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MLB Draft Scouting Notes On Jac Caglianone, Tommy White, Luke Holman & Others


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

Last weekend’s LSU-Florida series was a rematch of the 2023 College World Series that pit two top-10 teams against each other in front of a terrific crowd in Baton Rouge.

On top of being a compelling and competitive series—for the first 22 innings at least—the two programs boast plenty of draft talent, headlined by Florida two-way star Jac Caglianone and LSU slugger Tommy White.

Below are draft notes on both players as well as 14 other names to know from two of college baseball’s premier programs.

Jac Caglianone, 1B/LHP, Florida

Caglianone is a singular talent in the 2024 draft class thanks to his tremendous raw tools and two-way ability. After leading D-I hitters with 33 home runs in 2023 as a sophomore, Caglianone is hitting .394/.474/.737 with 11 home runs in 23 games. So far he’s cut his strikeout rate significantly, down from 18.2% to 8.8% and doubled his walk rate from 5.3% to 11.4%. On the mound, Caglianone is still erratic in his strike throwing (16.4% walk rate), but he has posted a 1.65 ERA through five starts and 27.1 innings with a 10% jump in his strikeout rate—from 25.4% to 35.5%.

Over the weekend, Caglianone went 3-for-12 (.250) with two home runs, two walks and a strikeout, and he started Sunday’s game and allowed one earned run in seven innings with five strikeouts and five walks. 

Physicality is what stands out immediately with Caglianone when you see him on the baseball field. He’s an imposing 6-foot-5, 250 pounds and looks the part of a big leaguer in uniform now with tremendous raw-power displays in batting practice. Caglianone employs a wide setup and open stance with a high handset and consistently turns on the ball and pulls towering homers over the right field fence. It’s a pull-heavy approach in BP and in games, and there’s clear intent to lift the ball to right field.

Caglianone takes massive swings in the box, which led to a pair of homers this weekend—both in left-on-left matchups. His first was against a 92-mph fastball that he lined out of the park in a hurry to right-center. The ball left his bat at 16 mph and traveled an estimated 416 feet on a 16-degree angle, and the second was a 91-mph fastball that he was a bit late on and under but still had the strength to muscle it out and into LSU’s left field scoreboard.

The 70-grade raw power allows Caglianone to change games with one swing and miss-hit balls out of the park, though his approach still looked iffy at times this weekend, despite his improved plate discipline numbers. He pulls out heavily with his lower half on most swings, which leaves him exposed at times against breaking stuff. Sliders in particular were an effective pitch to attack Caglianone with, and his most awkward swings were against this breaking ball specifically. This season, he has managed a 1.300 OPS against fastballs compared to a .764 OPS vs. sliders.

On the mound, Caglianone works from the third base side of the rubber and throws with a low three-quarters slot and crossfire delivery that adds deception. He has a fastball/changeup/slider combination, and routinely sits in the 94-95 mph range with the heater and has touched 99. In this game, he topped out at 97 but was reaching back for 96-97 mph deep into his start. 

Caglianone’s best offering was his changeup: an upper-70s tumbler with significant velocity separation from his heater—at times a 20-mph difference—that generated seven whiffs on 14 swings (a 50% miss rate). The movement, velocity and feel for the changeup should make it at least an above-average pitch though Caglianone could sell it better as his arm speed slows noticeably at times and more advanced hitters will pick up on that quickly. 

His slider is a low-80s short sweeping pitch that occasionally has a cutter look and varies in power and horizontal movement. He didn’t have the best feel for the breaking ball in this look, and it was solidly behind the fastball/changeup duo. 

Caglianone’s control is solidly below-average and he had a tendency to miss with his fastball to the arm side as he fought the crossfiring action in his lower half and tried to get the ball over the plate. It’s easy to imagine Caglianone taking steps forward with his hitting approach and mechanics as a hitter if he drops pitching and delivery and control if he drops hitting—how teams handle him in pro ball will be fascinating to see, but there’s no doubt he has game-changing tools on both sides of the ball. 

Tommy White, 3B, LSU

White entered the 2024 season as perhaps the most notorious home run hitter in college baseball. “Tommy Tanks” hit 27 homers as a freshman with NC State then added 24 more as a sophomore in his first season with LSU. He’s not quite been on that pace in 2024, as the focal point of a Tigers lineup that now lacks second overall pick Dylan Crews, and after a 1-for-12 (.083) weekend against Florida is slashing .317/.412/.535 with four homers.

White played through a shoulder injury in 2023 and had offseason surgery to fix that and focused on getting leaner and more athletic for his junior draft season. He looks thinner and is listed at 228 pounds compared to 242 pounds at NC State in 2022. 

