2024 MLB MOCK DRAFT 1.0: Charlie Condon?

Welcome to the 2024 MLB Mock Draft! I love to see college players dominate the first round. Over the last few years, we’ve seen some great players from the collegiate ranks start to helm the majority of the first round. I’ve always felt it’s hard to evaluate high schoolers and the risk is far more great. With the new rules of the draft, the way the game is evolving and the evolution of NIL deals, we’re seeing teams take less gambles since college is plush with talent.

CLEVELAND GUARDIANS: Charlie Condon, OF/3B, Georgia
In the end, it’ll be Condon or Travis Bazzana battling for the top spot in this year’s draft. Don’t be surprised if Jac Caglianone makes a late run. His power from the left side of the plate could tempt the Guardians in the same way Spencer Torkelson did with the Tigers back in 2020. But in the end, Charlie Condon seems the most ready for big league pitching. He should be able to fly through the minors and join the Guardians roster in the near future.

2. CINCINNATI REDS: Travis Bazzana, 2B, Oregon State
The Australian native has a nice blend of power and hit-ability which makes me a perfect number one overall fit. I do think it’ll take a while for his power to showcase in the bigs, but nevertheless, he can hit the ball anywhere at ease. He might not stay at second base long term, but his bat is more valuable than the rest of his tool set.

3. COLORADO ROCKIES: Jac Caglianone, 1B/LHP, Florida
Cags has been predicted in the top-three for a couple years now. I don’t see that changing much, unless he wants more money, which could scare cheaper spending teams like the Rockies and A’s. In that case, the White Sox would jump all over the opportunity to grab the two-way phenom.

4. OAKLAND A’S: Nick Kurtz, 1B, Wake Forest
I think Nick Kurtz might be one of my favorites in this class. There isn’t any mystery to his game; you know what you’re going to get when you take him. He’s a big kid who can consistently barrel up the ball, inside or out, to all fields. His ceiling is Jim Thome and his floor is Ritchie Sexson.

5. CHICAGO WHITE SOX: JJ Wetherholt, West Virginia, SS/2B
Much like Nick Madrigal and Austin Martin in their draft years, Wetherholt is a similar profile who looks very enticing on paper. He’s in the mold of a Jose Altuve with less power, and a nice second option if whoever selects him loses out on Bazzana. The problem with this is, his game might take a bit to translate at the next level, similar to that of Madrigal and Martin, who I’ve mentioned above. Teams can only hope he catches on faster like a Jordan Westburg or a Nick Gonzales.

6. KANSAS CITY ROYALS: Braden Montgomery, OF, Texas A&M
The closer we get to July’s draft, the more Montgomery’s stock rises. At first it was thought he was a hit-over-power player, but scouts have changed their opinions on him in recent months. The kid can do it at the plate and in the field.

7. ST. LOUIS CARDINALS: Chase Burns, RHP, Wake Forest
And here it is: the first true pitcher selected in the draft! The trend for top-10 selected starters these days ones who can touch 100 MPH. Well, Burns can burn his heater to 102 MPH. The Cardinals want… No, the Cardinals NEED a guy like this in their system.

8. LOS ANGELES ANGELS: Hagen Smith, LHP, Arkansas
Same ole same ole. I have the Angels drafting a pitcher. Shock. Gasp! Listen, I know they usually take some high school project or toolsy outfielder, but maybe they should actually look into what has been killing their organization for years… Pitching! Reid Detmers can’t be your only stud. You gotta find a guy who can come up sooner than later. Hagen Smith is that dude.

9. PITTSBURGH PIRATES: Konnor Griffin, SS/OF, Jackson Prep (MS)
Griffin is gaining traction. He wasn’t near my top-10 to start the year, but the notes on him coming out of Mississippi are pretty eye-opening. He’s close to a five-tool player but not quite there yet in my eyes. I want to see how he fairs against better pitching at the next level. That 6’4″, 215 pound frame, though, are hard to ignore; especially when he’s getting Trea Turner comps overall.

