How Does Charlie Condon’s Record Season Compare To Past College Players of the Year?


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

The NCAA alters and regulates game equipment, such as bats and balls, with regularity. Playing styles change and evolve. These factors make it challenging to place players’ raw numbers in context.

Case in point: The Southeastern Conference OPS was .894 this year, one of the highest in the nation. Just 10 years earlier, the SEC mark was .733, lower than 25 other Division I conferences.

Over the course of a decade, the conference’s OPS increased by 161 points, and as the number of runs increases, the value of each individual run decreases.  Put another way: A run created in a conference with a 5.00 ERA does not equal a run created in one with a 3.23 ERA. Those are the actual ERAs for the SEC in 2024 versus 2014. 

One simple method to account for fluctuations in run-scoring context is the metric OPS+, or adjusted OPS. It compares a player’s on-base and slugging percentages to league average to produce an index reading, where 100 is average. 

This year, Georgia’s Charlie Condon hit .433/.556/1.009 with a BBCOR-record 37 home runs. His rare ability to hit for both average and power make him the top prospect for the draft and an easy pick for College Player of the Year.

Comparing Condon To Past Greats

But how does Condon’s production this year stack up with past College POYs? Thanks to OPS+, we have a pretty good idea.

Condon’s OBP and SLG figures compared with the SEC averages yield an OPS+ of 243, which means that his production was 143% higher than the average SEC hitter. 

A dozen hitters have won College POY in the past 20 seasons. Condon’s OPS+ outranks all but one of them: Kris Bryant for San Diego in 2013.

2013Kris Bryant3BSan Diego.329.493.82031266
2024Charlie Condon3BGeorgia.433.5561.00937243
2008Buster PoseyCFlorida State.460.564.88726235
2014A.J. Reed1B/LHPKentucky.336.476.73523229
2019Adley RutschmanCOregon State.411.575.75117227
2022Ivan Melendez1BTexas.387.508.86332218
2015Andrew BenintendiOFArkansas.376.488.71720209
2010Anthony Rendon3BRice.394.530.80126201
2016Kyle LewisOFMercer.395.535.73120200
2005Alex Gordon3BNebraska.372.518.71519199
2012Mike ZuninoCFlorida.322.390.67819182
2017Brendan McKayLHP/1BLouisville.341.457.65918177

A Sign of What’s To Come?

Bryant was a revelation in 2013. He slugged .820 in a West Coast Conference in which the average was .367. His 31 home runs established a record at the time for hitters using the more restrictive BBCOR bats. Home runs were so infrequent that Bryant out-homered 75% of Division I teams.

The Cubs drafted Bryant second overall in 2013, and he was an immediate success. He won Minor League Player of the Year in 2014, National League Rookie of the Year in 2015 and then NL MVP in 2016, when he helped Chicago break a 108-year World Series drought. 

The only other College POY in Condon’s stratosphere by OPS+ was Florida State’s Buster Posey in 2008, which is fitting because his MLB ascension was similar to Bryant.

Posey fell to fifth in the 2008 draft, where the Giants selected him and added him to a burgeoning core that included fellow first-rounders Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum and Madison Bumgarner. 

Posey needed only one full season in the minors before his NL Rookie of the Year season in 2010. He helped the Giants win their first World Series in San Francisco that year and would repeat the feat in 2012 and 2014. Posey won the NL MVP award in 2012, like Bryant, in his mid 20s. 

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