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2024 MLB Draft: Baseball America Staff Draft V 3.0


Image credit: (Photo by David C. Griffin/Getty Images)

We’re a week away from the 2024 draft. 

With the event on the horizon we’re excited to bring you our final staff draft of the season, the third version of this piece for the class. Like always, this is a reminder that the staff draft is not a mock draft. We’re not attempting to project how the actual draft will play up, but rather drafting players we would personally select if we were calling the shots for a big league club. 

Six writers participated in this exercise: Ben Badler, Mark Chiarelli, Carlos Collazo, JJ Cooper, Peter Flaherty and Geoff Pontes.


Baseball America Staff Draft Results

11GuardiansJJCharlie CondonOFGeorgia1
21RedsMarkTravis Bazzana2BOregon State2
31RockiesGeoffJJ WetherholtSSWest Virginia3
41AthleticsPeterHagen SmithLHPArkansas6
51White SoxBenChase BurnsRHPWake Forest4
61RoyalsCarlosNick Kurtz1BWake Forest8
71CardinalsJJJac Caglianone1BFlorida5
81AngelsMarkKonnor GriffinOF/SSJackson Prep, Flowood, Miss.9
91PiratesGeoffTrey YesavageRHPEast Carolina11
101NationalsPeterBraden MontgomeryOFTexas A&M7
111TigersBenCarson BengeOFOklahoma State17
121Red SoxCarlosBryce RainerSSHarvard-Westlake HS, Studio City, Calif.10
131GiantsJJChristian Moore2BTennessee14
141CubsMarkJames Tibbs III1B/OFFlorida State12
151MarinersGeoffSlade CaldwellOFValley View HS, Jonesboro, Ark.19
161MarlinsPeterWalker JanekCSam Houston State20
171BrewersBenCam Smith3BFlorida State16
181RaysCarlosTheo GillenSSWestlake HS, Austin, Tex.23
191MetsJJVance HoneycuttOFNorth Carolina13
201Blue JaysMarkJurrangelo CijntjeSHPMississippi State24
211TwinsGeoffRyan WaldschmidtOFKentucky33
221OriolesPeterRyan SloanRHPYork HS, Elmhurst, Ill.26
231DodgersBenWilliam SchmidtRHPCatholic HS, Baton Rouge, La.21
241BravesCarlosSeaver KingSS/OFWake Forest15
251PadresJJCam CaminitiLHPSaguaro HS, Scottsdale, Ariz.22
261YankeesMarkBrody BrechtRHPIowa28
271PhilliesGeoffKash MayfieldLHPElk City (Okla.) HS25
281AstrosPeterCaleb LomavitaCCalifornia18
291D-backsBenBryce CunninghamRHPVanderbilt39
301RangersCarlosDax WhitneyRHPBlackfoot (Idaho) HS45
31PPID-backsJJLuke HolmanRHPLSU40
32PPIOriolesMarkKellon LindseySS/OFHardee HS, Wauchula, Fla.27
331CTwinsGeoffTyson LewisSSMillard West HS, Omaha, Neb.43
341SBrewersPeterBraylon DoughtyRHPChaparral HS, Temecula, Calif.47
351SD-backsBenPJ MorlandoOFSummerville (S.C.) HS52
361SGuardiansCarlosJD DixSSWhitefish Bay (Wis.) HS62
371SPiratesJJTommy White3BLSU30
381SRockiesMarkLuke DickersonSSMorris Knolls HS, Rockaway, N.J.56
391SRoyalsGeoffCaleb BonemerSSOkemos (Mich.) HS36

Pick-By-Pick Rationales

1. Guardians — Charlie Condon, OF, Georgia 

Writer: JJ

Rationale: This is a fun decision to make, but I’ll make it simple. Charlie Condon led the nation in batting average and home runs in 2024 coming off winning freshman of the year in 2023. He has played multiple positions defensively and shown better than expected athleticism. His combination of upside and track record is 1-1 worthy.

2. Reds — Travis Bazzana, 2B, Oregon State 

Writer: Mark

Rationale: We’ve had Bazzana and Condon decidedly 1-2 for a while. There’s no reason to change it now. With Condon going first, I’ll happily scoop up Bazzana and hope the hitting machine jumps onto the fast track to Cincinnati. 

