The Angels have agreed to a deal with right-hander Sam Bachman, their top pick in this month’s amateur draft, reports Carlos Collazo of Baseball America (via Twitter). The now-former Miami (Ohio) University hurler will take home a $3,847,500 bonus that checks in more than a million dollars south of the $4,949,100 value of Bachman’s No. 9 overall slot.
The 21-year-old Bachman, listed at 6’1″ and 235 pounds, posted ridiculous numbers in his junior season. Through 59 2/3 innings, he pitched to a 1.81 ERA while striking out 41 percent of his opponents against just a 7.5 percent walk rate. He allowed just one home run all season and, in three years of NCAA ball, surrendered just four long balls through a total of 159 innings.
Bachman was seen as a slam-dunk first rounder thanks to some of the best raw stuff in the entire draft. Baseball America’s scouting report on the RedHawks ace indicated that both his fastball and slider have received 70 grades on the 20-80 scale, with some scouts even putting an 80 on both pitches. The Athletic’s Keith Law wrote that Bachman had the “best one-two punch in the draft and should be a top ten pick.” Law ranked Bachman as the draft’s No. 9 player, and he ranked 14th both at Baseball America and at MLB.com. FanGraphs’ Eric Longenhagen had Bachman listed 18th, and ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel ranked him 29th.
Bachman isn’t without his concerns, however. He missed a pair of starts early in the college season due to arm troubles and gives scouts some pause because of his delivery. Bachman has a third offering, a changeup, that some reports grade as above-average, but he rarely used it this season. All of that leads to some concern that he’s a reliever rather than a starter, but he’d have a good chance at being an impact bullpen piece even if he goes that route.
Bachman headlined an Angels draft class comprised entirely of pitchers. The Halos not only exclusively selected pitchers this year but went with college arms for 19 of their 20 picks. The lone exception was high school lefty Mason Albright in the 12th round — a lefty who landed 122nd on MLB.com’s rankings and 135th at Baseball America but is committed to Virginia Tech. It’s possible that the $1.1MM or so in savings on the Bachman pick will be used to try to sway Albright from that commitment and get him into the Angels’ system.
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