Even As College Home Run Rates Soar, Charlie Condon’s Record-Breaking Season Still Shines


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

In what was all but certain to be his final college at-bat, Georgia’s Charlie Condon lined a ball over the right field fence for his 37th home run of the season.

It was an exclamation point on an exceptional season.

Condon’s 37 homers were easily the most by any Division I hitter in the 21st century. It was a total higher than any player had reached since 1997—the height of “Gorilla Ball”—and the most by anyone since the NCAA eliminated “drop 5” bats.

In a season during which D-I teams hit home runs at the highest rate in NCAA history, it can be difficult to place Condon’s accomplishments in context. A total of 66 players hit 20 or more home runs this season. In 2013, nearly half of D-I teams did not top 20 home runs.

Though Condon’s time in Athens ended at super regionals, his career trajectory is only just beginning. The 21-year-old third baseman/outfielder is the College Player of the Year and the top prospect in the 2024 draft.

Even with all the accolades, Condon’s season is more remarkable than it appears at first blush.

1. Condon’s Combination of Hitting for Average and Power is Rarely Seen

Heading into the College World Series, Condon was leading the nation with a .433 batting average. That was five points higher than Rutgers’ Joshua Kuroda-Grauer and 22 points higher than anyone playing in Omaha. His D-I batting title was assured.

Condon’s 37 home runs were four more than any other hitter in the nation heading into the CWS. Morehead State’s Roman Kuntz and Florida’s Jac Caglianone had hit 33 to that point. Tennessee’s Christian Moore had 32. Caglianone and Moore had outside shots to catch Condon, because their teams were playing in Omaha. But it would take record-setting performances to take away Condon’s home run crown. No player has ever hit more than four home runs in a CWS.

Condon’s power production this year was exceptional. He led D-I with a 1.009 slugging percentage, good for ninth-best since it became an NCAA statistic in 1972 and the highest by any hitter this century.

Limiting the field to players with at least 200 at-bats, Condon’s slugging total ranks fourth all-time:

Pete IncavigliaOklahoma State19851.140
Mike MarchianoFordham19971.034
Lance BerkmanRice19971.031
Charlie CondonGeorgia20241.009
Mike SmithIndiana19921.000

Additionally, Condon’s rate of 0.61 home runs per game is the highest of the 21st century and the ninth-best mark of all time.

As impressive as his power output was, Condon’s ability to hit for a high average at the same time is truly remarkable.

Assuming that Caglianone does not set a CWS record with five or more home runs, then Condon will become just the second player to lead Division I in batting average and home runs in the same season. Middle Tennessee State’s Bryce Brentz first accomplished the feat in 2009 when he hit 28 home runs to share the home run crown while leading the nation with a .465 batting average.

The feat is even more rare than that would seem to indicate. Of the 23 D-I home run champs this century, Condon is just the fifth to finish top 20 in the nation in batting average. The others besides Brentz and Condon are James Madison’s Kellen Kulbacki (2006), New Mexico State’s Billy Becher (2003) and Kent State’s John VanBenschoten (2001).

2. It’s Harder To Do What Condon Did In The SEC

Adding to the degree of difficulty during Condon’s historic season was the quality of his opposition.

Batting champions typically come from smaller conferences. Since the NCAA adopted metal bats in 1974, just five players had previously won the Division I batting title from a “Power Five” conference: Nebraska’s Ken Harvey (1999), Florida State’s Buster Posey (2008), LSU’s Ralph Rhymes (2012), Georgia Tech’s Chandler Simpson (2022) and West Virginia’s J.J. Wetherholt (2023).

Condon’s .433 batting average is the best in the Southeastern Conference so far this century. His .410 career batting average is third-best in SEC history. His 37 home runs are second-most in SEC history.

After super regionals, Condon led the SEC in batting average, home runs, slugging percentage, runs scored and total bases. He was second in on-base percentage, hits, walks and RBIs and third in the league in doubles.

3. Condon Performed Well Against Postseason Competition

Condon played in 60 games in 2024. Of those, 37 were against teams that made the 64-team NCAA Tournament. In comparison, Oregon State’s Travis Bazzana, runner-up for College Player of the Year, played just 15 games against tournament teams and 45 games against non-tournament teams.

Playing in the SEC, Condon played 62% of his games against NCAA Tournament teams. Playing in the Pacific-12 Conference, Bazzana played just 30% of games against teams in the field of 64. Below, we split the players’ batting lines into performance versus postseason and non-postseason teams:

Charlie Condon

Vs. Postseason Teams37.357.494.8291912.819.4
Vs. Non-Postseason Teams23.549.6451.2861814.517.7

Travis Bazzana

Vs. Postseason Teams15.345.471.782624.320.0
Vs. Non-Postseason Teams45.428.587.956228.927.4

Condon’s OPS against NCAA Tournament competition was about 70 points higher than Bazzana’s. But more telling is that he was able to keep his strikeout rate in check against the best pitching staffs. Condon struck out about 13% of the time against postseason teams, compared with 24% for Bazzana.

Condon played 15 games against teams that made it to Omaha. He hit .298/.444/.737 with seven home runs, a 16.7% strikeout rate and an 18.1% walk rate in those 15 games.

4. Condon’s Career Numbers Are Just As Impressive As His 2024 Season

Baseball America named Condon its Freshman of the Year in 2023 after hitting .386/.484/.800 with 25 home runs as a redshirt freshman.

He is just the sixth player to win both the Freshman and College Player of the Year awards, joining Oklahoma State third baseman Robin Ventura, Texas two-way player Brooks Kieschnick, Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon, Louisville two-way player Brendan McKay and Vanderbilt righthander Kumar Rocker.

Assuming Condon signs with an MLB team, he’ll end his collegiate career with the third-highest career slugging percentage of all-time. His .909 mark trails only Southern’s Rickie Weeks (.927) and Oklahoma State’s Pete Incaviglia (.915).

The NCAA does not officially track career home runs per game, but Condon’s rate of 0.53 would have ranked in the top 20 for a single-season. It’s a mark higher than the home run rate for any of the other Division I career home run leaders. Pete Incaviglia’s 0.47 home runs per game is the best career mark among the top 10 in career home runs.

In the SEC, Condon’s 62 career home runs are the sixth-most in conference history—and also a Georgia program record. Perhaps the most remarkable part of Condon’s output is that it happened in just 116 games across two seasons. No one else among the SEC’s top 20 in career home runs has played fewer than 160 games.

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