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Angels' Bachman becomes first top-10 pick from 2021 draft to reach majors

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — It didn't take long for Sam Bachman to make his big league debut.

The 23-year-old right-hander was promoted by the Los Angeles Angels on Friday and became the first top-10 pick from the 2021 amateur draft to play in the majors when he pitched the final two innings of a 6-2 loss to the Miami Marlins.

Bachman, the ninth overall selection by the Angels out of Miami University in Ohio, struck out the first batter he faced when Nick Fortes whiffed on a cutter.

The rest of the night didn't go as smooth. Bachman struck out four, but also allowed one run on four hits and walked two along with throwing a wild pitch. He threw 47 pitches, 27 for strikes.

“I was just trying not to fall over when I was running out there,” Bachman said. “My heart rate was definitely up. I was looking around and taking it all in.”

Bachman was pitching for Double-A Rocket City and got the call at 1 a.m. Thursday morning in Alabama that he was being elevated to the majors.

“I called everyone and they all answered. Not a lot of people slept that night, including myself,” Bachman said. “It was great. Still so surreal.”

Bachman is primarily a starter but will pitch out of the bullpen for now according to manager Phil Nevin He joins pitcher Chase Silseth and shortstop Zach Neto on the Halos' roster as players who came up to the majors from Double-A.

Silseth was the first player from the 2021 draft to reach the majors last May and Neto became the first from the 2022 draft to get the call on April 15.

Bachman supplanted Cincinnati infielder Matt McLain as the highest pick from 2021 to play in the majors.

McLain — the 17th overall pick — was the first player from the first two rounds to make his debut.

Bachman was 3-2 with a 5.81 ERA in six starts at Rocket City. The results of players coming out of the Southern League though have been skewed due to the use of an enhanced-grip baseball during the first half of the season. Bachman struck out 29 but also issued 20 walks.

“He's good. He's going to have the fastball for strikes,” Nevin said. “I like his stuff. He has to command the strike zone.”

Much like Silseth, Bachman is known mostly as a power pitcher, with a fastball in upper 90s (mph). Both were starters in the minors, but Nevin is hoping Bachman's transition to the bullpen for the short term goes as well as Silseth's.

“I’ve talked to a lot of people here already about kind of the routine and changing it up. I think it will be a smooth process for sure,” Bachman said. “And talking to Chase as well as he’s kind of came into this role, it will help me to kind of follow him around and see what he does.”

To make room for Bachman, the Angels designated right-hander Reyes Moronta for assignment.

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