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2024 MLB Draft Combine Day One: 10 Standouts, Data Leaders & More


Image credit: Tyler Bell (Photo by Bill Mitchell)

The first day of the 2024 MLB Draft combine kicked off on Tuesday, as some of the top-ranked players in the country descended on Chase Field in Phoenix for on-field workouts, team meetings, athletic testing and medical imaging. 

In terms of on-field action, day one consists of batting practice, infield and outfield workouts, bullpens and an evening high school showcase game. Below are data leaderboards from the day as well as 10 standout performers to know about. You can also check out our MLB Draft combine conversation on the latest Hot Sheet show.

Statcast Standouts

Bullpen Velocity (mph)
  1. Trey Gregory-Alford, 99.7
  2. Jason Flores, 95.7
  3. Daniel Eagen, 95.7
  4. Ryan Ure, 95.6
  5. Janzen Keisel, 95.4
Bullpen IVB (inches)
  1. Luke Sinnard, 21.2
  2. Janzen Keisel, 21.1
  3. Roman Kimball, 21.0 
  4. Sam Stuhr, 18.9
  5. Noah Franco, 18.4
Bullpen Spin Rate (rpm)
  1. Cade Obermueller (SL), 3032
  2. Luke Sinnard (CT), 2867
  3. Janzen Keisel (CT), 2796
  4. Roman Kimball (CB), 2757
  5. Noah Franco (CB), 2721
Batting Practice Average Exit Velocity (mph)
  1. PJ Morlando, 106.35
  2. Myles Bailey, 103.52
  3. Kale Fountain, 103.29
  4. Carter Mathison, 102.11
  5. Griffin Burkholder, 101.88
Batting Practice Max Exit Velocity (mph)
  1. Jared Jones, 113.4
  2. Chase Harlan, 112.4
  3. PJ Morlando, 111.7
  4. Myles Bailey, 111.7
  5. Griffin Burkholder, 110.2
Batting Practice Max ProjectedDistance (feet)
  1. Chase Harlan, 453.4
  2. Jared Jones, 452.3
  3. PJ Morlando, 445.2
  4. Myles Bailey, 439.5
  5. Carter Mathison, 436.3

10 MLB Draft Combine Standouts

PJ Morlando, 1B/OF, Summerville (S.C.) HS

There was no batting practice session more impressive than Morlando’s on the first day of this year’s combine. The slugging lefthanded hitter launched the first two balls he swung at out of Chase Field to the pull side and homered multiple times in each of his rounds of BP. It was a terrific display for one of the better power-hitting prospects in this year’s draft class. Perhaps it’s a reminder that being a “bat-first” prospect isn’t a bad thing when you’ve got this sort of bat speed and power upside. 

In an event that allows high school hitters to hit with wood in a major league park right beside college hitters two or three times their senior, Morlando’s power display was the most impressive of the field. He deposited a number of balls deep into the seats beyond the right field fence and well over 400 feet. His 106.4 mph average exit velocity was the best of the field by a wide margin. His max exit velocity of 111.7 mph was tied for third (alongside Myles Bailey).

Tyler Bell, SS, Lincoln-Way East HS, Frankfort, Ill.

Bell had one of the most well-rounded workout days of the position players. He had impressive defensive actions at shortstop in the in-and-out session and a loud few rounds of batting practice as well. Bell uses an even setup in the box with a small leg kick, a slight hand press in his load and an uphill bat path from both sides of the plate. From the right side he hit plenty of sharp line drives up the middle. He then let it fly a bit more after switching over to the left side, homering multiple times to the pull side. I cam away preferring the lefty swing in this look, though both were solid. 

Bell’s defensive effort at shortstop was one of the more impressive as well. He’s a twitchy defender with active footwork who took solid angles to the ball and showed reliable hands and solid arm strength. Bell can drop down his arm slot and throw from a more traditional slot depending on the situation. He did a nice job getting behind a backhand in the hole with a quick exchange and strong throw across the diamond after setting his feet towards the bag on one ground ball. On his second ground ball in the hole, Bell fielded on the run while moving to third base and made a quick exchange and low-slot throw while moving away from the bag with accuracy and surprising strength given his position on the play. His athleticism, arm strength and body control were all standout traits.

Trey Gregory-Alford, RHP, Coronado HS, Colorado Springs, Col.

Gregory-Alford’s pure stuff was the loudest of the 13 pitchers who threw bullpens on day one of the combine—perhaps an unsurprising outcome given his massive arm talent. He was the only pitcher to touch triple digits in his outing, which he did when firing back on his final fastball of the session, but his fastball is better than simply being a hard heater. While he didn’t throw a fastball slower than 95 in this quick look, the pitch features hard, turbo-sinking action that should break plenty of bats in the future. Gregory-Alford was responsible for the seven hardest fastballs of the day. No other pitcher topped the 95.8 mph mark that he lived above.

Gregory-Alford also mixed in a tight, two-plane breaking slider in the 83-84 mph range that looked like it could be a plus pitch, threw a harder breaking ball at 86 mph that was classified as a cutter on the D-backs’ scoreboard and threw a few hard 91-92 mph changeups. He was a bit scattered with each of his offerings but in terms of pure power and “wow” stuff? Gregory-Alford is your guy on day one. 

