matt Moore was when you got out there."
All in all, the Angels selected a total of 48 players in the two-day draft, with the group comprised of 22 pitchers, four catchers, 13 infielders and nine outfielders. There were 17 collegiate players, 14 community college players and 17 high-school players.
Bane said he felt the Angels did well but wouldn't put too much stock in that opinion just yet.
"I think we fooled everybody else," Bane said.
"But every team in baseball thinks they really fooled everybody else."
Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.