ANAHEIM -- It took two days to see a significant difference in draft strategies from Jerry Dipoto to Billy Eppler. Didn't notice? In Dipoto's time with the Angels, a course of four drafts, the Angels took 17 high school talents. In Billy Eppler's first year, the Angels took four high school players in their first six selections.
Ric Wilson declared, "athletic," "upside," and "high-ceiling" as the stategy for this year's draft, and the results are showing in toolsy prep players across the board. You mix in a few college hitters, and you have yourself the Angels first 10 selections. Here is a scouting report on prospects selected in rounds three-to-10 (click here for reports on first-round pick, Matt Thaiss, and second-round pick, Brandon Marsh).
3. Nolan "Nonie" Williams, SS, Turner HS (KS)
The state of Kansas has never had a draft class quite like this, and one of the top prep position players from the state came in the form of Nolan "Nonie" Williams. It's all about tools when it comes to Williams, as he is listed as a "quick-twitch toolsy guy with a lot of upside" and "70 runner" according to Angels Director of Scouting, Ric Wilson. Williams is an outstanding base runner, with plus speed on the paths and in the field. The question is whether he has the range to stick at short long-term, which is the Angels desire, in hoping to gain an every day player out of Williams in the future.
At the plate, Williams will stay a switch-hitter for the time being but has a better swing from the right-side. He doesn't take a direct path to the ball from the left-side, and comes down on the ball a little too often which should be the first switch from professional coaches. On the right-side, he is a little more fluid but can get choppy at times. He does have some pop in his swing due to above-average bat speed, which he should tap into as he grows into his large frame (listed: six-foot-two, 200 pounds).
4. Chris Rodriguez, RHP, Monsignor Edward Pace HS (FL)
Rodriguez has a nice load of velocity for a prep arm, compliments to a quick arm. His delivery is a little high-effort, but has not brought up control issues as he is known as a strike thrower. The Angels will test him out as a starter, but he has the makings of a reliever due to his aggressive style of attacking hitters. His arsenal consist of a fastball that sits 91-95 with running movement, a tight slider, and plus cutter. He throws all pitches for strikes, and has the making of a future back-end reliever, with his ceiling be a #3 rotation arm.
5. Connor Justus, SS, Georgia Tech
Justus' carrying tool will be his defense. Though he lacks flair, he does everything in a proper manner and has the ability to stay at shortstop long-term. He has a strong arm, and quick movements which allow him to cover ground with ease. More than anything, he's reliable at the shortstop position. The question mark for Justus is his bat, which has improved over his three years at Georgia Tech. He uses a short leg kick as a timing mechanism and uses his broad and compact frame to drive the ball with fluidity.
6. Cole Duensing, RHP, Blue Valley Northwest HS (KS)
Another prep player from this year's outstanding Kansas crop, Duensing was hidden in the pitching department due to the likes of Riley Pint, Joey Wentz and Ryan Zeferjahn. Duensing possesses a fastball that primarily sat in the high 80's, but was upwards of 91-93 near the end of spring. He can "really spin" his off-speed pitch according to Wilson, and has a decent feel for his changeup. He'll need to grow into his frame, being just 175 pounds at six-foot-four, which should improve his velocity and stamina.
7. Jordan Zimmerman, 2B, Michigan State
The guarantee is that Zimmerman will hit at the professional level. He has a quick stroke to the ball, and has enough raw power to potentially see double digit home run totals at some point in his professional career. At the moment, he drives the ball to the gaps more often than he does over the fence. He loads well with his lower half and has an excellent drive when getting his bat to the ball, which is where his power stems from. There's questions of where Zimmerman will play defense, as he spent most of his time at first base, but will be tested at second base and the outfield.
8. Troy Montgomery, OF, Ohio State
Attaining Montgomery with this pick was a giant leap forward for the Angels. Montgomery has great plate discipline, and will draw his fair share of walks and be a constant on-base threat. Along with that, he has plenty of power that will surprise you, but comes at the cost of swing-and-misses when he gets behind in counts, leading to strikeouts. He is incredibly athletic, and possesses great speed. He is one of the best defensive outfielders in this draft from the college ranks, not only due to his athleticism and speed, but also his natural abilities. Also, high marks for going to The Ohio State University.
9. Michael Barash, C, Texas A&M
The first of what may be a high load of senior signs, Barash has an excellent knowledge of the game. He's battled through hard ships in his college career, which should make him more ready for the professional level. He is a very good receiver behind the plate, and has shown a strong arm at times which has shown with his near 40% caught stealing rate. He is aggressive at the plate, but has shown the ability to get into hitter's counts. More or less, he's a sure thing in the minors.
10. Andrew Vinson, RHP, Texas A&M
The second senior sign from Texas A&M comes in reliever, Andrew Vinson. He is known as a strong strike thrower, who works best on the outer corners with his fastball that ranges 88-92, and could jump higher. He walked 2.24 batters per nine over his college career, and dropped that rate to 1.48 this last season. He uses his four pitch arsenal to create swing-and-misses, and poor contact, which will lead him to the rotation at the pro level. His ceiling is as a starter, but in the long run, will likely be a reliever.
All scouting reports were written and published by Scout.com Draft Analyst and Senior Publisher, Taylor Blake Ward. Taylor can be found on Twitter, @TaylorBlakeWard. You can also follow InsideTheHalos on social media, @AngelsOnScout.