NEW YORK -- The MLB Draft League announced that the Los Angeles Angels have purchased the contracts of RHP Brady Choban and LHP Will Sandy from the West Virginia Black Bears. Six Draft League professional players have had their contracts purchased by a Major League club this season, and 10 Draft Leaguers’ contracts have been purchased since the Draft League implemented a professional, second-half format in 2022.
The MLB Draft League had 47 players selected in the 2023 MLB Draft, including 34 players who had played in the first half of the 2023 season. The Draft League set a new record with 19 players drafted during Rounds 3-10, including 12 players from the 2023 Draft League season. Six players were drafted within the first five rounds, led by the Draft League’s first-ever Top 100 picks in Sabin Ceballos (No. 94 overall) and Devin Saltiban (98). Since the Draft's conclusion, more than 20 undrafted alums have signed free-agent deals with a Major League team.
Choban, 22, recorded a 1.80 ERA that was fifth-best in the Draft League, along with a Draft League-leading eight saves (eight chances) while appearing in 10 games for the Black Bears as a professional player. The 6-foot-6 right-hander held opposing hitters to a .167 average, totaling 11 strikeouts and five walks in 10 innings. He led all Draft League professional pitchers in maximum (97.8 mph) and average (94.4) fastball velocity.
Choban also pitched for the Black Bears as an amateur player ahead of the 2023 MLB Draft, going 1-1 in 10 relief appearances. He struck out 19 in 10.1 innings and had six straight scoreless appearances to conclude the first half of the Draft League season before signing to pitch in the Draft League as an undrafted free agent. The Wadsworth, Ohio native was 0-2 with a 4.70 ERA in eight starts this past season as a University of Rio Grande senior. He compiled a 5.11 ERA with 56 strikeouts and 18 walks over 37 innings (13 starts) in two seasons with the RedStorm. Previously, Choban pitched at Marshall from 2019-21.
Sandy, 23, was the Black Bears' second-half Opening Day starter. The left-hander was 3-0 in five starts with a 2.10 ERA and 29/6 K/BB in 25.2 innings. He ranked among the Draft League leaders in wins (tied-2nd), starts (tied-2nd), strikeouts (tied-4th), ERA (8th) and innings pitched (8th). Sandy struck out at least five batters in all but one start and completed six innings in back-to-back starts on July 19 and July 25, earning the win on both occasions. The Raleigh, N.C., product was the starting pitcher in 28 of the 65 games he appeared during five seasons at North Carolina (2019-23). He totaled 149.1 innings during his Tar Heels career, going 6-5 with a 5.73 ERA.
The Draft League plays an amateur/professional hybrid-format season. After featuring exclusively Draft-eligible players during a 30-game first half of the season (June 1 to July 4), the Draft League transitioned to a professional league in the second half (July 7-Sept. 2), with undrafted, out-of-eligibility players signed to professional contracts comprising the six founding Draft League teams’ rosters while playing a 50-game schedule.