Angels grab high-upside football player
College quarterback one highlight of Draft's second day
With the 321st pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, the Angels not only selected a center fielder, but a quarterback as well.
In the 10th Round, the Halos chose Jake Locker, standout quarterback at the University of Washington.
Locker, a two-year starter for the Huskies was named the 2007 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and set a UW and Pac-10 record for rushing yards by a quarterback with 987.
Since high school, Locker's focus has been on football, only setting foot on a diamond to play in the summer of 2008, when he joined the Bellingham Bells in the West Coast Collegiate Baseball League. He played in 10 games, nine of which he started at center field, hitting .273 with one home run.
"Jake has a great ability," director of scouting Eddie Bane said. "He is a five-tool player and a tremendous athlete."
Going into the Draft, Bane alluded to the fact that the Angels were looking to take a center fielder in the early rounds and also someone with power. Locker, 6-foot-3 and 222 pounds, brings both to the table.
If Locker signs with the Angels before the Aug. 17 deadline, the Halos would hold his rights for six years. However, Locker would have to forfeit the final two years of his scholarship and ultimately become a walk-on at Washington if he so chooses.
"I think we are going to really make a push for him," Bane said. "We will work with him and his wont to play football, we just want to be able to expose him to how great playing Major League Baseball can be."
If Locker does sign with the Angels, one thing they will be keeping tabs on is his health. Locker's ability to be a successful running quarterback only heightens his chance for injury. Just last season, Locker missed all but four games for Washington after breaking his thumb in a game against Stanford.
However, the Angels are willing to take the risk, knowing Locker's upside. They just hope that, unlike in 2006, when he was drafted by the Halos out of Ferndale High School, Locker will sign with them.
Angels -- Top five selections
|24||LF||Randal Grichuk||Lamar Cons HS|
|25||CF||Michael Trout||Millville Sr HS|
|40||LHP||Tyler Skaggs||Santa Monica HS|
|42||RHP||Garrett Richards||U Oklahoma|
|48||LHP||Tyler Kehrer||Eastern Illinois U|
|Complete Angels Draft results >|
"He has the instincts to be a great player," Bane said. "He is a great runner, can throw and has the power to put it all together."
2B Wes Hatton, Norco (Calif.) High School (No. 141 Overall)
Hatton was an All-Riverside County outfielder and in 2008 participated in tryouts for Team USA's under-18 team. Before being drafted by the Angels, Hatton committed to play at Cal State Fullerton in Fullerton, Calif.
1B Casey Haerther, UCLA (No. 171 Overall)
Haerther batted .305 with 22 home runs, 34 doubles, 109 RBIs and 88 runs in 147 career games (134 starts) in three seasons at UCLA. In 2008 and 2009, Haerther earned honorable mention All-Pac-10 team accolades.
RHP Daniel Reynolds, Durango (NV) High School (No. 201 Overall)
Over the first seven games with the Trailblazers this season, Reynolds was 3-3, with a 2.26 ERA. He also had 60 strikeouts and 13 walks in over 40 innings pitched.
SS Jon Karcich, Santa Clara University (No. 213 Overall)
As a sophomore in 2008, Karcich earned All-WCC honors after finishing 11th in batting and fifth in home runs and slugging percentage. In 2008, he started 55 games at shortstop and led the team in slugging (.591), RBIs (51) and home runs (12).
C Carlos Ramirez, Arizona State (No. 261 Overall)
Ramirez was selected by the Angels in the 34th round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft (1,044 pick overall). At Chandler-Gilbert Community College in 2007 and 2008, Ramirez hit .382 with 68 RBIs and 96 hits.
RHP David Carpenter, Paris (Texas) Community College (No. 291 Overall)
In 2009, Carpenter pitched 109 1/3 innings, recording 133 strikeouts and 22 walks, with an ERA of 2.88 and an 11-4 record.
3B Dillon Baird, University of Arizona (No. 351 Overall)
A powerful left-handed hitter who in 2009 with the Wildcats hit .433 with eight home runs, 84 hits and 55 RBIs.
OF Travis Witherspoon, Spartanburg Methodist College (No. 381 Overall)
In 63 games played during the 2009 season, Witherspoon had a .351 average with 61 hits and 41 RBIs.
