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2024 MLB Mock Draft 1.0: Charlie Condon, Jac Caglianone Make Strong Impressions


Welcome to the first in-season MLB mock draft for the 2024 class. 

The college season is just five weeks old. Many high school players in the northern parts of the country haven’t even started their season. But there’s already significant player movement and a drastically different looking mock draft than our first complete attempt in December

As we always mention at this stage of the calendar, it’s likely too early to feel confident in any specific player/team connections with four months still to go before the draft. Teams at the top always cast a wide net on targeted looks this far out. That is especially true in a wide open 2024 draft class.

A few players have made strong early-season pushes for the top spot, though. You can see how we have the first round playing out in mid-March below. Find our latest draft rankings here.

1. Guardians — Charlie Condon, INF/OF, Georgia

Condon has been on another planet in the first few weeks of the 2024 season. Through 21 games he has hit .521/.648/1.192 with 13 home runs, eight doubles and nearly twice as many walks (23) as strikeouts (12). Condon has a chance for a plus hit tool with 70-grade raw power which could be more than enough to make him the 1-1 pick in the 2024 draft class. The defensive versatility he’s shown early this season—which was the one key area for him to improve on in our preseason to-do list—won’t hurt either. He’s simply been the most dynamic player in the class. He has forced himself to the top of the draft board.

2. Reds — Jac Caglianone, LHP/1B, Florida

Caglianone is the most unique player in the class. He would be a first-round talent as a hitter and a pitcher if he only picked one side. The Reds feel like a team that would take a gamble on his impressive physicality, athleticism and upside despite some risks in his profile. He’s played well enough to fit as a top-three pick in the class. On the mound, he has posted a 1.77 ERA through four starts and 20.1 innings with 34 strikeouts and 13 walks while making a low-80s changeup a more prominent part of his arsenal. As a hitter, Caglianone has slashed .415/.489/.683 with seven home runs and most importantly has upped his walk rate and cut his strikeout rate. If he maintains that throughout SEC play, it’s hard to see him falling outside of the top five picks. At the moment Caglianone and Condon are favorites for SEC player of the year

3. Rockies — Travis Bazzana, 2B, Oregon State

Bazzana has been one of the hottest hitters at the top of the class not named Charlie Condon this spring. Through 18 games he’s hitting .429/.560/.843 with six home runs, 20 walks and 11 strikeouts. He seems to be hitting for more power this spring, which amplifies an offensive profile that was centered on some of the best contact ability in the class. He’s a strong athlete and should be able to handle second base, but he’s a good enough runner and throws from an unusual enough slot that some teams might want to experiment with him as a center fielder in pro ball. 

4. Athletics — Chase Burns, RHP, Wake Forest

In terms of pure arm talent, Burns is in an elite tier that basically includes Arkansas lefthander Hagen Smith and Iowa righthander Brody Brecht in this draft class. He pitched excellently in a highly-scouted matchup against Duke two weekends ago. On the season has a 2.08 ERA with a 48.7% strikeout rate and 10.4% walk rate. Burns has averaged 98 mph on his fastball so far, which is two ticks better than his 2023 average. He backs the 70-grade fastball with a double-plus slider and solid curveball and changeup. To this point it’s been a tightly contested battle for SP1 between Burns and Smith.

5. White Sox — Hagen Smith, LHP, Arkansas

Like Burns, Smith has come out of the gate strong this spring. He put together one of the best outings of the season in a week two effort against Oregon State where he struck out 17 batters in six shutout innings. Through five starts and 23 innings he has a 1.57 ERA with a silly 58.8% strikeout rate and 9.4% walk rate. He looks stronger and the delivery looks a bit cleaner in 2024. His fastball velocity is up three ticks to 96 mph on average, while his mid-80s slider has been a consistently plus weapon that likely earns some 70 grades. Smith has unique arm talent from the left side that currently puts him near the top of the draft board and a candidate to be the first pitcher selected.

6. Royals — Braden Montgomery, OF, Texas A&M

Montgomery is one of the rare switch-hitting bats that figures to go in the first round this year. He’s done a nice job on both sides of the plate early this season. The lefthanded swing might be better overall, but he has made plenty of impact from both sides. He offers a tantalizing power and OBP combination while profiling as a solid right fielder with top-of-the-scale arm strength. Montgomery has hit .380/.511/.831 with eight home runs, an 18.9% walk rate and a 15.6% strikeout rate in 19 games. He’s getting top-five pick buzz. 