10. WASHINGTON NATIONALS: Bryce Rainer, SS, Harvard-Westlake HS (CA)
Another shortstop that will be selected around when Griffin gets picked is Rainer. Here is another big shortstop who has about every tool you want. But much like all prep players, there is the prospect’s scouting grades before the draft and then their scouting grades a year into pro ball. If Rainer is still raking a year into pro ball, then his early grades will make sense. For now, I think he is top-10 worthy, but I’m still staying cautious. When a player gets comps to Corey Seager that’s a pretty high bar to reach. Zach Neto flew through the minors and has had his fair share of struggles in the bigs. Then there is the hype that Marcelo Mayer got when he was drafted. Mayer had similar projection, and while he is a top-20 prospect, there are some concerns if he’ll perform as expected at the next level. Rainer might have a similar experience.

11. DETROIT TIGERS: Seaver King, 3B/OF, Wake Forest
The Tigers could go any way here. Seeing how Scott Harris is secretly rebuilding, I do think he goes for prep bat or arm instead; this will give him further job security. What is a better fit, though, is a college bat. Enter Seaver King. I think the scouting report on him is intriguing. He does just about everything right. He’s a hard worker who added 20 pounds this past offseason to increase his power at the dish, and so far he’s a few homers shy of 20 for the season. Scouts grade him with average-to-below average power, but I think he has, or will have, better than above average power at the next level.

12. BOSTON RED SOX: William Schmidt, RHP, Catholic HS (LA)
Schmidt comes to the table with an insane curveball and a solid fastball. He needs to use a third pitch more to make him starter worthy. Some think his low-80s changeup might be that pitch. And it does have some natural dip.

13. SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS: Cam Caminiti, LHP, Saguaro (AZ)
Caminiti is going to take some time in the minors, but if whoever drafts him is patient, they might have a stud on their hands. He’s got a deadly fastball and three other pitches that could grade pretty high. He can play the outfield too, but he’s going to be a pitcher at the next level, no doubt.

14. CHICAGO CUBS: Tommy White, 3B, LSU
If you feel you’ve seen this name in my mock before, you’re right. I’ve had him in my ‘Way too Soon’ mocks. Him staying in my top-15 makes sense. He’s too good at the plate to drop much farther than 15. His fielding and arm are meh, but his plate presence is obvious.

15. SEATTLE MARINERS: James Tibbs, OF, Florida State
I’ve seen Tibbs all over first round mocks. It’s hard to predict where he might end up. When in doubt, put the prospect in the middle of the first. Tibbs is a feel good story. In his third year at FSU, he’s become a legend. His 1.310 OPS is off the charts and he’s hit 28 dingers in 62 games.

16. MIAMI MARLINS: Vance Honeycutt, OF, North Carolina
Honeycutt was another outfielder who was seen in my early mocks. Most scouts think he’s all power and doesn’t have a very strong hit tool. I think his hit tool is actually better than below average. The ACC has very good pitching and Honeycutt has been raking for three years now.

17. MILWAUKEE BREWERS: Trey Yesavage, RHP, East Carolina
Yesavage has shown at the high school level and then at the collegiate level that he’s developing into a hell of a pitching prospect. His performance with the collegiate national team catapulted him to first round consideration. I think what’s even more impressive is how he worked his way out of the pen at East Carolina to become the rotation’s ace.

18. TAMPA BAY RAYS: Brody Brecht, RHP, Iowa
Brecht should be a top-15 pick come July. There are some who feel he might’ve peaked but I don’t see that at all. There is a lot of Paul Skenes in his fastball game. Expect the Brecht talk to increase closer to the draft.

19. NEW YORK METS: Jonathan Santucci, LHP, Duke
I’m going outside the box of expectation here. Santucci is Duke’s best kept secret. His fastball is where you want it to be, mid-to-upper 90s with good running action. His slider might be the best in the draft too. It’s a true finishing pitch.

