May 21, 2024

MLB Mock Draft 2024: Why Guardians could go Travis Bazzana over Charlie Condon

I’ve mentioned a number of instances that this MLB draft class is among the weakest I’ve ever seen, however I feel this primary mock draft actually makes the case even higher than a number of the rankings I’ve printed to this point. There’s a prime tier of 11 gamers — 9 in school and two from highschool — who will in all probability all come off the board within the first 12 picks (there’s a very good likelihood some workforce strikes an under-slot deal later in that vary). After that, you would possibly as effectively choose a random title generator, as we may even see a traditionally low variety of excessive schoolers taken within the first spherical, with place gamers missing and the trade trending away from taking highschool arms within the prime 30.



Ranking the highest 50 prospects for the 2024 MLB Draft: Why Keith Law has Charlie Condon at No. 1

I all the time base my mock drafts on data from trade sources on which groups have an interest through which gamers or through which classes of gamers. This 12 months, I’ve far more of that for the highest 10 picks than I do for the rest of the spherical, relative to the quantity of knowledge I’d sometimes have in mid-May. I’ve had nationwide cross-checkers, scouting administrators, and even a GM remark to me on what a large number the draft is after the primary echelon of gamers is off the board. So this projected first spherical has a bit extra of my hypothesis and opinions in it than what I sometimes like to incorporate in a mock.

Now on to the picks:

Cleveland tends to be very guarded with their intentions, however groups behind them count on them to decide on between Bazzana and Charlie Condon, with a slight likelihood they do a effectively under-slot take care of prep shortstop/outfielder Konnor Griffin. Whoever they take, count on them to attempt to shave a considerable quantity from the slot worth for the 1-1 choose.

2. Cincinnati Reds: Charlie Condon, OF, Georgia

I consider the Reds are simply sitting right here with open arms, ready to see if it’s Condon or Bazzana, though they’ve scouted the entire prime 10 fairly closely this spring.



Charlie Condon’s unimaginable journey from undesirable recruit to school baseball’s premier slugger

Assuming the highest two are gone, this choice appears more likely to be one of many two prime school pitchers (Smith or Wake Forest’s Chase Burns) or probably Florida two-way participant Jac Caglianone. Just a few years in the past, I’d have simply assumed they’d take Griffin, however I haven’t heard them linked to the prep hitter a lot in any respect.

Kurtz has a .539 OBP with 66 walks on the 12 months, and, effectively, Oakland likes these guys, as you’ll have heard.

Caglianone is a two-way participant however is more likely to be a place participant as a professional. (Phelan M. Ebenhack by way of Associated Press)

5. Chicago White Sox: Jac Caglianone, 1B/LHP, Florida

I’ve heard them closely with Caglianone and Griffin; I don’t know in the event that they’d let Cags proceed to pitch, however I doubt it given the danger he’ll tear his UCL once more and the truth that he’s virtually a dead-certain reliever as a pitcher.

New scouting director Brian Bridges strongly favors pitching with early picks, they usually’re in all probability taking Smith or Burns, though there’s been a bit of Griffin smoke right here too.



College baseball in evaluation: Chase Burns breaks document, Georgia retains rolling, ECU stumbles

The Cardinals may take whichever of the highest school guys slides to them — aside from Caglianone — which on this situation could be Wetherholt. If wholesome, Wetherhold wouldn’t even be a risk this far down. Another risk is Texas A&M’s Braden Montgomery, however I consider they’d take Wetherholt of the 2.

8. Los Angeles Angels: Trey Yesavage, RHP, East Carolina

The rumor is the Angels will take Yesavage and produce him proper to the massive leagues — or would do the identical with Smith or Burns if right here, though Yesavage can be more likely to signal at this choose for a reduction whereas the opposite two wouldn’t. I’ve additionally heard they could do the identical with a school hitter like James Tibbs.

9. Pittsburgh Pirates: Braden Montgomery, OF, Texas A&M

I do know particular person scouts who see Montgomery as a top-five expertise within the draft, so I wouldn’t be shocked to see him go larger than this, though the robust returns of Kurtz and Wetherholt off of their accidents in all probability push him into the 6-10 vary. The Pirates are seemingly the ceiling for prep shortstop Bryce Rainer and could be suits for Griffin or Tibbs.

10. Washington Nationals: Konnor Griffin, SS/OF, Jackson Prep (Flowood, Miss.)

Griffin is taking part in the position of the super-toolsy highschool place participant this 12 months, a gaggle with which the Nats have had some success (James Wood, acquired in commerce) and a few not-success (Elijah Green, No. 5 choose in 2022). That mentioned, they’ve received a brand new novice scouting group led by Danny Haas and we could see a brand new strategy within the draft this 12 months.