3. Rockies — JJ Wetherholt, SS, West Virginia  

Writer: Geoff

Rationale: Wetherholt has a legitimate claim at the 1-1 spot in the draft. Had it not been for an injury that kept him on the shelf for most of the season he’d likely have put up numbers in line with Condon and Bazzana. 

4. Athletics — Hagen Smith, LHP, Arkansas 

Writer: Peter

Rationale: I was ready to pounce on Wetherholt if Geoff didn’t take him, but I “settled” for Hagen Smith. I also debated taking Chase Burns and a couple of other college bats. The idea of having a lefthanded potential future ace with two arguably double-plus pitches—and a budding split-changeup—was too much to pass up.

5. White Sox — Chase Burns, RHP, Wake Forest 

Writer: Ben 

Rationale: A future rotation with Noah Schultz and Chase Burns? Giddyup. I would love it if one of Condon, Bazzana or Wetherholt were able to make it to me here, but I’m happy to get the best pitching prospect in the draft in this spot.

6. Royals — Nick Kurtz, 1B, Wake Forest 

Writer: Carlos

Rationale: I would have loved a shot at either of the top two college arms if they fell to me at six. With that not happening, I was looking at each of the final four remaining players in the top tier of the class. Hit questions ultimately made me pass on both of the high school hitters, and while Jac Caglianone’s raw power is tempting I simply feel more comfortable with Kurtz’ well-rounded offensive profile and pure hitting ability. Though I am not too thrilled about a college first baseman at pick No. 6.

7. Cardinals — Jac Caglianone, 1B, Florida 

Writer: JJ 

Rationale: In this staff draft, we’ll declare Caglianone as a first baseman and leave off the lefthander notation. That’s always a fallback option, but the goal for the Cardinals in this scenario will be to get Caglianone’s power to the big leagues as Paul Goldschmidt’s eventual replacement.

8. Angels — Konnor Griffin, OF/SS, Jackson Prep, Flowood, Miss. 

Writer: Mark 

Rationale: Things are pretty bleak up and down the Angels’ system, so I’ll take the toolshed and hope we can coax enough hitting ability out of him to become the next Angels superstar, even if it takes some time. 

9. Pirates — Trey Yesavage, RHP, East Carolina 

Writer: Geoff 

Rationale: You can argue Yesavage is the most complete starting pitching prospect in the draft. Yesavage has a plus fastball with elite induced vertical break markers and feel for his entire arsenal. 

10. Nationals — Braden Montgomery, OF, Texas A&M 

Writer: Peter 

Rationale: Montgomery, Rainer, Benge and Tibbs were the quartet of names I considered here and it was far from an easy pick. I wrestled with all four, but ended up going with Montgomery. A switch-hitter with plus power and explosive bat speed from both sides of the plate, an ever-improving hit tool and the best outfield arm in this year’s draft, Montgomery has a loud and enticing set of tools.

11. Tigers — Carson Benge, OF, Oklahoma State 

Writer: Ben 

Rationale: Can we start trading draft picks yet? We just passed the group of top-tier players in the draft (I don’t have Bryce Rainer in that category), so I would love to trade down and either have more picks later on or draft an equivalent talent in the 20s that I could get here. Christian Moore is the other playing I’m thinking about here, but Benge is one of the most advanced hitters available, with excellent contact skills and pitch recognition from the left side.

12. Red Sox — Bryce Rainer, SS, Harvard-Westlake HS, Studio City, Calif. 

Writer: Carlos 

Rationale: I considered Rainer with my first overall pick at No. 6, so I am happy to see him still available here at No. 12 overall. Coincidentally he fits with the exact player the Red Sox have taken in the past few years. I like the fact that I have a legitimate fallback pitching option if Rainer’s bat doesn’t pan out.

13. Giants — Christian Moore, 2B, Tennessee 

Writer: JJ 

Rationale: Moore has been one of the most productive hitters in college baseball this year with raw and productive power that compares to the picks at the top of the board. His defense at second is a little rough, but he’s being drafted for his bat.

14. Cubs — James Tibbs III, 1B/OF, Florida State

Writer: Mark 

Rationale: Tibbs has hit at every stop. Even with some defensive deficiencies, he feels most likely to make an impact offensively of the available college bats at this spot. 

15. Mariners — Slade Caldwell, OF, Valley View HS, Jonesboro, Ark. 

Writer: Geoff 

Rationale: A firecracker on the field, Caldwell is a hard-nosed grinder type with legitimate skills and athleticism. Despite an undersized frame, I think Caldwell might hit for average power at peak. His game is predicated on his hit tool, speed and instincts. 

