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    Angels’ 3rd-round pick Alberto Rios was Pac-12 Player of the Year after 2 years on Stanford bench
    • July 11, 2023

    Alberto Rios came a long way from catching bullpens for the Stanford baseball team in one season.

    Although Rios barely played at Stanford in his first two seasons, instead helping out as a bullpen catcher, he flourished enough as a junior that the Angels picked him in the third round of the draft on Monday.

    “It’s a neat story,” Angels scouting director Tim McIlvaine said of the St. John Bosco High product. “He was recruited by them, got there and just really couldn’t get into the lineup. He kept working hard, kept working at it. Then something seemed to click for him in the fall and he really started swinging well. Once they put them in there this spring they just couldn’t get him out of the lineup.”

    Rios hit .384 with 18 home runs and an OPS of 1.192 this season at Stanford, winning Pac-12 Player of the Year honors.

    McIlvaine said the Angels had Rios at a workout at Angel Stadium and “got to know him.” They still don’t know what position he will play though. They probably won’t try him behind the plate until instructional league in the fall, McIlvaine said. In the meantime, he’ll get some time at third base, second base and the outfield.

    Rios was the first of eight players the Angels took in Day 2 of the draft, which concluded with the 10th round. Their only selection on Day 1 was No. 11 overall pick Nolan Schanuel, a first baseball from Florida Atlantic.

    The Angels did not have a second-round pick because they forfeited that selection when they signed left-hander Tyler Anderson last fall.

    After they took Rios in the third round on Monday, they picked Sam Houston outfielder Joe Redfield in the fourth round. They did not take a pitcher until the fifth round, when they selected Harvard right-hander Chris Clark.

    Although the Angels took five pitchers with their first nine picks, it was the first time since 2006 that they didn’t take a pitcher before the fifth round.

    “You try and line up the board and you try to get the best players you can get, however that falls,” McIlvaine said. “We debate between pitchers and hitters all the time, high school and college, whatever it may be, but we just try and get the best player.”

    The Angels took Wake Forest right-hander Camden Minacci with their sixth-round pick. Minacci was the closer for a team that spent much of the season ranked No. 1 in the nation.

    “He brings different kinds of energy and fire and excitement to the other guys, who just kind of feed off it,” McIlvaine said. “He comes at guys with a big fastball. He’s got a good slider. He’s not afraid of anybody.”

    In the seventh round, the Angels picked TCU third baseman Cole Fontanelle. Their only high school selection was eighth-round pick Barrett Kent, a right-hander from Pottsboro High in Texas.

    With their ninth- and 10th-round picks, the Angels took right-hander Chase Gockel from Quincy (Ill.) University and right-hander Chris Barraza from the University of Arizona. Gockel is a 23-year-old who already graduated and Barraza was a senior, so both players are expected to sign for minimal bonuses, which allows the Angels extra money to take some gambles on high-upside players on the final day of the draft on Tuesday.

    Gockel is an intriguing pick because McIlvaine said he was throwing 98 mph this year, even though no one drafted him last year.

    The draft concludes with rounds 11-20 on Tuesday, beginning at 11 a.m. PT.

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    ​ Orange County Register