Angels tab big righty with first pick
Bachanov boasts power arm, impressive breaking pitch
The Angels drafted to their organizational strength Thursday, taking a pair of gifted high-school right-handers with their first two choices in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft.They used their first pick -- No. 58 overall in the supplemental round -- to select Jon Bachanov, from University High School in Orlando, Fla. With their second choice, No. 118 overall in the third round, the Angels tabbed Matt Harvey, another athlete with size, premium stuff and a huge upside. Signing Harvey, a North Carolina recruit from Connecticut represented by agent Scott Boras, is the big issue. He was projected to go higher in the Draft. Bachanov, 18, had a dominant senior year, going 9-2 with a 0.37 ERA, walking 19 hitters while striking out 103 in 65 innings. He has size at 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds and has wowed scouts with his power arm and potential. "This guy is one of the real hard throwers in this Draft," Eddie Bane, Angels scouting director, said. "Jon's got an ultra-quick arm, and his velocity is definitely there at 95, 96 [mph]. He has a very aggressive delivery, and he likes to throw hard." Bachanov's fastball has late action and downward movement, calling to mind the fastball that staff ace John Lackey deploys. His over-the-top breaking ball, with hard bite, also is similar to Lackey's. "Lackey's a nice comparison," Bane said. "If Jon ends up being like John, we'll be very happy." Bachanov -- whose parents are not, as reported, Russian immigrants -- wants to remain a starter and that's where he'll begin his professional career, Bane said. Some scouts have projected him as a potential closer. Tom Kotchman, regional scout, longtime manager in the farm system and father of Angels first baseman Casey Kotchman, scouted Bachanov and informed him of the club's interest. Bachanov said he was "ecstatic" with the selection and hopes to reach a contract agreement soon "so I can get started." Harvey, 18, was widely considered the premier prep pitcher in the country coming into the season based on his smooth delivery, crackling fastball consistently in the 90s and power curve.
|1. TB||LHP||David Price||Vanderbilt U|
|2. KC||SS||Michael Moustakas||Chatsworth HS (Calif.)|
|3. CHC||3B||Josh Vitters||Cypress HS (Calif.)|
|4. PIT||LHP||Daniel Moskos||Clemson U|
|5. BAL||C||Matthew Wieters||Georgia Tech|
|6. WSH||LHP||Ross Detwiler||Missouri St U|
|7. MIL||LF||Matthew LaPorta||U Florida|
|8. COL||RHP||Casey Weathers||Vanderbilt U|
|9. ARI||RHP||Jarrod Parker||Norwell HS|
|10. SF||LHP||Madison Bumgarner||South Caldwell HS|
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.