16. Marlins — Walker Janek, C, Sam Houston State 

Writer: Peter 

Rationale: I have been beating the Caleb Lomavita drum this entire draft cycle, so my pick here might be surprising to some (‘sup, Carlos) but I ended up going with Janek. For my money’s worth, Janek is the best defensive catcher in the class and has above-average hit and power tools to boot. Like Lomavita, Janek is an advanced athlete who moves well behind the plate and runs well for a catcher.

17. Brewers — Cam Smith, 3B, Florida State 

Writer: Ben 

Rationale: The Brewers consistently go the college route and typically with a hitter for their top pick, so we’re staying consistent with that here. Smith has been highly productive college player with a mix of both contact and impact at Florida State.

18. Rays — Theo Gillen, SS, Westlake HS, Austin, Tex. 

Writer: Carlos 

Rationale: There’s a huge swath of players in consideration here. I thought about toolsy college players like Seaver King and Vance Honeycutt and switch pitcher Jurrangelo Cijnjte as well as at least three high school arms including Cam Caminiti, William Schmidt and Kash Mayfield. Ultimately, I am most excited about Theo Gillen’s hit/power combination and athleticism and I would regret passing him up here more than any of the others.

19. Mets — Vance Honeycutt, OF, North Carolina 

Writer: JJ 

Rationale: Honeycutt does have swing-and-miss concerns, but to get a player with this kind of power potential, athleticism and speed 19th overall seems like a well-measured risk.

20. Blue Jays — Jurrangelo Cijntje, SHP, Mississippi State 

Writer: Mark 

Rationale: The Blue Jays have drafted first-round high schoolers each of the last two years and my eyes were drawn to a couple prepsters including Ryan Sloan and Kellon Lindsey. Cijntje took off like a rocket ship this year, though, and I’m betting on that only continuing in pro ball. 

21. Twins — Ryan Waldschmidt, OF, Kentucky 

Writer: Geoff 

Rationale: One of the best athletes in the college class this year, Waldschmidt experienced a breakout season in 2024. He hit .333/.469/.610 with 14 home runs and is a hot name with teams in the back half of the draft. 

22. Orioles — Ryan Sloan, RHP, York HS, Elmhurst, Ill. 

Writer: Peter

Rationale: This is somewhat of a bold pick at 22, but Sloan has been a steady riser this spring. The physical righthander has an impressive arsenal that features a thunderous mid-to-high-90s fastball, a plus slider with no shortage of sharpness and an effective changeup. Sloan is also a solid strike-thrower and has traits that will help him stick in a rotation long term.

23. Dodgers — William Schmidt, RHP, Catholic HS, Baton Rouge, La. 

Writer: Ben 

Rationale: Schmidt has a pair of premium pitches in his high-octane fastball and a knockout curveball. If you wanted to go the college route for pitching, Bryce Cunningham would be another strong option here, but Schmidt has even a touch more velocity and superior breaking stuff.

24. Braves — Seaver King, SS/OF, Wake Forest 

Writer: Carlos 

Rationale: I’ll stop the Seaver King slide here and to be honest I prefer him to a few of the players who went off the board in front of him. This is good case study in why the first round will be so fascinating because the margins separating players are razor thin. King’s athleticism, speed, bat-to-ball skills and surprising thump for his size are an exciting package for an up-the-middle defensive profile. 

25. Padres — Cam Caminiti, LHP, Saguaro HS, Scottsdale, Ariz. 

Writer: JJ 

Rationale: I’m not trying to match needs in a staff draft like this, but I am trying to think of a team’s approach. San Diego is a team often willing to trade risk for upside. Getting Caminiti at this pick gives them a pitcher who has higher upside than many of the other candidates at this spot.

26. Yankees — Brody Brecht, RHP, Iowa 

Writer: Mark

Rationale: Clarke Schmidt was the Yankees’ last first-round pitcher back in 2017. Brecht’s strike-throwing is undoubtedly risky. But he also has electric stuff and if a team believes in their pitching development—and the Yankees should—he’s worth the gamble at this stage in the draft. 

27. Phillies — Kash Mayfield, LHP, Elk City (Okla.) HS 

Writer: Geoff 

Rationale: An older high school prospect, Schmidt transformed from a pitchability lefty to power pitcher during his draft spring. He’s now one of the higher upside arms among the prep pitching ranks this season. 

