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2024 MLB Mock Draft 5.0: Updated First-Round Picks After College World Series


Draft month is here and there are just two weeks to go until we find out who’s picked first in a chaotic 2024 draft class

Despite the the looming draft, there’s been no significant change in the uncertainty at the top of the class. Perhaps an impact of the later draft date is teams having fewer opportunities to “scout the scouts” at games to get intel on who’s targeting who. Even so, with the amateur season largely wrapped up, teams are busy finalizing draft boards.

Among the teams picking inside the top 10, it feels like there are more players being considered at this point compared to a typical draft. Less clarity about what’s happening up top means teams picking behind need to cast their nets wider than usual. While there is a group of 10 players that most of the industry expects to lead off the draft, five college players continue to surface more consistently than the rest: Charlie Condon, Travis Bazzana, JJ Wetherholt, Jac Caglianone and Chase Burns.

Much of what I was hearing two weeks ago remains the same buzz I’m hearing today, so our Mock Draft 5.0 looks fairly similar to our previous version. I want to avoid switching players just for the sake of it, but I also don’t want a repetition of player/team pairings to signal any extra confidence in the pick. This is simply my best guess for how things could play out as it stands today. 

1. Guardians — JJ Wetherholt, SS, West Virginia

No changes here from last week. Some in the industry continue to think Wetherholt is the pick, though I’m fairly confident Cleveland has a decent-sized pool of players they’re considering as they figure out the best ways to work through their draft board. Oregon State’s Travis Bazzana is possible, as is Georgia’s Charlie Condon, who is younger than both middle infielders and could grade out fairly well in Cleveland’s model. Jac Caglianone and Konnor Griffin both get linked with Cleveland, but both feel less likely to me at the moment. 

2. Reds — Charlie Condon, OF, Georgia

It sounds like the Reds are considering each of the five college players I mentioned above. Condon, Caglianone and Burns look like the favorites of the group with the smaller middle infielders Wetherholt and Bazzana a bit further back, but certainly still in consideration. I’ve consistently heard the Reds linked with hitters more than pitchers, so I’ll stick with the top player on our draft board in Condon.

3. Rockies — Chase Burns, RHP, Wake Forest

The read on the Rockies is consistent from last week, with this feeling like the most likely landing spot for a pitcher of any the teams picking inside the top five. It sounds like Colorado is interested in both Condon and Caglianone, too. In this scenario Cags is available, but I’ve heard the Burns/Rockies connection too much to not pull the trigger. 

4. A’s — Travis Bazzana, 2B, Oregon State

There have been a lot of college names linked with the A’s. Whichever bats don’t go before should be in play here, with Bazzana being the best available in this scenario. It sounds like this could be the first realistic landing spot for Texas A&M outfielder Braden Montgomery, though I’m assuming that would be on an underslot deal. There are fewer mentions of either of the high school hitters with Oakland, and while Kurtz was mentioned earlier in the process for them, I haven’t heard that link quite as much recently. 

5. White Sox — Jac Caglianone, 1B/LHP, Florida

Things could open up with the White Sox, as I’ve heard both hitting and pitching profiles linked to them. It’s mostly college names, though it does sound like the club could be interested in Konnor Griffin. I’m guessing a college player they like will be available here though, whether that’s Wetherholt if he doesn’t go No. 1 or, in this scenario, Caglianone. Caglianone’s floor seems quite a bit higher than fellow first baseman Nick Kurtz at this stage, and a strong finish to his season in front of plenty of decision-makers seems to have paid off for him. 

6. Royals — Bryce Rainer, SS, Harvard-Westlake HS, Studio City, Calif.

I’m making my first change from last week’s mock with the Royals going with Rainer instead of Hagen Smith (who I still think the Royals like quite a bit). The trio of Rainer, Smith and Griffin feel like the current favorites at this spot given how the board has panned out. I think the team could be intrigued with Caglianone if he were available, and I’ve heard Montgomery linked to the Royals recently, though he seems a lot less likely to me than all of the other names I’ve mentioned.

7. Cardinals — Hagen Smith, LHP, Arkansas

I don’t have Smith falling too far in this mock, with Rainer and Smith basically just flipped from the last version. It sounds like the Cardinals would be interested in either of the top two college arms if they’re available, and it would be hard to rule out Griffin, Montgomery or Nick Kurtz with this pick, as well.

