Charlie Condon Named Baseball America’s 2024 College Baseball Player Of The Year


Image credit: (Photo by Eddie Kelly/ProLook Photos)

What Michelangelo was with a paintbrush, Georgia’s Charlie Condon is with a bat.

Perhaps that’s why the Bulldogs’ career home run leader approaches each at-bat as a new work of art, an opportunity to create a fresh offensive masterpiece every time he steps to the plate.

“I just look at each individual at-bat as a blank canvas,” Condon said. “It’s knowing that each individual at-bat is what it is—it’s its own thing. You can’t start looking at stats, trends, streaks, because those things start snowballing, whether it’s good or bad.”

Georgia head coach Wes Johnson, who has been around many special talents during his career in the Southeastern Conference, said Condon is the best college hitter he’s ever seen.

“His plate discipline, just his mind. He gets off his A-swing a lot.” Johnson said. “So it’s been a lot of fun to watch.”

Considering Johnson was the pitching coach for LSU last year and saw Dylan Crews—the No. 2 overall pick by the Nationals in 2023—that’s quite the statement.

“I’m talking about in the batter’s box too, right?” Johnson said. “I mean, obviously Dylan (Crews) is a very dynamic player. He is really a premium defender. He can run, as well. But you talk in the batter’s box, I haven’t had one better than Charlie Condon.”

A quick glance at the numbers corroborates Johnson’s point. It’s also why Condon is this year’s College Player of the Year.

Condon ranks first in Division I with a .433 batting average and 1.009 slugging percentage. He hit 37 home runs, which led the nation heading into the College World Series. Condon collected 100 hits, scored 84 runs and posted a .556 on-base percentage, all of which ranked top five nationally. He drove in 78 runs to rank 11th, though that standing was largely a function of him batting second for the Bulldogs.

Previous BA College Players of the Year

A Good Head On His Shoulders

Johnson said Condon’s mental approach to the game and willingness to take on challenges is what helped make him great.

“The great ones have this ability to expand their mind to uncomfortable levels and accept challenges,” said Johnson, who spent nearly four years as an MLB pitching coach for the Twins. “He’s got that. Paul Skenes had it, and I go to the guys I had in professional baseball—Carlos Correa, Sonny Gray, Luis Arraez, all those guys. They have this ability to take on more of a challenge.”

Georgia freshman outfielder Tre Phelps said the national attention hasn’t changed Condon’s team-first approach.

“He puts his team first, and that is only going to make his success shoot to levels he didn’t even know he could go to,” Phelps said. “It’s not just him having the success. That’s just what makes him a better person and player.”

Dillon Carter was with Condon for one season after transferring from Texas Tech. It didn’t take long to realize how special his new teammate was.

“There’s not many out there like him, and it’s good to be around people like that,” Carter said. “He knows he’s good. Everybody around him knows he’s good. But if you saw him in public, he’d be just like any other guy in town.”

Though Condon’s bat is what grabs the attention, he’s not bad with his glove, either. He made starts at third base, center field, first base and both corner outfield spots, giving him defensive versatility that only enhances his overall game.

Georgia hitting coach Will Coggin said working with Condon might be the easiest job he’s ever had.

“Like my old high school coach said, ‘If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.”

Coggin has worked with quality hitters before. Along with current big leaguers and Mississippi State products Brent Rooker and Nathaniel Lowe, his tutelage of former MSU star Jake Mangum stands out. Mangum left Starkville as the SEC’s all-time hits leader and helped the Bulldogs make back-to-back trips to Omaha in 2018 and 2019.

“A lot of the best hitters I’ve coached, they know what information they need, and Charlie is one of those guys,” Coggin said. “He knows what information he wants, whether it’s the description of the guy’s pitches, how they are and the usage of his pitches.

“Most of the time, it’s day-to-day swing maintenance, making sure we keep his swing sharp and prevent a bad habit from starting, hopefully. Other than that, it’s just a lot of approach stuff.”

From Walk-On To Stardom

Condon’s story is certainly different than most.

Major league teams weren’t beating down his door in 2021, when he was a high school senior at The Walker School outside Atlanta. Neither were big college programs, a fact due largely to the Covid pandemic that canceled high school seasons across the country in 2020 and kept scouts off the road.

Undaunted, Condon never gave up on his dream to play in Division I.

When home-state Georgia offered him an opportunity as a preferred walk-on, he jumped at the chance. After redshirting his freshman year in 2022 to add more muscle and weight to his 6-foot-6 frame, Condon burst on the scene by hitting .386 with 25 homers and 67 RBIs to win BA’s Freshman of the Year honors in 2023.

When Johnson was hired as the replacement for former coach Scott Stricklin, many wondered if Condon would do as so many college players have done and enter the transfer portal.

According to Condon, the thought never crossed his mind.

“For me it was about being more comfortable and not turning my back on the university that gave me a chance out of high school,” Condon said. “Georgia was my only preferred walk-on (offer).It was my only opportunity to play college baseball, officially … The resources (and) all the time and effort the staff and my teammates have put in to develop my career, it wasn’t something I was ready to turn my back on.”

The rest has been Bulldogs baseball history.

Even with the pressure to succeed, Condon has maintained his high level of play, both to his benefit and that of the Bulldogs, whose season ended in Athens with a loss to N.C. State in super regionals.

For one last hurrah, Condon homered in his final at-bat as a Bulldog.

External expectations have definitely changed a little bit,” Condon said, “but the way I see it, expectations for myself have always been really high. So, that doesn’t change.

“I’m always going to hold myself to a high standard.” 

Anthony Dasher covers University of Georgia athletics for

Download our app

Read the newest magazine issue right on your phone