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Angels fill need with record 20 pitchers in 2021 MLB Draft

The Los Angeles Angels picked Miami University pitcher Sam Bachman with their first pick in the 2021 MLB Draft. Photo by Miami University Athletics
The Los Angeles Angels picked Miami University pitcher Sam Bachman with their first pick in the 2021 MLB Draft. Photo by Miami University Athletics

July 14 (UPI) -- The Los Angeles Angels increased their odds of finding a great pitcher by selecting players at the position with each of their 20 picks in the 2021 MLB Draft, which set an all-time record.

The Angeles started the draft with the selection of Miami University right-hander Sam Bachman with the No. 9 overall pick on Sunday. They picked up TCU right-hander Marcelo Perez at No. 591 overall on Tuesday for their final pick.

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"It's a commodity that you can't have enough of, so take as many as you can and take the ones that you believe in and the profiles you believe in and go from there and give them to player development," Angels scouting director Matt Swanson told reporters Tuesday.

The Angels also selected St. Mary's College's Ky Bush, LSU's Landon Marceaux, Vanderbilt's Luke Murphy and South Carolina's Brett Kerry with their first five picks.

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The Angels picked University of Miami's Jake Smith, Arkansas' Ryan Costeiu, Georgia Southern's Nick Jones, Tulane's Braden Olthoff and South Carolina's Andrew Peters in round Nos. 6 through 10.

They added Arizona's Chase Silseth in round No. 11 and used their 12th pick on high school prospect Mason Albright out of Bradenton, Fla.'s IMG Academy.

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The Angels picked up their 13th pitcher of the draft at No. 381 overall with the selection of Adrian College left hander Mo Hanley.

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They picked their third-consecutive left hander when they snagged Kansas State's Eric Torres in the 14th round. The Angels then picked right handers Glenn Albanese Jr. (Louisville), Brandon Dufault (Northeastern), and Mason Erla (Michigan State). They ended the draft with the selections of St. John's left-hander Nick Mondark, Oregon State right-hander Nathan Burns and Perez.

The Angels are the first MLB club to use each pick of a regulation draft on pitchers. The Miami Marlins used their five picks on five pitchers in the 2020 MLB Draft, which was shortened in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Atlanta Braves picked 18 pitchers in the 2015 MLB Draft. The Cleveland Indians took 19 pitchers with their 21 picks in the 2021 MLB Draft.

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Pitching depth is an obvious need for the Angels, who took 16 pitchers in the 2018 and 2019 MLB Drafts, respectively. Overall, the Angels have used 54 out of their last 64 draft picks on pitchers.

The Angels own the fifth-worst ERA in MLB this season. Angels starters logged just one shutout, the fewest in MLB, and issued the third-most walks in the first half of 2021. The Angels' bullpen is the fifth-most-used in MLB, with 356 innings pitched.

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The Angels starting rotation posted a 5.52 ERA in 2020, the second-highest in MLB.

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