8. Angels — Christian Moore, 2B, Tennessee

The Angels are consistently tied to fast-moving college bats (gee, I wonder why), and both Montgomery and Kurtz are available here from the top tier of players. However, no player did better for himself in the college world series than Christian Moore, and he could potentially fit the bill as both a fast-moving player and an underslot option (though, he won’t last too much longer after this if this isn’t the pick). One name that was surprising to hear with the Angels is prep lefthander Cam Caminiti. The Angels had some heavy hitters in to see Caminiti’s last start, and he might be a real consideration for this pick even though his profile would be a real change of pace from what the Angels have done in recent years.

9. Pirates — Braden Montgomery, OF, Texas A&M

There’s a lot of noise about the Pirates scouting up the top two high schoolers pretty heavily. Griffin is still on the board in this scenario, but so is Montgomery and Kurtz, both of whom they have been linked to. If Montgomery doesn’t get taken by Oakland, Kansas City or St. Louis, this feels like one of his most likely homes inside the top 10. 

10. Nationals — Konnor Griffin, OF/SS, Jackson Prep, Flowood, Miss. 

In this scenario, the Nationals have their pick of two starkly different profiles left from the top tier of 10 players: Huge upside, tools and athleticism with Konnor Griffin or a polished college hitter with a first base profile in Nick Kurtz. The former is definitely more of what the Nationals have done in the past, and it sounds like Washington has scouted the Rainer/Griffin duo as heavily as any team. ECU righthander Trey Yesavage could make some sense here if they want an arm. 

11. Tigers — Cam Caminiti, LHP, Saguaro HS, Scottsdale, Ariz.

The Tigers continue to be heavily linked to Caminiti, and I see no real reason to move off this pick even with Nick Kurtz sliding out of the top 10 in this scenario. It sounds like Caminiti has really popped on a number of teams’ models, and he remains the favorite to be the first high school pitcher off the board.

12. Red Sox — Vance Honeycutt, OF, North Carolina

It’s the same group of names for the Red Sox as in the previous mock. That includes Honeycutt, Christian Moore (if he were available), Trey Yesavage (if the team wants to go with a pitcher), or others like James Tibbs III, Cam Smith and Carson Benge. It does seem like Honeycutt’s floor could be lower than all of the other hitters mentioned here, but I think this is a real landing spot. Would Boston pass on Kurtz if he were available here given the presence of Triston Casas? I’m not sure. 

13. Giants — Nick Kurtz, 1B, Wake Forest

I’m guessing Kurtz doesn’t get much further than this if he is to slide out of the top 10, but at the moment, he is the player that seems most likely to fall out if there’s a surprise name that jumps up. This feels like a great outcome for San Francisco considering Kurtz’ hitting ability, batting eye and power potential. Others that could make sense include Caminiti, Yesavage and college bats like James Tibbs III, Cam Smith, Carson Benge, Seaver King and Vance Honeycutt. 

14. Cubs — James Tibbs III, OF, Florida State

College performers are tied to the Cubs most commonly, and the best available of that phylum of player is Tibbs III, who has a chance to go as high as No. 8 and probably won’t last too long beyond this pick. This feels like the high-water point for someone like Malcolm Moore, who would be the first catcher off the board if he was the selection here in this scenario (something I wouldn’t have expected and am not sure is too likely).

15. Mariners — Trey Yesavage, RHP, East Carolina

As mentioned in my previous mock, I believe this is close to the floor for Yesavage. If Yesavage is gone and the Mariners want an arm, I think the No. 4 college arm on the board, Jurrangelo Cijntje, is a real option here. Other names that make sense include Slade Caldwell, Carson Benge, Cam Smith and Seaver King. I’m still not sure if Brody Brecht would be a fit this high or not. He is gaining some steam late in the process, but I’m not sure it’s quite this high. 

16. Marlins — Carson Benge, OF/RHP, Oklahoma State

Will it be back-to-back years where our mock draft world is fooled by rumors of a college hitter rumors to Miami? It Maybe, but that’s the commonly talked about profile for the Marlins and it’s also the best available profile on the board in this scenario with players like Benge, Cam Smith, Seaver King and Caleb Lomavita also still available. Does Ryan Waldschmidt fit into that tier of hitters? He might, though I haven’t heard him linked to the Marlins specifically. 

