The Angels are not messing around with their first-round draft pick.
After being drafted less than six weeks ago and playing just 21 games in the minors, the Halos promoted first baseman Nolan Schanuel from Double-A to the major leagues on Friday, where he will lead off against the Rays.
Schanuel, 21, is a remarkably advanced hitter from Florida Atlantic who was slashing .370/.510/.493 with one homer across three levels of the minors.
According to ESPN, Schanuel is the first player in quite some time to be called up to the majors within 40 days of being drafted — the last player to do so was Jerry Don Gleaton in 1979 with the Rangers.
Schanuel had walked more than striking out at every level of the minor leagues, and the Angels clearly wanted all the help they could get to make a run for a playoff spot.
Following the team’s refusal to trade megastar Shohei Ohtani and the two-way superstar’s incoming free agency in which he seems likely to opt for greener pastures, the Angels added Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez to gear up for a playoff run.
The Halos, also brought down by an injury to Mike Trout, are 60-62 and seven games back of the last Wild Card spot.
Friday also marked the first day an MLB team could call up a rookie and have the player still maintain rookie eligibility for next season.
Ohtani has a 1.072 OPS with 42 homers at the plate and a 3.17 ERA with 130.2 innings on the mound, practically guaranteeing he will walk away with the AL MVP award at season’s end.
The Angels have been known to be aggressive with promoting their prospects, having also accelerated the major league timelines of flamethrowing reliever Ben Joyce, shortstop Zach Neto and starting pitcher Reid Detmers.
Joyce, who was drafted in 2022, pitched just 28.2 innings in the minors before his promotion. Neto played 44 games before his call-up.
The Angels started Detmers in Double-A and the lefty started just 14 games across two levels before his promotion.
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