Torres has a solid fastball but has not been able to make it past High-A as his velocity fell after his first professional year. In two stints with Rancho Cucamonga, he has been tagged hard and he missed all of 2004 after surgery on his elbow.
He no longer hits 90 on the radar and his prospect status is dwindling quickly.
The Angels believed they caught a break when they selected Chris Bootcheck with their 20th overall selection, a pick they obtained from the A's as compensation for Type B free agent Mike Magnante.
Viewed as a polished pitcher who would reach the majors quickly, the right-hander was late to sign but did make his debut with the Angels in 2003. After spending the entire 2004 season in Triple-A, Bootcheck returned to the Angels late in 2005 and is pushing for a role with the 2006 Angels squad.
One thing working against him has been his .300 average against over the last two years in Triple-A but his 3.38 ERA over 18.1 innings with the Angels this past year earned him a chance in spring training this season.
Switch-hitting catcher Jared Abruzzo flip-flopped between Low and High-A over a three year span but never made it to Double-A in the system. He is now with the Texas Rangers.
Slick fielding shortstop Tommy Murphy was their third round pick but had to move to the outfield to make room for two top prospects that hopped over him. Murphy had his best year ever with Double-A Arkansas but is now 26 and has a .255 career average in the minors.
Charles Thames' career looked bright when he was sent to Double-A as a 22-year old, despite having shoulder surgery at the end of the prior year. His command then abandoned him and he retired voluntarily at the end of the year – in 2002.
The most talented pitcher the Angels drafted was waived in December of 2004. Bobby Jenks, armed with a fastball that sits in the high-nineties, was removed from the 40-man roster because of issues he had off the field – a problem with alcohol that nearly derailed his career. But he turned it around with the Chicago White Sox and contributed to their World Series run in 2005, much to the chagrin of the Angels.
Tenth round pick Matt Hensley pitched in 16 games for the Angels in 2004 but was released after that season.
Seventeenth round pick Mike Napoli is the only pick beyond the tenth round to make a mark – and that only happened over the last two years. The catcher has smashed 60 homers since the start of 2004 after netting just 20 in his first four seasons. Now 24, Napoli figures to begin the year in Triple-A and his power bat could be useful off the bench or as a starter if he finds a way to supplant two players ahead of him.
Overall, this draft did not offer the promise they had hoped and explains the current roster in Anaheim, littered with players netted through other means and other drafts. Good thing they turned it around in 2001.
Next up: Flashback to 2001 and a happier time