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Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Angels' draft strategy focuses on colleges

By Mark Saxon

ANAHEIM -- For years under scouting director Eddie Bane, the Angels tended to take higher-risk, higher-reward, often more-expensive high school players in the amateur draft.

Then, after Bane was fired and replaced by Ric Wilson, the team changed direction drastically in last year's draft. The Angels picked college players with their first 10 selections. The trend continued Tuesday, when 12 of the Angels' 13 picks were college players, seven of them pitchers.

The reason, Wilson said, was to replenish the system as quickly as possible. The Angels have traded away a handful of prospects in recent seasons to land players such as Dan Haren, Alberto Callaspo, Chris Iannetta and Ernesto Frieri.

"Our system is not loaded any more," Wilson said. "So, what I wanted to do was jump-start the system a little."

The Angels' top pick Tuesday was right-handed reliever R.J. Alvarez from Florida Atlantic. They lost their top two picks after signing free agents Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson.

Alvarez, 20, was 5-0 with a 0.53 ERA and eight saves in 21 appearances for Florida Atlantic last season. Alvarez spent his first two college seasons as a starter but moved to relief as a junior and struck out 45, walked nine and gave up 18 hits in 34 innings. He was ranked No. 78 in Baseball America's Top 500 prospects.

Here are the rest of the Angels' picks from Tuesday:

2B Alex Yarbrough, Mississippi
RHP Mark Sappington, Rockhurst
SS Eric Stamets, Evansville
C Andrew Patterson, Montgomery HS, Ala.
RHP Austin Adams, South Florida
LHP Michael Roth, South Carolina
LHP Chris O'Grady, George Mason
LF Jonathan Walsh, Texas
C Zachary Wright, East Carolina
RHP Michael Morin, North Carolina
2B Sherman Johnson, Florida State
RHP Reid Scoggins, Howard