Griffin is more likely to be the primary highschool participant off the board. (Mary DeCicco / MLB Photos by way of Getty Images)

11. Detroit Tigers: Bryce Rainer, SS, Harvard-Westlake (Studio City, Calif.)

There’s a dashed line of kinds between the top-11 gamers within the class and everybody else, not an enormous dropoff however sufficient that I’m assuming the Tigers will simply take whichever man is left in that group fairly than doing a take care of another person.

12. Boston Red Sox: James Tibbs III, OF, Florida State

Tibbs has in all probability been the most important riser amongst school gamers this 12 months, as he’s had extra homers than strikeouts for Florida State and model-heavy groups appear to like him. Also, disgrace on everybody if we don’t nickname him King Tibbs III.

13. San Francisco Giants: Cam Caminiti, LHP, Saguaro HS (Scottsdale, Ariz.)

Caminiti has settled in because the top-rated pitching prospect within the class, however the Giants, who’ve proven robust curiosity in Caminiti, could be the one workforce within the prime 20 prepared to take a prep arm with their first choose. If they don’t do it he would possibly find yourself within the 20s as a result of a lot of the groups earlier than then are not less than loosely against going that route.

14. Chicago Cubs: Brody Brecht, RHP, Iowa

Another man who could slide into the latter third of the spherical, Brecht has the dimensions and arm power to be a top-10 choose, however he’s far much less polished than a lot of the school starter prospects on this draft. The workforce that takes him should be one prepared and in a position to abdomen an even bigger threat. I didn’t simply put him with the Cubs as a result of he’s usually in comparison with one other vast receiver-turned-pitcher, Jeff Samardzija. I could additionally see the Cubs in on the following tier of school bats, together with Tibbs, Cam Smith, and Carson Benge.

15. Seattle Mariners: Seaver King, OF/SS, Wake Forest

The Mariners will surely be prepared to go large on a highschool hitter, as they’ve had a ton of success within the first spherical with that class, however I don’t see who that hitter could be if Rainer and Griffin are gone. This spot appears too excessive for Kellon Lindsey or Tyson Lewis or Carter Johnson. That’s why I’m assuming they’ll go with a school bat, like King, Dakota Jordan, or Tibbs.

King has jumped into first-round territory after transferring to Wake from Division II Wingate. (Isaiah Vazquez / Getty Images)

16. Miami Marlins: Kaelen Culpepper, SS, Kansas State

Culpepper’s sliding a bit with some model-heavy groups due to his excessive chase price (round 31 %) and lack of a two-strike strategy, so this may increasingly find yourself being excessive for him. He seems to be like he’ll keep at shortstop and he’s received an ideal swing with incipient energy that will enhance with a bit of swing adjustment. I’ve heard the Marlins linked with King and would assume they’re on a number of the different school bats on this group like Smith, Jordan, and Benge.

The Brewers have gone with a school bat for his or her first choose in every of the final three drafts. Along with their comp choose in 2021, these alternatives have yielded two large leaguers already in Sal Frelick and Tyler Black plus a current top-100 prospect in Brock Wilken, who simply got here again from having his face damaged by a 94 mph fastball and homered for Double-A Biloxi the opposite night time. Smith suits their typical profile, as would Tibbs if he will get right here.

18. Tampa Bay Rays: Kellon Lindsey, SS, Hardee HS (Wauchula, Fla.)

About the one factor I consider the Rays wouldn’t do is take a highschool pitcher right here, though even that’s only a robust guess fairly than a certainty. I do know the Rays try to get extra athleticism into their system, and Lindsey could be the most effective for that attribute, whereas they’re additionally linked to a number of the school bats like Benge, Jordan, and Ryan Waldschmidt.

19. New York Mets: Carson Benge, OF/RHP, Oklahoma State

The Mets have been linked to Benge for a short while now, as he’s one of many extra intriguing upside performs among the many school bats — an impressive athlete who’ll want some swing assist in professional ball to get to energy. I consider they’d even be in play for Jordan or Christian Moore, however I don’t know in the event that they’d go highschool hitter once more as they did final 12 months.

20. Toronto Blue Jays: Walker Janek, C, Sam Houston State

I’ve heard the Jays extra on school bats than another class, which is smart on this draft class as the most effective highschool hitters and school arms who’ll nonetheless be accessible would in all probability be reaches at this spot.

