Jewell turned in stellar season out of bullpen

Jewell turned in stellar season out of bullpen

ANAHEIM -- The Angels began last year's First-Year Player Draft by selecting seven consecutive pitchers, and started this year's version with five in a row.

The fifth was Jake Jewell, a right-handed reliever out of Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College who was taken with the organization's fifth-round Draft pick on Friday.

Jewell struggled as a starter in his freshman year, but shined out of the bullpen as a sophomore, posting a 1.25 ERA in 19 appearances this past season while striking out 30 batters, walking seven and notching six saves in 21 2/3 innings.

The 21-year-old has a mid-90s fastball that can go up to 97 mph, a solid, albeit inconsistent slider and a changeup he didn't necessarily need very often against Junior College hitters.

"I think he's a bullpen guy all the way," Draft and prospect expert Jim Callis said of Jewell, who's listed at 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds.

Like Jeremy Rhoades, however, the Angels are going to give him a chance to start.

For the most part, they want to initially give prospects a chance to start until they prove otherwise.

"All of their deliveries are very good, their arms work really good, they've got multiple pitches they can throw for strikes, they can use both sides of the plate," Angels scouting director Ric Wilson said. "So we're going to give them every opportunity to start. As time goes on, they'll find their home. But they're going to learn to pitch as they first get out."

Prior to Jewell, the Angels took lefty Sean Newcomb out of the University of Hartford in Connecticut (15th overall), right-hander Joe Gatto out of St. Augustine Prep in New Jersey (second round), right-hander Chris Ellis out of the University of Mississippi (third) and right-hander Jeremy Rhoades out of Illinois State (fourth).

The Draft concludes with Rounds 11-40 on Saturday. Exclusive coverage of Saturday's Draft starts at 10 a.m. PT on

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.