2023 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team Top MLB Draft Prospects


Image credit: JJ Wetherholt (Photo by Ben Ludeman/Texas Rangers/Getty Images)

USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team annually puts together a roster of the best players in the country during the summer, which provides a great scouting opportunity and preview of the top-of-the-class talent for the upcoming draft class. 

The 2022 version of the team was one of the most talented scouts had seen in years. It featured Paul Skenes, Dylan Crews, Wyatt Langford, Jacob Wilson, Rhett Lowder, Kyle Teel, Jacob Gonzalez, Enrique Bradfield Jr. and Brayden Taylor—nine of the top 20 draft picks in July.

The same was not true of Team USA in 2023. That’s because the 2024 draft class looks like a down group compared to a historic 2023 group.

West Virginia second baseman JJ Wetherholt leads the field thanks to his precocious lefthanded bat. There are still plenty of intriguing players on this year’s top 10 ranking, though each player comes with a few more question marks that will need to be addressed during the fall and next spring season. 

Team USA played two five-game series this summer against Taiwan and Japan and went 7-3 overall, sweeping Taiwan and losing their series 3-2 against Japan. 

1. JJ Wetherholt, 2B, West Virginia

Wetherholt is one of the best pure hitters in the country. That was on full display this spring with West Virginia when he led the country in hitting while slashing .449/.517/.787 with 16 home runs and 36 stolen bases. He was named Big 12 Conference player of the year. Wetherholt went 8-for-24 between Team USA scrimmages and games against Taiwan and Japan, with three home runs, six walks and six strikeouts. 

Wetherholt’s speed wasn’t on display as much with Team USA this summer. He nursed a hamstring injury and didn’t run much in scrimmages—but his feel for the barrel and impactful hands were quite obvious. At 5-foot-10, 190 pounds, Wetherholt might not seem large, but he’s well built and strong and puts a charge into the ball with strong wrists and forearms. His clean lefty swing features a slightly uphill path. 

2. Braden Montgomery, OF/RHP, Texas A&M

One of the best two-way players in the country, Montgomery took a big step forward as a hitter with Stanford during his sophomore season in 2023. He improved his plate discipline by upping his walk rate from 6.6% to 16.5% and cutting his strikeout rate from 26.6% to 20.6% and slashed .336/.461/.611 with 17 home runs. With Team USA this summer, Montgomery went 11-for-47 with two home runs, 14 strikeouts and four walks.

A 6-foot-2, 217-pound switch-hitter, Montgomery’s best tool is probably his throwing arm, which is one of the best in the country and has earned top-of-the-scale grades. That arm translates to the mound, where he can pump fastballs into the upper 90s—though he’s thrown just 30.2 innings in two seasons for Stanford, mostly out of the bullpen. There’s a chance he pitches more frequently after transferring to Texas A&M for the 2024 season. 

3. Seaver King, INF, Wake Forest

King was one of the biggest up-arrow college players from the summer after a second strong season with Division II Wingate (N.C.) this spring. The 6-foot, 190-pound shortstop hit .411/.457/.699 with 11 home runs and 13 stolen bases and then played with Team USA and in the Cape, where he continued to impress as both a hitter, runner and defender. He transferred to Wake Forest for 2024.

King played all over the infield for Team USA, though he has the actions and the arm strength to stick on the left side. He made a number of tough plays coming in on the ball and showed solid anticipation and an internal clock at shortstop. King is a contact-oriented hitter with a spread-out stance, low handset and slight arm bar. He went 14-for-51 during scrimmages and games.

4. Jac Caglianone, 1B/LHP, Florida

A Golden Spikes semifinalist who just led the country with 33 home runs, Caglianone is one of the most tooled-up players in the country with explosive upside as a slugging lefthanded hitter and hard-throwing lefty reliever. He came to Team USA late after a deep run in the College World Series and went 6-for-34 with a .176/.293/.382 slash line, including 10 strikeouts and two walks.

Listed at 6-foot-5, 245 pounds, Caglianone is massive with 70-grade raw power, but he has an extremely lengthy and uphill swing to get to that power and is aggressive in his swing decisions. He had a chase rate of nearly 50% with Team USA with a 28% overall miss rate. On the mound, Caglianone has been up to 99 mph, though he is currently a below-average strike-thrower.

5. Jace Laviolette, OF, Texas A&M

Laviolette is a large, physical outfielder who stood out for his offensive potential and power as a high school prospect in the 2022 class. He made it to campus at Texas A&M, where he was one of the most impactful freshmen in the country. He slashed .286/.414/.629 with 21 home runs and 18 stolen bases. His 21 home runs broke a Texas A&M freshman record that had previously stood since 1987. 