28. Astros — Caleb Lomavita, C, California 

Writer: Peter 

Rationale: I was pretty surprised to see Lomavita make it this far down the board, but as I mentioned above this pick should come as a surprise to nobody. Lomavita has plus power to the pull side, his hit tool has taken a step forward and he is an ultra-athletic catcher who defends well with an above-average arm. As a cherry on top, Lomavita has turned in above-average run times and could swipe 15+ bases each season.

29. D-backs — Bryce Cunningham, RHP, Vanderbilt 

Writer: Ben 

Rationale: There have been flashes of dominance mixed with some rocky outings for Cunningham, who has some of the best stuff of any pitcher still on the board. A lot of the college arms who will probably go in this range have a lot of red flags, and while Cunningham has some of his own, his skill set should translate better to pro ball.

30. Rangers — Dax Whitney, RHP, Blackfoot (Idaho) HS 

Writer: Carlos 

Rationale: I was eyeing up Caleb Lomavita for this pick as he continued to slide a bit further down the board than I expected. I think he would have been a great value if he made it all the way to 30 and a player the Rangers might actually love to see fall to them. With that not being an option I’ll go for a projectable righthander with traits that I love across the board in Dax Whitney. He’s got a great frame, solid athleticism, a loud four-pitch mix and solid control and delivery that screams starter to me. After missing Kash Mayfield in the 20s I’d like to land a prep arm with upside I’m really excited about. Whitney fits the bill.

31. D-backs — Luke Holman, RHP, LSU 

Writer: JJ 

Rationale: Holman seems like a high-floor pick, but I also am open to the possibility that there’s more in the tank here, as he could go from a reliable starter with solid stuff to an even better starter if can add more velocity.

32. Orioles — Kellon Lindsey, SS/OF, Hardee HS, Wauchula, Fla. 

Writer: Mark 

Rationale: The Orioles have had success with prep shortstops in this range before. I’m thrilled Lindsey makes it to No. 32 after the 80-grade runner emerged as one of the top prep names to know as a pop-up from the Florida ranks. 

33. Twins — Tyson Lewis, SS, Millard West HS, Omaha, Neb. 

Writer: Geoff 

Rationale: Lewis is the rare Nebraska prep prospect, as the state has just two top-three round picks since 2000. He’s an athletic shortstop with plus speed and above-average power. This is a gamble on a tooled up prep shortstop in the middle of the first day of the draft.

34. Brewers — Braylon Doughty, RHP, Chaparral HS, Temecula, Calif. 

Writer: Peter 

Rationale: I took Doughty in our last staff draft, and will happily do so again. There’s a lot to like with the California righthander. It’s a low-effort, repeatable delivery with no shortage of strikes with an impressive arsenal to boot. If it ends up working out like the staff draft and he ends up in Milwaukee, that is also a fun pairing from a developmental standpoint.

35. D-backs — PJ Morlando, OF, Summerville (S.C.) HS 

Writer: Ben 

Rationale: After going with college pitching for their first two picks, the D-backs go with one of the top high school hitters in the nation with Morlando. There’s huge bat speed, raw power and a long track record of hitting well in games as an amateur. Happy to get him here over some of the high school hitters who went earlier in this draft.

36. Guardians — JD Dix, SS, Whitefish Bay (Wis.) HS 

Writer: Carlos 

Rationale: I’m intrigued by the well-rounded profile that Dix offers as a smooth defender at shortstop and a switch-hitter who could become an above-average pure hitter with solid tools across the board.

37. Pirates — Tommy White, 3B, LSU 

Writer: JJ 

Rationale: White faces questions about his long-term defensive role, but I’ll bet on the bat and his consistent production seeing as he’s still on the board at pick 37.

38. Rockies — Luke Dickerson, SS, Morris Knolls HS, Rockaway, N.J. 

Writer: Mark 

Rationale: Dickerson is one of the bigger risers in recent weeks. Even if he doesn’t stick at shortstop, I’m enamored with the speed, athleticism and intriguing mixture of hit and power. 

39. Royals — Caleb Bonemer, SS, Okemos (Mich.) HS 

Writer: Geoff 

Rationale: Last summer Bonemer enjoyed a breakout party at PG National and is the next top-rated Michigan prep prospect to earn day one consideration. There’s questions around his hit tool but he has above-average power, speed and defensive skills. 

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