On Walden Pond
A little draft-and-follow update for you…
I’ve learned that Jordan Walden, one of the top draft-and-follows in the country, will indeed sign with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. There should be an official announcement in the next day or two, but expect the bonus to be in line with what an end of the first round type of pick.
Walden was one of the top high school arms heading into the 2006 season, but he was hampered somewhat by a groin injury that affected him on the mound. Once he didn’t go in the first couple of rounds, teams must have feared he’d be too tough to sign and would instead head to the University of Texas. The Angels, never one to shy away from that kind of risk, popped him in the 12th round and they decided together he should go to Greyson Community College in Texas so he could stay under the Angels’ control. He’s thrown well this season and PGCrosschecker.com had Walden listed as the 52nd best prospect in the draft class had he re-entered. Baseball America had him at No. 69.
Those rankings are moot, now, as he’ll enter into the Angels system officially soon. In this last year of draft-and-follows, that leaves Matt Latos (Padres) as one other big name still floating, along with first-round pick Max Scherzer, who’s still under the Diamondbacks’ control. The teams have until May 30th to sign any draft-and-follows or they’ll re-enter the draft this year. It’s expected the Padres will sign Latos but it’s still unclear what will happen with Scherzer. That one will likely come down to the wire.