Draft Report: Jeremy Rhoades, College Pitcher

ANAHEIM -- With their fourth-round pick of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft on Friday, the Angels selected right-hander Jeremy Rhoades from Illinois State.

Rhoades, taken 119th overall, is a 6-foot-4, 225-pound junior who posted a 2.35 ERA in 19 games (eight starts) this past season, striking out 92 batters and walking 25 in 76 2/3 innings while winning six games and notching four saves.

He earned All-Missouri Valley Conference honors as a full-time reliever during his sophomore year, and though he bounced back and forth in 2014, the Angels are going to give him a chance to start.

"Who knows where he's going to end up," Angels scouting director Ric Wilson said, "but we're going to send him out as a starter."

The 21-year-old has great command of a swing-and-miss slider that sits in the mid-80's and throws his fastball consistently at 90-92 mph. Rhoades still needs to focus on repeating his delivery and commanding the changeup -- a pitch he may not need if he's pitching in the back end of bullpens, however.

The Draft concludes with Rounds 11-40 on Saturday. Exclusive coverage of Saturday's Draft starts at 10 a.m. PT on MLB.com.

Ellis selection continues trend of taking pitchers

Draft Report: Chris Ellis, College Pitcher

ANAHEIM -- The Angels' went with yet another pitcher for their third selection of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft on Friday, taking Chris Ellis out of the University of Mississippi.

Ellis, taken with the 88th overall selection, is a 6-foot-5, 205-pound right-hander who saw his stock skyrocket during his junior year at Ole Miss.

After primarily being off the radar out of high school in Alabama -- ultimately getting taken in the 50th round by the Dodgers in 2011 -- and spending his first two collegiate years primarily out of the bullpen, Ellis finally got a chance to be a full-time starter in 2014 and ran with it.

Ellis went 10-1 with a 2.16 ERA in what the Angels hope was his final season in college, striking out 62 batters and walking 32 in 104 2/3 innings -- after posting a 5.57 ERA in 21 innings as a sophomore. He twirled two shutouts and two complete games, and allowed one earned run or less in eight of his first 16 starts.

On Saturday, Ellis will take the ball against Louisiana-Lafayette in the opener of the Super Regional.

Prior to Ellis, the Angels took University of Hartford left-hander Sean Newcomb 15th overall and St. Augustine Prep right-hander Joe Gatto 53rd overall in the second round. In 2013, the organization -- ranked last in the Majors by Baseball America the last two years, and in desperate need of high-upside starting pitching -- took an arm with 10 of its first 11 picks.

Ellis is mostly 92-94 mph with his fastball, with a still-developing curveball and changeup. He was one of 21 semifinalists for the Golden Spikes Award, annually presented to the best collegiate player.

The Draft concludes with Rounds 11-40 on Saturday. Exclusive coverage of Saturday's Draft starts at 10 a.m. PT on MLB.com.

"Just a constant strike thrower," Angels scouting director Ric Wilson said. "Average curveball and change, but can pitch to both sides of the plate, change speeds. Just a polished-type pitcher that doesn't have overwhelming stuff, but you look up and he's in the eighth inning somehow. Very poised, very confident guy."

Jewell turned in stellar season out of bullpen

Draft Report: Jake Jewell, Junior College Pitcher

ANAHEIM -- The Angels began last year's First-Year Player Draft by selecting seven consecutive pitchers, and started this year's version with five in a row.

The fifth was Jake Jewell, a right-handed reliever out of Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College who was taken with the organization's fifth-round Draft pick on Friday.

Jewell struggled as a starter in his freshman year, but shined out of the bullpen as a sophomore, posting a 1.25 ERA in 19 appearances this past season while striking out 30 batters, walking seven and notching six saves in 21 2/3 innings.

The 21-year-old has a mid-90s fastball that can go up to 97 mph, a solid, albeit inconsistent slider and a changeup he didn't necessarily need very often against Junior College hitters.

"I think he's a bullpen guy all the way," MLB.com Draft and prospect expert Jim Callis said of Jewell, who's listed at 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds.

Like Jeremy Rhoades, however, the Angels are going to give him a chance to start.

For the most part, they want to initially give prospects a chance to start until they prove otherwise.

"All of their deliveries are very good, their arms work really good, they've got multiple pitches they can throw for strikes, they can use both sides of the plate," Angels scouting director Ric Wilson said. "So we're going to give them every opportunity to start. As time goes on, they'll find their home. But they're going to learn to pitch as they first get out."

Prior to Jewell, the Angels took lefty Sean Newcomb out of the University of Hartford in Connecticut (15th overall), right-hander Joe Gatto out of St. Augustine Prep in New Jersey (second round), right-hander Chris Ellis out of the University of Mississippi (third) and right-hander Jeremy Rhoades out of Illinois State (fourth).

The Draft concludes with Rounds 11-40 on Saturday. Exclusive coverage of Saturday's Draft starts at 10 a.m. PT on MLB.com.

After string of hurlers, Halos take position player

Draft Report: Alex Abbott

ANAHEIM -- The first position player selected by the Angels in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft came in the form of Alex Abbott, a left-handed-hitting right fielder out of high school in Georgia who was taken in the sixth round.

Prior to that, the Angels selected five consecutive pitchers.

Abbott is listed at 5-foot-11 and 187 pounds, turns 20 in November, hails from Tift County High School in South Georgia and boasts good raw power. He also has a scholarship offer to the University of Florida as a backup plan.

Angels scouting director Ric Wilson has seen Abbott dating back to when he was in eighth grade.

"He was a nice looking kid, and he had some kind of pretty swing," Wilson said. "So we just started following him and following him and following him and just fell in love with his swing. He's very professional. He can throw, he's a corner outfielder who could swing the bat, and it's going to roll into some power."