20. TORONTO BLUE JAYS: Carson Benge, OF, Oklahoma State
At 6’1″, 184 pounds, you’d never expect Benge to have the insane exit velocities he has every time he makes contact. As a hitter, he’s about as complete as you’d hope for. He can hit for average and power and understands the pitches he’s receiving. Pending on a College World Series run, expect Benge’s stock to rise.

21. MINNESOTA TWINS: Walter Janek, C, Sam Houston
I haven’t had a mock like this in a handful of years where a catcher isn’t in my top-20. Janek is about the best out of the class. He’s a defensive mastermind, and his hitting will keep him in lineups. At the next level, I do think he’ll have to adjust his approach at the dish, however.

22. BALTIMORE ORIOLES: Ryan Sloan, RHP, York HS (IL)
Even though Sloan projects as a first-rounder, if he bets on himself, he could take his Wake Forest commit instead. I can see him doing that if he falls out of the top-20. He’s a huge pitcher with incredible life on his fastball. Also, he’s a future innings eater. If he chooses to go back to school, he’ll return one day to the first round but in the top-10.

23. LOS ANGELES DODGERS: Billy Amick, 3B, Tennessee
He worked hard to stay at third base with the Volunteers. Starting his collegiate career with Clemson, he wasn’t a fan of playing first base or DH, so he transferred to Tennessee to show he can play the hot corner. He’s got a solid tool set, so staying at the hot corner isn’t unimaginable. His raw power is most intriguing, though.

24. ATLANTA BRAVES: Dakota Jordan, OF, Mississippi State
If Jordan didn’t have a high strikeout rate and could show his ability to hit for average, he would easily become a top-10 pick. His defense is above average and his plus speed is undeniable. But right now he’s all power. A good hitting coach could do Jordan wonders at the next level.

25. SAN DIEGO PADRES: Slade Caldwell, OF, Valley View (AR)
Slade is an outfield version of David Eckstein. Small and fast, he can poke holes in the infield at the plate. If he becomes a first rounder, teams should feel confident that he’ll forgo college and sign.

26. NEW YORK YANKEES: Jurrangelo Cijntje, RHP/LHP, Mississippi State
Probably the most interesting of all the prospects, Cijntje can pitch as a lefty or righty. There’s endless possibilities with a guy like this. His dad was a versatile pitcher too, and played professionally in the Netherlands. The fact that Cijntje taught himself to throw both ways shows his work ethic. And he also worked on his control and IQ and it shows this season.

27. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES: Malcolm Moore, C, Stanford
Moore draws hard contact and developing power could materialize into 15-20 homer runs a season at the next level. Unlike Janek, though, he’s not as complete as a defensive backstop.

28. HOUSTON ASTROS: Kash Mayfield, LHP, Elk City (OK)
Mayfield’s fastball can scratch 97 and he’s still developing. He’s got a slurve that he can place just about anywhere.

There are some who feel Hess might be destined for the pen or the back-half of a rotation but he has shown the ability to eat up innings and his strikeout to walk ratio is proof he could be a frontline guy.

30. TEXAS RANGERS: Theo Gillen, SS, Westlake HS (TX)
There’s going to be some musical chairs with prep shortstops at the end of the first round. Gillen is about the most well-rounded one at this point in the draft. I think he has a true ability to rise. He’s got ideal size and speed and glove work to keep him in the mid-infield. His arm strength might be the only question whether he stays at shortstop or moves to second instead.

31. ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS: Caleb Lomavita, C, California
32. BALTIMORE ORIOLES: David Shields, LHP, Mt. Lebanon (PA)
33. MINNESOTA TWINS: Christian Moore, 2B, Tennessee
34. MILWUAKEE BREWERS: Ryan Waldschmidt, OF, Kentucky
35. ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS: Bryce Cunningham, RHP, Vanderbilt
36. CLEVELAND GUARDIANS: Kaelen Culpepper, SS, Kansas State
37. PITTSBURGH PIRATES: Ryan Johnson, RHP, Dallas Baptist
38. COLORADO ROCKIES: Wyatt Sanford, SS, Independence HS (TX)
39. KANSAS CITY ROYALS: Kellon Lindsey, SS, Hardee HS (FL)

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