21. Minnesota Twins: Jurrangelo Cijntje, BHP, Mississippi State

I’ve listed Cijntje as a both-handed pitcher, however he’s significantly better from the suitable aspect and I wouldn’t be shocked if whoever drafts him makes him completely a right-hander or limits how a lot he can switch-pitch. Anyway, it’s not only a parlor trick — his stuff and metrics are pushing him into first-round consideration and scouts love the athleticism. He could even find yourself the fourth school pitcher taken after the Burns-Smith-Yesavage trio is gone.

Cijntje is a switch-pitcher for Mississippi State. (Vasha Hunt / Associated Press)

The Orioles aren’t afraid to take a hard-hitting school bat even with some swing-and-miss considerations, doing so with Heston Kjerstad and Colton Cowser in earlier years. White has hit 20-plus homers in all three years in school however tends to chase stuff out of the zone too usually to be a top-10 choose, even on this class. I feel the Orioles could be a flooring for both Florida State hitter or Benge if any received right here.

23. Los Angeles Dodgers: Dakota Jordan, OF, Mississippi State

The Dodgers have tended to swing for the fences with their first picks underneath Billy Gasparino, going for giant ceilings and/or gamers with grade-80 instruments even when they’re comparatively unpolished. Jordan is an explosive athlete who has large energy however strikes out greater than any of his friends on this second tier of school hitters. I could additionally see the Dodgers on Lindsey, Carter Johnson, and the small group of highschool pitchers who would possibly present up within the first spherical (Caminiti, William Schmidt, Kash Mayfield, Braylon Doughty and Ryan Sloan).

24. Atlanta: William Schmidt, RHP, Catholic HS (Baton Rouge, La.)

Atlanta hasn’t been afraid to go into the highschool pitching finish of the pool, and in the event that they accomplish that once more, search for them to take a few these gamers as they did in 2022.

25. San Diego Padres: Kash Mayfield, LHP, Elk City (Okla.) HS

The Padres will in all probability go again into the highschool crop as soon as once more, both taking a high-ceiling arm like Mayfield or Schmidt or going for a equally high-upside highschool bat like Theo Gillen or Lindsey.

26. New York Yankees: Christian Moore, 2B, Tennessee

Moore has in all probability carried out his manner into the primary spherical, regardless that the underlying instruments and instincts don’t support it. He’s hit 23 homers and has a .380/.446/.774 line (by way of Monday) as a part of the Vols’ loaded lineup, the place 5 hitters have already got 15 or extra homers. I could additionally see them on Ryan Waldschmidt or Jordan.

Moore has hit his manner into a probable first-round choice this 12 months. (Danny Parker / Four Seam Images by way of Associated Press)

27. Philadelphia Phillies: Theo Gillen, SS, Westlake HS (Austin, Texas)

Gillen has zoomed up draft boards within the latter half of this spring as scouts love his swing and a few even see a future 60 hit software right here. The Phillies have been all about highschool expertise since Brian Barber took over as scouting director and I don’t see any motive to count on that to vary with the early success his first-round picks have had within the minors.

28. Houston Astros: Malcolm Moore, C, Stanford

The Astros have been all over the place this spring; GM Dana Brown was in Michigan to attempt to see the matchup between highschool hitters Caleb Bonemer and Dante Nori this weekend, nevertheless it was rained out. They want assist in their system prior to a excessive schooler can present, and I count on them to go for a school participant within the first spherical as they did final 12 months.

29. Arizona Diamondbacks: Slade Caldwell, OF, Jonesboro (Ark.) HS

Sounds just like the Diamondbacks are the ground for Caldwell, who could be a top-shelf prospect if he could attain it. (I’m his peak, so I’m allowed to make that joke.) They’ve had success with smaller place gamers earlier than, and Caldwell could be a top-10 choose if he had been 6 ft tall fairly than 5-foot-5 1/2.

30. Texas Rangers: Tyson Lewis, SS, Millard West HS (Omaha, Neb.)

The Rangers are taking part in with home cash after successful the World Series final 12 months and getting their 2023 first-rounder Wyatt Langford to the majors already. I’ve heard they’re the ground for Gillen and it appears like they’re leaning a bit of extra highschool than school, with Lewis one other high-upside athlete who suits their common mildew, though he’s not as superior a hitter as Gillen is.

(Top photograph illustration by John Bradford / The Athletic; Photos from left to proper: Travis Bazzana — Zac BonDurant / Icon Sportswire by way of Getty Images; Charlie Condon — Jeff Moreland / Icon Sportswire by way of Getty Images; Hagen Smith — Kate Woolson / Texas Rangers)