Asked if he has any signability concerns with Abbott, Wilson said: "Not at all."

Rounds 3-10 took place on Friday, and the Draft concludes with Rounds 11-40 on Saturday. Exclusive coverage of Saturday's Draft starts at 10 a.m. PT on MLB.com.

In seventh round, Angels grab outfielder Way

Bo Way led his team in slugging percentage with a .419 mark.

ANAHEIM -- The Angels took center fielder Bo Way out of Kennesaw State University with their seventh-round pick in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft on Friday, going with a second straight outfielder after starting with five consecutive pitchers.

Way, a senior left-handed hitter out of Brunswick, Ga., is listed at 6 feet and 180 pounds. The 22-year-old posted a .358/.404/.470 slash line this past season, hitting two homers, driving in 31 runs and stealing 11 bases in 58 games. Way transferred to Kennesaw State after two years at Middle Georgia State College and is considered a solid defender with a strong arm that allows him to play all three outfield spots.

Angels scouting director Ric Wilson called him "a hard-charger, contact-type bat, who's just a grinder."

Rounds 3-10 took place on Friday, and the Draft concludes with Rounds 11-40 on Saturday. Exclusive coverage of Saturday's Draft starts at 10 a.m. PT on MLB.com.

"I'm just honored and humbled to be in this position," Way, whose team advanced to the Super Regionals, said in a statement released by KSU. "I'm grateful for Kennesaw State and coach Mike Sansing for giving me the opportunity to advance my baseball career and for the Los Angeles Angels for allowing me to take it a step further. It's a culmination of all the hard work and effort I've put in and it's just unbelievable to see it pay off in the end."

Yacinich the first infielder selected by Angels

ANAHEIM -- The Angels took Iowa shortstop Jake Yacinich with their eighth-round pick in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft on Friday, the third consecutive position player selected and the only infielder the organization took within the first 10 rounds.

Yacinich, a left-handed-hitting junior, is listed at 6-foot-1 and 180 pounds. He earned first-team All-Big Ten honors this season, leading the Hawkeyes with a .365 batting average to go along with a .438 on-base percentage, .447 slugging percentage, 45 runs, 25 stolen bases -- including a steal of home, capped by an athletic headfirst slide, in the Big Ten Tournament -- and 32 RBIs.

"We like the glove," Angels scouting director Ric Wilson said. "We think he's a solid average to above-average defender. Bat may take a little while to get there, but he's a contact bat, he puts the ball in play. Not a lot of swing and miss to him. We believe the bat will advance, but his glove will always be there."

The Draft concludes with Rounds 11-40 on Saturday. Exclusive coverage of Saturday's Draft starts at 10 a.m. PT on MLB.com.

TCU's Kipper picked up by Angels in ninth round

Jordan Kipper struck out 65 and walked 14 in 68 2/3 innings.

ANAHEIM -- The Angels selected right-hander Jordan Kipper in the ninth round of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft on Friday, giving them six pitchers within their first 10 picks by the time Day 2 came to a close.

Kipper, a junior at Texas Christian University, is listed at 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds, and is coming off a season that saw him go 8-2 with a 3.01 ERA in 15 games (12 starts), striking out 65 batters and walking 14 in 68 2/3 innings. Prior to going to TCU, Kipper played two seasons at Central Arizona College and was taken by the Phillies in the 30th round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft.

Kipper mostly utilizes a sinker and slider, with velocity ranging from 88-93 mph, and can throw strikes with both pitches.

"Nothing really overwhelming, but he just pounds that strike zone," Angels scouting director Ric Wilson said. "He's got a big history of throwing strikes, and he fits in with what we're trying to do."

The Draft concludes with Rounds 11-40 on Saturday. Exclusive coverage of Saturday's Draft starts at 10 a.m. PT on MLB.com.

Outfielder Adams rounds out Angels' Day 2 picks

Caleb Adams (left) played for the University of Louisiana Lafayette.

ANAHEIM -- Day 2 of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft wrapped up with the Angels selecting left fielder Caleb Adams from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in the 10th round on Friday.

Adams, selected 299th overall, joins right fielder Alex Abbott out of Tift County High School in Georgia (sixth round) and center fielder Bo Way out of Kennesaw State University (seventh) among outfielders taken by the Angels within the first 10 rounds.

The organization also took six pitchers in lefty Sean Newcomb out of the University of Hartford in Connecticut (15th overall), right-hander Joe Gatto out of St. Augustine Prep in New Jersey (second round), right-hander Chris Ellis out of the University of Mississippi (third), right-hander Jeremy Rhoades out of Illinois State (fourth), right-hander Jake Jewell out of Northeast Oklahoma A&M College (fifth) and right-hander Jordan Kipper out of Texas Christian University (ninth).

The Angels also drafted an infielder, selecting Iowa shortstop Jake Yacinich with their eighth-round pick.

"I love the balance that we had," Angels scouting director Ric Wilson said. "We got a good combination of some power pitching with solid delivers and arm action, and we got some younger kids that are going to be able to add to the guys we've picked the last couple years. We got some solid defensive players, and we've got some guys that can swing the bat."

The Draft concludes with Rounds 11-40 on Saturday, with exclusive coverage at 10 a.m. PT on MLB.com.

Adams, a sophomore, bats right-handed and is listed at 6 feet and 185 pounds. For the Ragin' Cajuns this past season, the 21-year-old posted a .387/.509/.689 slash line with 11 homers, 42 RBIs and six stolen bases in 64 games.

"He's got big-time power," Wilson said. "Just lets the bat go. He does swing through some pitches. Hopefully, we'll get that under control."