RF Jeremy Cruz, Stetson University (No. 411 Overall)
In 56 games played during the 2009 season, Cruz hit .399 with 91 hits, 18 home runs and 80 RBIs. Cruz also had a .719 slugging percentage.
LHP Samuel Selman, St. Andrews Episcopal School (No. 441 Overall)
Selman attacks the zone with a fastball in the high 80's to low 90's that has late life and a cutter and curveball with plenty of break.
RHP Michael Nesseth, University of Nebraska Lincoln (No. 471 Overall)
In 64 2/3 innings pitched in 2009, Nesseth had a 5.01 ERA and 5-4 record. Also during the 2009 season, Nesseth struck out 73 batters and walked only 35.
RHP Evan Del Colle, Newark (N.J.) Academy (No 501 Overall)
Helped lead his team to a 17-8 record in 2009. Del Colle has good control of his pitches and likes to work the zone to keep hitters off-balance.
C Jeremy Gillan, Jacksonville University (No. 531 Overall)
Played in 57 games in 2009 and batted .400 with 86 hits, 11 home runs and 62 RBIs. Gillan also had a .997 fielding percentage behind the plate, committing only one error the entire season.
1B James Mallard, Hillsborough Community College (No. 561 Overall)
In 40 games for the Hawks this season, Mallard hit .459 with 56 RBIs, nine home runs and a .720 slugging percentage.
OF Adam Hornung, Baylor University (No. 591 Overall)
In 47 Games with the Bears this season, Hornung hit .254 with 36 hits, eight home runs and 23 RBIs.
CF Daniel Eichelberger, East Central Community College (No. 621 Overall)
For the 2009 season, Eichelberger was named most valuable player at East Central and selected to the first team MACJC All-State.
LF Richard Cates, Cal State Northridge (No. 651 Overall)
Cates Hit .374 during the 2009 season with 83 hits and 28 RBIs in 56 games played. He also had a .986 fielding percentage during the season in the outfield.
LHP Stephen Locke, Florida (No. 681 Overall)
In 12 games with the University of Florida this season, Locke was 5-2 with a 4.32 ERA in 66 2/3 innings. He also struck out 48 and walked only 18.
LF Jordan Drake, Elsinore (CA) High School (No. 711 Overall)
Drake had a .412 batting average for Elsinore, while collecting 33 hits and 17 RBIs. He committed only one error the entire 2009 season and had a fielding percentage of .982.
RHP Taylor Kinzer, Taylor University (No. 741 Overall)
Kinzer impressed in 14 games this season. He was 8-0 with a 4.42 ERA in 79 1/3 innings pitched. He recorded 58 strikeouts and 14 walks during the season as well.
2B Michael Demperio, Georgia (No. 771 Overall)
Kinzer hit .252 for the Bulldogs during the 2009 Season, managing 39 hits, 14 RBIs and three home runs during 57 games played.
2B Garrett Cannizaro, Mandeville High School (No. 801 Overall)
In the summer of 2008, Cannizaro played for the Triple-A Durham Bulls. Also, before his senior season, Cannizaro committed to play at Tulane, where his brother also played and his dad coached.
CF Devon Zenn, Benicia (CA) High School (No. 831 Overall)
In his senior season, Zenn hit .400 with 26 hits, 12 RBIs and four home runs. In his junior year, Zenn had a .458 batting average with 27 hits, 19 RBIs and five home runs.
RHP Carson Andrew, Jacksonville University (No. 861 Overall)
During the 2009 season, Andrew had a 4.55 ERA with a 6-4 record in 61 1/3 innings pitched. He also recorded 62 strikeouts and only 21 walks during the season.
RHP William Nichols, College of Southern Idaho (No. 891 Overall)
With everything that Nichols brings to the mound, the Angels are most excited about Nichols' fastball, which can get up to 92 mph.
OF Matt Long, Santa Clara University (No. 921 Overall)
During the 2009 season, Long had a .288 batting average on 63 hits, 31 RBIs and five home runs. Long also only committed one error the entire season and finished with a .992 fielding percentage.
Quinn Roberts is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.