Image credit: Seaver King (Photo by Tracy Proffitt/Four Seam Images)
Today we updated our 2024 draft list for the first time since before the summer evaluation period. This update attempts to capture all of the new information the industry has to work with from summer showcase circuits, travel ball, college summer leagues, USA Baseball’s national teams and various fall looks and events.
Below are 10 of the most notable risers on this update.
Player movement is simply the difference between their previous ranking and their current ranking. Players who were previously unranked are given rank 101 in order to create a comparison point for relative movement.
Seaver King, SS/OF, Wake Forest
King was the darling of the summer on the college front. Scouts routinely expressed their excitement with the former Division II star in regards to his physical tools, hitting ability in the box and defensive chops at a number of positions. He impressed with Team USA during the summer and he has reportedly looked excellent patrolling center field with Wake Forest this fall.
King’s offensive track record is superlative. If he maintains that sort of production with arguably the most prospect-laden team in the nation this spring in Winston Salem, he’ll provide one of the more attractive up-the-middle profiles in the 2024 class. Most industry feedback seemed to place him within the first third of the first round.
Wake Forest has never had a hitter selected inside the top 10 picks. The presence of King and first baseman Nick Kurtz could give them two such players in the same year.
Caleb Bonemer, SS, Okemos (Mich.) HS
No player on today’s ranking has had a larger jump than Bonemer. The physical righthanded hitter showed an enticing combination of physicality, hitting chops and physical tools this summer. He performed at a high level at a number of key events—most notable the Area Code Games in San Diego, where only Texas catcher Cade Arrambide had a case for a better all-around event.
Bonemer has exciting upside thanks to his plus running ability, above-average raw power and athletic actions that should keep him on the left side of the infield. His overall profile might not be all that different from recent prep shortstops like Brady House or Colin Houck. Bonemer has a chance to be the highest drafted high school prospect out of Michigan since Derek Jeter went No. 6 overall in 1992.
Josh Hartle, LHP, Wake Forest
If you’re not used to seeing Wake Forest prospects high up on draft boards, it’s time to get used to it. The 2024 class is loaded with Demon Deacons and between King, Kurtz, Tennessee transfer Chase Burns, righthander Michael Massey and Hartle—it’s not out of the question for Wake to wind up with five first rounders.
Hartle stands out in the 2024 college class for his high-floor profile which is built on advanced control and command that comes from a smooth and easy lefthanded delivery. Much of the 2024 draft class will enter the spring with questions about control, strikes and starter vs. reliever profiles—not Hartle. Others might have more overpowering pure stuff or a fastball that stands out more on spreadsheets, but Hartle provides the sort of safe profile that many GMs love to grab in the first round.
Think of college southpaws like Jordan Wicks, Reid Detmers or Nick Lodolo.
Noah Franco, LHP/OF, IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla.
Franco has real upside on both sides of the ball as an impactful lefthanded hitter and a southpaw on the mound with solid feel for a low-90s fastball and slider. After seeing him rake all summer and fall, many MLB scouts prefer him as a hitter though he should get a chance to do both at the next level if he wants to continue pursuing the two-way experiment.
Caleb Lomavita, C, California
Lomavita is a strong athlete for a catcher who runs well and has also put up impressive offensive numbers through two seasons with California. He’s a career .292/.355/.507 hitter in college who is coming off a 16-homer season and he has also banked back-to-back strong summers in the Cape Cod League, which will only increase scouts’ conviction of his offensive ability.
Carter Johnson, SS, Oxford (Ala.) HS
Johnson has always stood out for his relaxed and loose lefthanded swing, but he’s now at the point where many scouts believe he is one of the better overall pure hitters in the class. He excelled at the East Coast Pro this summer where he went 7-for-11 (.636) with a triple, two doubles and four singles and it wouldn’t be shocking for teams to view him in a similar phylum of player as 2023 draftees Colt Emerson and/or Kevin McGonigle.
Luke Holman, RHP, Louisiana State
Holman seems to be a bit of a split-camp type player, though we are already in the stage on the board in this 2024 class where opinions diverge rapidly. Still, Holman is coming off a strong season as a starter, he has back-to-back years with a walk rate under 10% and he was also one of the more impressive arms with Team USA this summer. Very few pitchers in the 2024 class can make those claims, and he also possesses the sort of riding fastball life that teams covet.
Dakota Jordan, OF, Mississippi State
Scouts called Jordan’s raw power “monstrous” back when he was in high school, but expressed concerns that he wouldn’t hit enough to tap into it fully. While those concerns still exist thanks to his 25% strikeout rate and underlying contact rate last spring, he is coming off a 2023 season with Mississippi State where he slashed .307/.397/.575 and homered 10 times. Following the spring he played in the Northwoods League where he continued to perform and also showed solid contact and swing decisions. Jordan’s pure bat speed is absolutely electric and among the quickest you’ll see in the country, and his 112.6-mph 90th-percentile exit velocity from the spring season is among the best marks you’ll find.
Garrett Shull, OF, Enid (Okla.) HS
A switch-hitter with a strong, 6-foot-1, 205-pound frame and well-rounded toolset, Shull seems to do everything on the field well and did a nice job showcasing both pure hitting ability and power to the pull side as a lefthanded hitter this summer. He went 5-for-14 (.357) at the Area Code Games this summer, but the quality of his contact was better than his results and he hit five different balls harder than 97 mph off the bat. He runs well under way and also has a strong arm from the outfield. Even if he profiles as a corner outfielder, Shull could have enough tools to be selected among the top two rounds, with a few mentions of first round landing spots from the industry as well.
Fran Oschell III, RHP, Duke
Oschell had a phenomenal season as a reliever with Duke this spring, when he posted a 0.69 ERA in 39.1 innings with a 41.5% strikeout rate and 11.3% walk rate. He has the size that would profile nicely as a workhorse starter, and he located his riding fastball and breaking ball well enough this summer with Team USA that some scouts were left thinking he could fit in a starter role.