7. Cardinals — Nick Kurtz, 1B, Wake Forest

Kurtz entered the season as the No. 2 player on the draft board and was one of the favorites to be the first player taken. He’s slid a bit after five weeks of the season thanks to more modest offensive production and a recent shoulder injury that is projected to keep him out at least three to four weeks. Through 17 games, Kurtz is hitting .241/.475/.444 with three home runs, a 30% walk rate and a 15% strikeout rate. As the focal point in Wake’s offense, Kurtz is getting pitched around more than previous seasons and he’s happy to stay within the zone and take his walks. Scouts still view him as a top-10 pick at this point because he was putting together quality at-bats consistently and looked like the hitter he was expected to be, but with a first base profile he’ll need to put up numbers to secure a top five pick when he comes back to the field. At this stage others in the class have looked more impactful. The recent injury news only clouds his draft stock.

8. Angels — JJ Wetherholt, 2B, West Virginia

Wetherholt played in just four games before suffering a hamstring injury that has kept him out since Feb. 19. He also dealt with a hamstring injury that limited him last summer with Team USA. When he’s been on the field he’s been one of the best—if not the best—pure hitters in the class. It’s hard to get a read on Wetherholt’s draft stock given his lack of playing time, but his profile hasn’t changed. I’d still expect him to be a top-10 pick even if he misses a significant chunk of time. The hitting traits are simply too good to ignore. Oregon State second baseman Nick Madrigal missed two months with a wrist injury during his draft year and still went No. 4 overall. While Wetherholt’s contact ability might not be as extreme as Madrigal’s, he provides considerably more physicality and power upside. If he comes back and continues raking it would be unsurprising to see him gone before this pick. 

9. Pirates — Konnor Griffin, OF/SS, Jackson Prep, Flowood, Miss.

There’s some thought that the eight players off the board before this pick are forming a top tier of sorts, though the group remains fairly nebulous. Truthfully, Griffin doesn’t feel like a Pirates sort of pick, but he might be the best player available in this mock. He’s looking like the clear favorite to be the first high school bat off the board by a decent margin. He offers considerable upside thanks to some of the best athleticism and raw tools in the class. Griffin would provide impact potential for a system built on pitching and contact-driven offensive profiles.

10. Nationals — Seaver King, SS/OF, Wake Forest

Griffin does feel like the sort of athletic, physical, tooled up player the Nationals have coveted in the past, though it’ll be interesting to see if their preferences change after a scouting department shakeup over the offseason. With Griffin gone, King can provide some of the best position player upside available thanks to his 70-grade running ability, twitchy bat speed and the athleticism to handle a number of premium positions. Of all the college hitters in the class, King’s 2024 performance could be the most important for his overall resume considering his first two years were spent with Division II Wingate.

11. Tigers — Caleb Lomavita, C, California

Lomavita entered the year in the back third of the first round and clustered with all the other top catchers in the class. But he might be pulling away from the pack and entering the 11-20 range thanks to a hot start. He’s hitting .361/.413/.708 with eight home runs through 17 games. Scouts have praised his defensive work behind the plate and admired his rare athleticism and speed for the position. His approach is overly aggressive at times, which could limit him, but the industry loves the college catching demographic. Most of his hitting peers still on the board either have significant hit tool questions or profile on the opposite side of the defensive spectrum.

12. Red Sox — Jonathan Santucci, LHP, Duke

Boston has one of the most hitter-heavy farm systems in the game. There’s some thought they could be targeting pitching in 2024 after taking bats in the first round for five straight drafts going back to 2018 (the team didn’t have a 2019 first round pick). If that’s the case, Duke southpaw Jonathan Santucci could be one of the best options available here. He had a fairly forgettable game in a highly-scouted matchup against Wake Forest two weeks ago, but he sits in the mid-90s with a riding fastball, shows a plus slider and has the makings of a solid changeup as well. If he keeps posting throughout the spring it’s hard to not see him going somewhere in the middle of the first round—or higher. 

13. Giants — Vance Honeycutt, OF, North Carolina

Honeycutt will be an enigma for teams because he has the best athletic and tools package of the college class. He’s a great defender in center field and through 19 games this spring he has hit .329/.441/.605 with six home runs and 12 stolen bases. Despite that production he’s been a slight down arrow prospect from his preseason No. 6 ranking because of hit tool concerns that still haven’t been alleviated. San Francisco drafted him in the 20th round out of high school, so perhaps they’d be excited to sign him here three years later.