Laviolette has the frame of a corner outfielder, but he mostly played center field with Team USA. He showed solid foot speed and a quick first step while doing so. Multiple scouts said he was “clearly” the top outfielder on the CNT this summer, despite being one of just a few underclass prospects on the roster. Laviolette sets up with a wide base and doesn’t engage his lower half too much in his swing, but he still has the strength to drive the ball out—especially to his pull side. He went 14-for-48 with a .292/.346/.417 slash line, 15 strikeouts and four walks. 

6. Charlie Condon, 1B/OF, Georgia

Condon was BA’s Freshman of the Year this spring after he hit .386/.484/.800 with 25 home runs. He led the Southeastern Conference in slugging and ranked seventh in the nation in that category. His .386 average was good for second among SEC hitters, behind only No. 2 overall pick Dylan Crews.

Condon is a bat-first prospect with plenty of raw power. At 6-foot-6, 211 pounds, he can drive the ball a long way, though most of his power has gone to the pull side or straightaway center field. With Team USA he went 18-for-54 with a .333/.356/.574 slash line, 15 strikeouts and three walks. 

Condon hits fastballs well but could shore up his contact against secondaries. He played first base and left field but has limited foot speed and isn’t likely to be a great defender at either position.  

7. Michael Massey, RHP, Wake Forest

Massey transferred to Wake Forest from Tulane for the 2023 season and was one of the most dominant relievers in the country. He posted a 2.59 ERA with a 47.2% strikeout rate and 9.9% walk rate while showing elite riding life and swing-and-miss traits on his mid-90s fastball. 

A 6-foot-5, 230-pound righthander, Massey pitched better during the trials with Team USA than the final team. His stuff and performance were better than his 7.71 ERA on the final roster indicates. Massey pitched as much off his heavy-sweeping slider as his fastball this summer, and between his low-80s breaking ball and 92-96 mph fastball he generated a 50% overall miss rate.

8. Griff O’Ferrall, SS, Virginia

O’Ferrall was the first Virginia player to ever become a finalist for the Brooks Wallace Award, annually given out to the best college shortstop in the country. He hit .394/.452/.493 with one home run and 16 stolen bases for the Cavaliers in his second season, while providing steady defensive play at shortstop. That trend continued with Team USA. 

O’Ferrall ranked second in hitting for the CNT and slashed .463/.511/.659 with the final roster. Overall between scrimmages and games he hit .436/.492/.600 with six walks and six strikeouts. O’Ferrall is not toolsy, but he does almost everything well, with a solid approach, a line-drive swing and solid actions and an exchange up the middle. He lacks power and speed, and he doesn’t have the arm to make tough plays in the hole with consistency, but he’ll convert all the routine plays and is a steady performer. 

9. Malcolm Moore, C, Stanford

Moore was one of the best hitters in the 2022 high school class, and he lived up to his offensive reputation as a Stanford freshman by hitting .311/.386/.564 with 15 home runs. A big, physical lefthanded hitter, Moore is listed at 6-foot-1, 215 pounds and employs a unique offensive setup. He has an extremely open stance and only comes back to a neutral position during his load. That can cause timing issues, especially when he is late getting his front foot down, but he does have impressive strength and fast hands.

Moore went 7-for-32 with Team USA between scrimmages and games, hitting .219/.265/.375 with seven strikeouts and two walks. He takes big swings and is overly aggressive at times, and there are also some pure contact questions. He’s more of a power-over-hit bat. On top of that, Moore needs to improve his receiving and blocking, though he has a plus arm that would be an asset at the position and allow his lefthanded power to profile if he can stick behind the plate. 

10. Drew Beam, RHP, Tennessee

Beam has been one of the most consistent and reliable starters in the country over the last two seasons with Tennessee. He has posted a 3.20 ERA over 17 starts and 84.1 innings, with a 22.6% strikeout rate and 6.6% walk rate. A 6-foot-4, 208-pound righthander, Beam throws from a three-quarters slot, and while he has a bit of length to his arm stroke, he repeats his delivery consistently and regularly spots his fastball in the zone. 

Beam has a deep pitch mix but mostly worked off of a mid-90s fastball that touched 97 mph and a low-80s breaking ball this summer. He creates a downhill angle with his fastball and generates a decent number of ground outs. His slurvy breaking ball was a swing-and-miss pitch to both lefties and righties thanks more to his feel to land the pitch than any elite movement or hard breaking life. Beam has also thrown a solid changeup and cutter. 

Download our app

Read the newest magazine issue right on your phone