Los Angeles Angels: The disappearing 2019 draft class

DETROIT, MI - MAY 31: A detail view of a pair of Oakley sunglasses sitting on top of a Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim hat in the dugout during the game against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on May 31, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers defeated the Angels 6-2. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - MAY 31: A detail view of a pair of Oakley sunglasses sitting on top of a Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim hat in the dugout during the game against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on May 31, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers defeated the Angels 6-2. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /
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The Los Angeles Angels are quickly dealing away the top of their 2019 draft class.

Another season of Major League Baseball has come and gone, yet another year of the Los Angeles Angels not making the MLB playoffs as baseball fans across the country are deprived of playoff Mike Trout once again.

With a thin minor league system that currently ranks among the bottom third of the league without very many future high-quality major league pieces to look forward to, the Angels have been hitting the trade market to acquire talent in an attempt to prove their roster, using what few minor league assets they do have.

In fact, after Wednesday’s trade with the Baltimore Orioles for shortstop Jose Iglesias, the Los Angeles Angels have now traded away four of their top ten draft picks from the 2019 draft, many of whom never even appeared in a minor league game for the Angels before moving on to another organization.

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The moves start at the top of the draft with the 15th overall pick in the 2019 draft, Will Wilson out of North Carolina State. A middle infield prospect, Wilson was traded to the San Francisco Giants, along with Zack Cozart for a player to be named later and cash.

Thrown into the deal to get San Francisco to take Cozart’s contract, Wilson now ranks 11th in the Giants minor league system, per MLB Pipeline. Baseball America called Wilson one of the most polished bats in the 2019 draft.

The other three 2019 draft picks who the Angels have dealt over the last three months all went to the Baltimore Orioles.

According to Orioles general manager Mike Elias, the Angels were essentially that person in your fantasy league that picks right in front of you and always takes the next guy sitting in your queue.

The Angels traded away sixth-round pick RHP Zach Peek and eighth-round pick RHP Kyle Brnovich (along with RHP Isaac Mattson and RHP Kyle Bradish) for starting pitcher Dylan Bundy, who ended up turning things around in his first season with the Angels.

Neither Peek nor Brnovich pitched in the Angels system after being selected and have yet to pitch in pro ball after the cancellation of the minor league baseball season in 2020. Peek’s changeup was rated as the top secondary offering among all pitchers selected by LA in the ’19 draft and Brnovich’s knuckle-curve may have been one of the top secondary pitches among all draft picks that year.

Lastly, there’s fifth-round pick Garrett Stallings, a right-handed pitcher out of Tennessee. After throwing 100+ innings as the Volunteers’ Friday night starter, Stallings did not pitch in 2019 but was considered the most MLB-ready pick.

Stallings was shipped to the Orioles on Wednesday (along with RHP Jean Pinto) for shortstop Jose Iglesias, another premier defender to replace the departed Andrelton Simmons. Mike Elias was highly interested and looking to draft both Brnovich and Stallings last year.

For an organization void of much pitching at the major league level, trading away so many pitching prospects before giving them a real opportunity is a risk, one the Angels are hoping pays off as they attempt to surround Mike Trout with enough talent to finally make that World Series run.

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For the rest of the Los Angeles Angels 2019 draft class, don’t get too comfortable. You just might be the next guy to get that call to pack your bags.