14. Cubs — Jacob Cozart, C, NC State

Cozart continues a run of North Carolina college products in a great year for the state. Like Caleb Lomavita, he should benefit by being a college catcher who’s putting up offensive numbers. Through 15 games Cozart is slashing .351/.519/.649 with five home runs, a 25.3% walk rate and a 15.2% strikeout rate.

15. Mariners — Brody Brecht, RHP, Iowa

Brecht’s 19.1% career walk rate would represent a new high-water mark for college pitchers in the first round. Scouts believe his arm talent is enough to stomach it. Only Chase Burns and Hagen Smith have comparable arm talent in the class, and evaluators seem to think he’s not going to last too long—reliever questions or not. The Mariners have done an excellent job developing starters, though Brecht would represent a project different from George Kirby (coached at Elon by current Iowa pitching coach Sean McGrath who also worked as a pitching coach for the Mariners) and Logan Gilbert. This situation might be more similar to how the organization managed to coax more control out of Bryce Miller.

16. Marlins — Cam Smith, 3B, Florida State

Smith has a pro-ready body now with impressive raw power and arm strength to go with it. Last summer in the Cape Cod League, Smith did a nice job improving his approach and eye at the plate. So far this spring that’s still the case for the FSU third baseman. Smith is hitting .486/.558/.757 with a 16.3% strikeout rate that’s significantly lower than the 28.7% mark he managed as a freshman in 2023. If he maintains this contact throughout ACC play, he could continue to push up draft boards—though Smith and most of the players in the second half of this mock draft remain polarizing from team to team. 

17. Brewers — William Schmidt, RHP, Catholic HS, Baton Rouge, La.

Schmidt has added more velocity and been an up-arrow prospect this spring after entering it with loud expectations and day one draft stock. He’s now put himself in position to be the first prep arm off the board and he also has some of the best innate feel to spin the baseball in the class. That makes him as good a fit for the Brewers at this spot as any we could come up with on March 18 considering their penchant for high spin rate arms

18. Rays — Kaelen Culpepper, SS, Kansas State

Culpepper has been hitting fine in the first few weeks of the 2024 season, but he offers what few players in this class can: a chance to stick at shortstop. If you scan this mock draft you’ll find perhaps three or four players with realistic chances to stick at shortstop and of those a majority might still be better off at other positions. Culpepper’s defense has earned solid reviews after sliding to shortstop from third base. He has more than enough pure arm strength for the position and he’s an impressive athlete so he could continue to improve with more reps.

19. Mets — Tommy White, 3B, LSU

White is off to the worst start of his tremendous college career this season and because of that he’s falling down draft boards relative to a No. 10 ranking entering the year. Like Kurtz, he’s much more of a focal point in the offense this year. He’s hit just .313/.404/.500 with four home runs, a 9.6% walk rate and 9.6% strikeout rate through just one weekend of SEC play. Some scouts are already pushing him out of the first round entirely since he has such a bat-first profile. This placement is more with the expectation that he’ll turn things around and that some team will bet on his overall college production in the back of the first. Is Seth Beer (2018, 28th) really a first rounder but Tommy White isn’t? 

20. Blue Jays — Mike Sirota, OF, Northeastern

Sirota needs to perform for different reasons than some of the corner profiles in this mock draft. The Northeastern outfielder got off to a slow start and went 8-for-43 (.186) in his first 10 games of the season before stringing together four straight multi-hit games including a 4-for-5 effort against Bryant on March 13. His defensive ability and solid all-around toolset provides some sort of floor, but he feels more like a back of the first round pick currently than the potential top-10 pick we had him as to start the year.

21. Twins — Malcolm Moore, C, Stanford

Moore has started slowly this season. He’s hitting just .190/.325/.444 with five home runs but he has walked at a much higher clip early in the year (15.6%) compared to his full 2023 season (7%). There’s some thought among scouts that Moore would be a first-round pick even if he was a first baseman thanks to his raw power and ability to backspin the baseball. His chance to stick at catcher should make that decision easier for teams, though he will need to heat up to avoid falling down the board. 

22. Orioles — Billy Amick, 3B, Tennessee 

Unlike many players in this range, Amick has been skyrocketing this season. He has looked good as a hitter and a defender at third base and perhaps could be a good fit for a team who has valued exit velocity and done a nice job with hitters in general like the Orioles. Amick is slashing .361/.447/.819 with nine homers, a 16.5% strikeout rate and an 11.8% walk rate. 

