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Angels make a splash in draft
06/07/2004 11:51 PM ET
ANAHEIM -- Before Monday's first day of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft, the Angels said they would look for the best available athletes with an eye on beefing up their thin outfield ranks.

But two minutes before the draft started, it became pretty clear to scouting director Eddie Bane which direction the Angels wanted to go with their all-important first pick, and his name was Jered Weaver.

The Angels probably never thought the 21-year-old ace of the Long Beach State staff -- generally thought of as the best starting pitcher in the draft -- would be available, but teams shied away from Weaver's association with agent Scott Boras, leaving the Angels in the garden spot.

All in all the Angels selected seven pitchers, three outfielders and six infielders. A breakdown of the 16 players picked by the Angels includes seven collegians, one community college player and eight high school players.

After the big selection of Weaver was made, the Angels waited until the fourth round (selection No. 113) to make their next splash, and it was a predictable one.

In the fourth round, the Angels tabbed outfielder Patrick White, a highly touted high-school quarterback from Daphne, Ala., who has already signed to play quarterback at the University of West Virginia.

As for baseball skills, White, who is 6-foot-2 and 180 pounds, is listed by scouts as having a "lean, wiry build" and being a "contact, spray hitter" with his power being more of the "alley type." White can steal bases and "catches what he gets to in the outfield."

The Angels' fifth-round pick (143rd overall), Luis Rivera, also is an outfielder and comes from a high school in Puerto Rico. Rivera, who is 6-foot and 185 pounds, possesses a "level swing with late hand quickness," according to scouts, and has a "good turn on bases" and "proper running style."

Rivera's attitude also has impressed scouts, who say he has "good work habits" and is "always at the ballpark."

One of the more intriguing picks for the Angels was their 14th-round selection, right-handed pitcher Nick Adenhart of Williamsport, Md.

Adenhart was considered one of the top pitching prospects in the draft and a high first-round possibility as recently as last month until he took himself out of a game because of elbow pain and underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery a week later.

Scouts raved about Adenhart before the injury, calling him a "definite blue-chipper" and "potential Major League front-line starter" and saying he "keeps all pitches down, works corners" and has a 12-6 curveball.

Adenhart has intimated that he will likely go to the University of North Carolina, redshirt there while he recovers from the injury, and then pitch in the college ranks.

When asked about him Monday, Bane wouldn't divulge how the Angels will handle the situation, but he did say, "We've already done a lot of roadwork on that one. We have a plan on what we'd like to do. Whether we get that done or not, we'll see."

The Angels selected two other Southern California prep prospects: third baseman Douglas Reinhardt of Santa Margarita High in Rancho Santa Margarita (10th round) and right-hander Mark Trumbo from Villa Park High in Villa Park (18th round). Trumbo had already signed a letter-of-intent with Southern Cal.

The rest of the Angels' first-day picks are as follows: Southern A&M second baseman Joshua LeBlanc (sixth round); University of North Florida right-handed pitcher Billy Layman (seventh round); University of San Diego third baseman Freddy Sandoval (eighth round); Trinity Christian Academy shortstop Hainley Statia (ninth round); Georgia Tech first baseman Clifton Remole (11th round); Haskell (Okla.) High School left fielder Tyler Johnson (12th round); Southern A&M third baseman Andrew Toussaint (13th round); Phillips Andover Academy (Fla.) right-hander Adam Crabtree (15th round); University of North Florida right-hander Chris Waters (16th round) and Middle Georgia Junior College right-hander Richard Aldridge (17th round).

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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