Kellon Lindsey, SS, Hardee HS, Wauchula, Fla.

Lindsey was the highest-ranked player on BA’s draft board to take part in on-field action on day one. In batting practice he showed a relaxed operation in the box with good rhythm and a level, line drive stroke. He did sneak a home run over the left field fence that just barely got out of the yard. Lindsey instead stands out for his balance and bat-to-ball skills. It’s common to see hitters leak out and get pull-heavy in events like this, but Lindsey showed impressive balance and used both gaps with a natural hitting stroke and an adjustable barrel in the zone.

Defensively he was also one of the standouts of the first day, with some of the most obvious shortstop actions of the group. He’s fluid while moving around the dirt and gets rid of the ball rapidly, with an ease of operation and low-effort, graceful style that screams shortstop in the long run. He never unleashed the biggest throw across the diamond but his exchange and ability to throw from multiple arm angles and from multiple positions on the field—with accuracy—was impressive.

Smith Bailey, RHP, Mountain Ridge HS, Glendale, Ariz.

Bailey had the most dominant single inning of any pitcher in the high school showcase game Tuesday afternoon. He struck out the side and generated nine whiffs while showing swing-and-miss traits with three different pitches. Bailey has a large 6-foot-6 frame with an extended arm action and a bit of tilt in his leg lift before firing from a three-quarters slot.

He pounded the zone with a fastball that sat 94-95 mph for an inning and got three whiffs with the pitch in his first at-bat for strikeout No. 1. Against his second batter he elicited a swing-and-miss with an 80 mph slider and doubled, then tripled down on the pitch for another three-whiff at-bat and strikeout with the breaking ball. For good measure he collected a pair of whiffs on an 86-87 mph changeup against his third batter, with an additional fastball whiff mixed in, to slam the door on the most impressive outing of the day. 

Jared Jones, 1B, LSU

Jones has already made his reputation as one of college baseball’s most impressive sluggers and three-true-outcome hitters. His batting practice on day one was electric and showed his better than plus raw power. He’s an extra-large hitter with tons of strength throughout his frame, which features plenty of well-developed musculature throughout his lower half and across his chest and arms. 

Jones has a relatively simple operation at the plate with a relaxed, leaned-back setup that several LSU hitters have used in their pre-load phases before taking his hands to the ball with an uphill path and little or no stride in his lower half. He homered into the center field batter’s eye and pulled a few towering balls to the pull side as well. He led all hitters with a 113.4 mph max exit velocity and a projected 452.3 foot homer was the second-farthest hit ball of the day. 

Daniel Eagen, RHP, Presbyterian

Eagen’s bullpen wasn’t quite as overpoweringly loud as Gregory-Alford’s but he showed better pure pitching ability and solid feel to land a four-pitch mix. Eagen sat in the 92-95 mph range in this look and touched 96 mph at peak while mixing in an 86-88 mph changeup, 81-82 mph curveball and 85-86 mph slider with 10-to-4 shape. It was a polished, pro-looking bullpen that highlighted the depth of his arsenal and the improved control he’s developed in his college career.

Christian Chatterton, RHP, Brooks HS, Kilien, Ala.

Chatterton worked a 1-2-3 inning with a pop out and a pair of strikeouts while showing off a four-pitch mix including one of the most intriguing pitches of the high school game: his mid-70s screwball-esque changeup. The pitch featured around an average of 20 mph of separation from his fastball in the 74-77 mph range (compared to a 93-95 mph fastball) and had tons of tumbling life and arm-side fade that gave it a screwball appearance at times and buckled the legs of lefthanded hitters on multiple occasions.

In addition to the fastball/changeup combination Chatterton threw an upper-70s curveball with solid depth and finish. He also flashed a mid-80s slider with short breaking movement. 

Ivan Luciano, C, El Shaddai Christian Academy, Dorado, P.R.

Luciano is one of the top-ranked Puerto Rican prospects in the class. He had a standout game as a defender behind the plate and as a lefthanded hitter. Luciano went 2-for-2 with a double, single and a walk in his three trips to the plate. His best plate appearance was his third, when he got a 92-mph fastball and hit a sharp, opposite field ground ball that came off his bat at 88 mph. For a prospect with a glove-first reputation, it was a solid day at the plate. 

Defensively he showed off his big arm and caught a runner stealing at second base with a pop time of 1.89 seconds, which is a plus poptime. 

JD Dix, SS, Whitefish Bay (Wis.) HS

Dix is a top-100 ranked prospect in the class and flashed his ability on both sides of the ball in the high school game. He went 1-for-3 with a single, a lineout and a strikeout but his at-bat quality was better than his surface-level results. In his first trip to the plate Dix drove a 92 mph fastball the other way on a line at 100 mph off the bat for a line out, then struck out looking against an 84 mph slider in his second trip to the plate. He once again showed his knack for driving the ball to the opposite field in his third trip to the plate, though earned a single on this occasion after lining a first-pitch 95 mph fastball the other way to left.

While playing second base he made a highlight reel diving grab up the middle to rob Samuel Richardson of a hit after he shot a rocket—109 mph exit velocity—back up the middle.

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