Angels land pair of draft-and-follow signees

A week before the 2006 First-Year Player Draft, the Angels' 2005 draft class got a boost with the addition of right-handed pitchers Sean O'Sullivan and Jeremy Haynes. Both players signed under Major League Baseball's draft-and-follow system which allows teams to keep the rights of certain junior college players for a year.

Sean O'Sullivan, 18, was the club's third-round pick last year out of Valhalla High School in San Diego county. The big-bodied hurler, who, at six foot, one inch, carries about 230 pounds, was the highest drafted player from last year's class who opted to go to junior college instead of signing immediately. The move worked as he shined playing both ways for Grossmont College this season.

While he earned All-State honors for his hitting, O'Sullivan will come into the system as a pitcher who can hit 91 or 92 with his fastball and shows good command. Despite his tools, he finished his one year of junior college with a a 7-5 record, recording just 72 strikeouts in 91 innings of work while posting a 2.27 ERA.

"He's got the ability to think through a game," said Randy Abshier, his college coach. "I think the X factors is, is he going to be able to maintain the body type that he needs to be a successful pitcher at the next level.

Angels' scout Tom Kotchman recommended Jeremy Haynes for their 37th-round pick after his first year at Tallahassee Community College and signed him earlier this month. Originally drafted out of high school by the Red Sox in 2004, Haynes opted to sign this time around rather than take a scholarship offer from the University of Miami.

Using an above-average curve ball and a fastball in the low 90s, the righty – who turned 20 Memorial Day weekend – posted a 3.20 ERA in 56.1 innings of work this season, striking out 76 against just 41 hits allowed though his struggle to command the ball consistently led to 32 walks.

"My dream has always been to play professional baseball," said Haynes. "And when the opportunity came, I felt it was time."

Both pitchers will report to Mesa for a minicamp in mid-June and then join the Orem Owlz to begin their professional careers.

Over recent years, the Angels have had success with the draft-and-follow approach, landing pitchers Stephen Marek and Joe Rowe, and position players like Stantrel Smith and Abel Nieves.

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