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

Smith has action throughout the teens, and it doesn’t seem like he should be on the board too much longer than this given his impressive season and physical tools. If not Smith, other college bats like King, Benge, Lomavita and Honeycutt could make sense. William Schmidt also makes sense for the Brewers (but it sounds like not with this pick), and on the college side, this is starting to become Jurrangelo Cijntje territory. So, there are a lot of options for Milwaukee here.

18. Rays — Jurrangelo Cijntje, BHP, Mississippi State

It’s always difficult for me to rule out a single demographic for the Rays. I think they’ll simply take whoever they view is the best player on the board regardless of perceived risk for the demographic. Their somewhat surprising Xavier Isaac first-round pick from 2022 is looking pretty good right about now. Cijntje fits here on talent, as do all of the college hitters on the board in this range. High school hitters like Slade Caldwell and Theo Gillen might start to come in play more around this spot on the board, too.

19. Mets — Seaver King, SS/OF, Wake Forest

I’ve mentioned King in a number of spots before this pick, and I think there’s a reasonable chance he doesn’t make it here. I’m not sure I see him lasting too far into the 20s, so it’s as good a time as any to get him off the board. Carson Benge is a name I’ve heard tied to the Mets, and power bats like Tommy White, Billy Amick, Dakota Jordan and Vance Honeycutt might make some sense, as well. 

20. Blue Jays — Caleb Lomavita, C, California

I’ll stick with Lomavita here, just as in our previous mock. I’m still expecting him to go somewhere in the middle of the first round, most likely starting around 15 and perhaps getting into the early 20s. It sounds like this could be another potential landing spot for Malcolm Moore, and players like Tommy White and Billy Amick could fit, as well. Later names for the Blue Jays could include Cole Mathis, Bryce Meccage and Canadian prep catcher Nathan Flewelling.

21. Twins — Theo Gillen, SS, Westlake HS, Austin, Tex.

This is more of a talent fit for the Twins than a specific Theo Gillen link to them. I think Gillen’s likely range of outcomes is anywhere throughout the 20s. Billy Amick could be a fit here, but they might have a shot to get him with their next pick in the supplemental round, too. I wonder if they would take a shot on William Schmidt, though that one also feels more likely with their second pick.

22. Orioles — Brody Brecht, RHP, Iowa

Brecht has been getting some late helium. He’s a player some teams in this range are out on for their first selection, while others are more willing to take on the high-risk nature of his profile. The Orioles have been hitter-heavy in the first round, but that could change with them picking in the 20s now. If they do go pitching with this pick, I think it’ll be a college arm. There’s not another college arm that makes more sense than Brecht here. Malcolm Moore or Kaelen Culpepper could be fits here, too.

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

While there are some teams in front of the Dodgers who seem intrigued with Schmidt, this seems to be the earliest he’s likely to come off the board. There’s a decent chance he gets paid overslot in the supplemental round if he isn’t the pick here. I think Honeycutt would be a great fit here if he’s still somehow on the board given the Dodgers hitting development (this would also be true of the Orioles one spot ahead). But the Dodgers are also linked to tons of preps including Kash Mayfield, Luke Dickerson, Kellon Lindsey and Slade Caldwell. With no second round pick and the second smallest bonus pool of any team, don’t rule the Dodgers out for a curveball here.  

24. Braves — Ryan Waldschmidt, OF, Kentucky

Carson Benge, Jurrangelo Cijntje and Ryan Waldschmidt are players commonly linked with the Braves. In this scenario, only one of that trio is still available, so Waldschmidt remains the pick with Atlanta. This is a specific situation where it’s worth pointing out that, despite Waldschmidt being the pick with the Braves for three straight mock drafts, my confidence in him being the name isn’t any higher. It’s simply a pick that makes sense in a range where teams expect Waldschmit to come off the board. 

25. Padres — Kash Mayfield, LHP, Elk City (Okla.) HS

Just like the previous mock, it’s been all high school profiles linked to San Diego. Any of the prep pitchers slated to go in the 20s make sense (Schmidt, Mayfield, Ryan Sloan), as do most of the high school hitters in this range (Gillen, Slade Caldwell, Kellon Lindsey, Luke Dickerson, Wyatt Sanford). 