23. Dodgers — Bryce Rainer, SS/RHP, Harvard-Westlake HS, Studio City, Calif.

Rainer might be the best shortstop in the 2024 draft class and there are scouts who prefer him on the mound. Whoever drafts and signs him will likely run him out as a hitter first since that appears to be Rainer’s preference. He certainly has the tools, athleticism and body to be an impact position player. Rainer has raw power that can play to all fields and arguably a 70-grade arm that would be an asset at either shortstop or third base (if he eventually out grows the position). The fact that he has multiple plus pitches on the mound with a shockingly easy delivery considering his pitching experience is just icing on the cake and a nice fallback option.

24. Braves — Ben Hess, RHP, Alabama

Hess was close to lights out this spring for Alabama through his first four starts before his most recent outing against Tennessee when he allowed four earned runs in 3.2 innings. Overall he has a 3.92 ERA through five starts and 20.2 innings with a 40.5% strikeout rate and 13.1% walk rate. His stuff has impressed southern scouts. They consistently put him somewhere in the back of the first round thanks to a fastball that sits in the mid 90s and can get near triple digits as well as a pair of solid breaking balls. He’s never thrown more than 36.1 innings in a season, so staying healthy and stacking frames are keys for him moving forward.

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

Caminiti will be a fascinating prospect to monitor because he checks a few boxes emphatically but has some real question marks in others. The fact that he’ll be 17 on draft day and one of the youngest players in the class is a good start, as is a mid-90s fastball that has been up to 98 with excellent life and 70-grade potential. However, he’s more of a pronator than supinator and his breaking stuff remains inconsistent. Teams that prioritize spinning a breaking ball might be more cautious. San Diego loves athletes and isn’t afraid of prep arms and Caminiti’s upside remains exciting. 

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

Morlando is perhaps the best pure hitter in a light high school class. In our preseason best tools balloting from MLB scouting directors he was voted first in pure hit tool and power, though a likely corner outfield or first base role means teams will have to have plenty of conviction on those offensive tools. This mock has him in the same spot as Red Sox first baseman Triston Casas from the 2018 draft. Boston drafted Casas as a third baseman with a reasonably similar profile before he eventually slid over to first.

27. Phillies — Trey Yesavage, RHP, East Carolina

Yesavage started the season in the comp or early second round range but after five weekends of consistent posting he’s moving up into the first round. He brings a solid blend of size, velocity, quality secondaries and strikes to the table that provide solid safety and reasonable impact potential. Through five starts and 30 innings Yesavage has posted a 1.20 ERA with 49 strikeouts and nine walks.

28. Astros — Slade Caldwell, OF, Valley View HS, Jonesboro, Ark.

Caldwell is going to inevitably be compared to current D-backs star Corbin Carroll given his size, well-rounded toolset and high-energy style of play on the field. The comp is not a perfect one, but scouts have been consistently positive about Caldwell’s pure baseball skills for the last full year or so. He’s got great contact skills, a solid approach at the plate, consistently turns in 70-grade run times and can more than handle his own as a center field defender. His overall profile feels similar to Padres No. 25 overall pick Dillon Head from the 2023 class.

29. D-backs — Caleb Bonemer, SS, Okemos (Mich.) HS

Bonemer was a standout during last summer’s showcase season and brings exciting power and speed tools with the athleticism to become a high-caliber defender at third base if and when he moves off shortstop. Some teams might prefer him more in the comp round, but it gets more difficult to find tools, hitting chops and a solid defensive profile all in one package at this point on the board.

30. Rangers — Kellon Lindsey, SS/OF, Hardee HS, Wauchula, Fla.

There are teams who would avoid picking a high school player with relatively little track record at big events or without enough evaluations from the entire scouting department to create a safe pick in the first round. The Rangers don’t feel like one of those teams to me. So a massive helium prospect this spring who provides elite athleticism, top-of-the-scale running ability, improving shortstop defense and bat-to-ball skills at the plate might be a profile they pop at No. 30. Lindsey could be that player and he’s getting this sort of buzz currently. 

Other players considered:

  • Drew Beam, RHP, Tennessee
  • Josh Hartle, LHP, Wake Forest
  • Luke Holman, RHP, LSU
  • Carter Johnson, SS, Oxford (Ala.) HS

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