ANAHEIM — It took months to get done, but former Santa Monica High pitcher Tyler Skaggs is officially a part of the Los Angeles Angels organization.
The star hurler who was taken with the 40th pick in June’s Major League Baseball Draft came to terms with the Angels on Friday setting the stage for him to make his professional debut within the next week or so, Angels officials said. He was expected to be introduced before the Angels game against the Texas Rangers on Friday night.
“I’m just glad that I finally got it over with,” Skaggs said as he and his family were driving to Angels Stadium to ink the deal. “Now I can just go play baseball.”
The time between his selection in the draft and signing a contract may seem like a long duration to observers, but Angels Director of Scouting Eddie Bain said that his organization is ahead of most clubs in terms of signing draft picks. He said that only the Houston Astros have signed more of its prospects.
Bain said that the Angels have signed all but two of its prospects. Most notably the team has yet to come to terms with University of Washington starting quarterback Jake Locker, who was taken in the 10th round.
Bain said the signing of Skaggs ends months of scouting that ultimately led to his selection. Snagging Skaggs with the 40th pick came as a pleasant surprise to the Angels, who expected that the tall lefty would be snatched up before their second pick in the supplemental first round.
“We talked to other teams that were very interested in Tyler,” Bain said. “Other clubs were giving him a serious look.
“We were scared we wouldn’t get him.”
That thinking helped land Skaggs a contract that is said to be more lucrative than expected to be extended to a 40th pick, Skaggs’ advisor Nez Balelo said. Balelo will be Skaggs’ agent once he formally signs a contract. Terms of the contract were not disclosed as of presstime.
Balelo works for CAA Sports, one of the most powerful talent agencies in the sports industry. Notable clients include Derek Jeter, LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony.
The next step for Skaggs will be an assignment to the Angels’ rookie ball team in Tempe, Ariz. Tim Mead, the Angels’ director of media relations, said that Skaggs will arrive in Arizona sometime this weekend where he is expected to throw a couple of bullpen sessions before taking the mound for the first time as a professional.
“Once in Tempe, we get guys in the mix within a couple of days,” Mead said. “They are ballplayers, that’s part of what they do.
“There won’t be a lot of down time.”