26. Yankees — Luke Dickerson, SS, Morris Knolls HS, Rockaway, N.J.

The Yankees are one of a handful of teams who seem to have a lot of interest in Dickerson, who is this year’s Jackson Merrill/Sammy Stafura, Northeast/mid-Atlantic prep profile who gained tons of steam later in the process. Based on the number of teams linked heavily to Dickerson, it sounds like he might not get back to the Yankees’ next pick at 53 if they pass on him here. Big power profiles like Tommy White, Billy Amick and Dakota Jordan could make sense, as well. 

27. Phillies — Ryan Sloan, RHP, York HS, Elmhurst, Ill.

The Phillies are another team linked with Kash Mayfield, but he’s not on the board in this scenario. Ryan Sloan is, and a few weeks ago there was some chatter that he could go off the board as high as 15-20, so it’s hard to imagine him staying on the board much longer. Philadelphia is one of the teams who will take a shot on a high school arm in the first round. Brody Brecht could make sense if he’s still on the board.

28. Astros — Tommy White, 3B, LSU

Tommy White should have realistic options starting in the back of the teens into the 20s. Falling to 28 feels like reasonable value for one of college baseball’s premier sluggers, even if he does have some defensive profile questions. Perhaps Houston would prefer going with a college catcher in Malcolm Moore or Walker Janek, and there are a few high school shortstops who are starting to seem more likely to come off the board around this range, too, like Kellon Lindsey, Wyatt Sanford, Carter Johnson and Tyson Lewis. I started hearing more buzz about high school first baseman/outfielder PJ Morlando in recent days (maybe his draft combine BP was just that loud), and Houston is one of the teams linked to him (though I am not sure if it’s for this pick).

29. D-backs — Walker Janek, C, Sam Houston State

Janek could come off the board as many as 10 spots in front of this pick, but there’s been some chatter about him maybe slipping down the board a bit. This would be as good a landing spot for him as any in the back third of the first round considering Arizona’s huge bonus pool. Janek is probably the best defensive catcher in the draft. If Kash Mayfield is availabl, he could be a fit here, and I think Arizona could also be a team that makes sense for Luke Dickerson if he’s still available.

30. Rangers — Malcolm Moore, C, Stanford

Moore has a few potential landing spots in front of this pick, but the 28-38 range feels like a more realistic expectation for where he is going to go based on his season and some questions about how likely he is to stick at catcher. The Rangers are one of the teams linked with him. There are a lot of players linked to the Rangers that I expect to be off the board at this pick, including Jurrangelo Cijntje, Caleb Lomavita and Theo Gillen.

31. D-backs — Kellon Lindsey, SS, Hardee HS, Wauchula, Fla.

Lindsey could go as high as the late teens, but the late 20s or supplemental first round feels more realistic at this point given some of the names that have more steam ahead of him. 

32. Orioles — Kaelen Culpepper, SS, Kansas State

I’ve continued to hear the Orioles like Culpepper, so he remains the pick in this latest mock. 

33. Twins — Billy Amick, 3B, Tennessee

As mentioned with the Twins first pick, I think there’s some interest with Amick, and he could fit in this range of the board. It’ll be interesting to see how closely Amick and fellow college third baseman Tommy White wind up being selected.

34. Brewers — Dakota Jordan, OF, Mississippi State

The Brewers could value Jordan’s extreme exit velocity data as much as any team, and taking him with their second pick might feel a bit more comfortable than doing it at 17. 

35. D-backs — Dasan Hill, LHP, Grapevine (Texas) HS

Hill is one of a number of high school pitchers who I could see in this range of the board. That includes Dax Whitney, Braylon Doughty and the two prep pitchers I have coming off the board just behind the D-backs. 

36. Guardians — Slade Caldwell, OF, Valley View HS, Jonesboro, Ark.

Sorry Guardians fans: It’s the same two players in this mock as the last time. I just think both players make sense for a lot of reasons with these picks. There’s a real chance Caldwell’s not available, but given the nature of this class, I’m confident there will be someone Cleveland likes to push an overslot deal to.

37. Pirates — Bryce Meccage, RHP, The Pennington (N.J.) HS

Like the pick before, this one is status quo from last week. 

38. Rockies — Jonathan Santucci, LHP, Duke

Make it three in a row for similar names with similar picks.

39. Royals — David Shields, LHP, Mt. Lebanon HS, Pittsburgh

There are a number of high school pitching profiles I think make sense for Kansas City at this spot. In the last mock, the player was Dax Whitney, but I think the lefthander Shields could be more likely for the Royals.

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