He has a wide stance in the box with a significant bat tip in his hand load as well as a toe tap and leg kick combination to get his lower half started in the box. White’s bat path is surprisingly level for the home run hitter he is, though his strength and bat speed allow him to naturally backspin the ball out of the park without the need to try and lift everything with a steep bat path. That perhaps also helps explain why White makes so much contact.

He loves to swing the bat and does so often, though White saw more pitches and showed off a more patient approach than I was used to seeing from him previously. He didn’t expand the zone much, and his walk rate is a bit up early this season (10.9%) compared to 2023 (7.4%), while his strikeout rate (8.4%) is down (13.2%). 

There has been some talk about White’s improved defensive ability after he’s gotten leaner and moved past his shoulder injury, and that was on display at times this weekend. In particular, he looked solid coming in on the ball and converting slow rollers with strong and accurate throws on the run. His most dynamic defensive play was when he backhanded a tough short hop right behind the third base bag and got rid of the ball quickly to make a strong throw across the diamond that hit his first baseman directly in the chest to beat a 4.37 runner. 

On the other hand, he had an opportunity to make a forehand play on a fairly routine ground ball to his left that simply went under his glove—showcasing some range limitations and perhaps some issues playing close to the ground. The ball was ruled a double but a pro third baseman probably needs to convert that play and most scouts still believe White will move across the diamond to first where more pressure will fall on his right-right hit/power combo. 

White is a 30-grade runner now who could slow down further depending on how he maintains his body at the next level, so he’s going to have to both hit and hit for power to add value.

Luke Holman, RHP, LSU

LSU fielders are getting a bit used to easy Friday nights this season with Luke Holman on the mound. The same was true in the team’s SEC home opener against Florida last Friday when the 6-foot-4, 200-pound righthander struck out a career-high 13 batters in six innings. Holman struck out the side in his first three innings and surrendered just one hit and worked around three walks while flashing a strong fastball/slider combination. 

He pitched in the 91-94 mph range throughout the game and continued to touch 3s and 4s in his final innings when he wanted to rear back for a bit more. After the game Holman mentioned that he focused on his lower half usage during the week to help him maintain better maintain his velocity. It seemed to work. He averaged 92.8 mph in the first three innings and averaged 92.0 in his final three frames. 

While the fastball velocity was steady, an 81-84 mph slider was his best swing-and-miss pitch in this game—and that’s been the case for him throughout the season as well. He finished five of his strikeouts with the slider and ultimately used the pitch to generate 12 whiffs. It was a weapon against both lefties and righties but was consistently impressive as a chase pitch in right-on-right matchups when he landed the breaking ball down and away to his glove side. Outside of one wild pitch that he let slip out of his hand, Holman generally showed solid feel to land the pitch and its shape was consistent as well.

Holman’s fastball/slider was the bread-and-butter, but he also mixed in a slower curveball in the 77-80 mph range with a distinct shape from the slider. The curve has more of a top-down look with more depth and less sweep than the slider, and as such he used it more often against lefties. 

Holman’s control came and went at times in this outing—his three walks were the most he’s allowed in a game this season—but in general he did a nice job establishing the fastball at the top of the zone and keeping his breaking balls low. The pitches complemented each other nicely and kept Florida hitters uncomfortable all night. He’s now sitting with a 0.78 ERA on the season in six starts and 34.2 innings, with a 42.1% strikeout rate and a 6% strikeout rate. 

Griffin Herring, LHP, LSU

Herring pitched three shutout innings of relief work behind Holman on Friday night and flashed a solid fastball/slider combination while doing so. The three innings were the longest in an appearance for the draft-eligible sophomore this spring and he struck out three batters while allowing three hits. 

Herring is a 6-foot-2, 196-pound lefthander who works from the third base side of the rubber and features an extra-long arm action in the back before firing from an extended three-quarters slot with a bit of a crossfire landing in his finish. He opened up with a 92-94 mph fastball in the first two innings before dipping down to 91-94 in his final frame, but mostly pitched off a sweepy, high-spin slider at 82-86 mph. 

Herring showed a preference for the slider in both righty and lefty matchups and it’s not too surprising why given the movement + velocity combination. The slider looked like a potentially plus pitch thanks to its depth and sweep and Herring’s feel for the slider was better than his fastball—which was scattered throughout the outing. All three of his strikeouts were finished with the slider and on the season he has managed a 35% whiff rate with the pitch. 

It’s a reliever look with a bit of effort in the delivery and just two pitches, but Herring’s got a bit of physical projection remaining and could be an interesting lefty reliever draft target.

Gage Jump, LHP, LSU

LSU’s Saturday starter this weekend, Jump is a filled out lefty with a close to maxed frame listed at 6-feet, 197 pounds. He works from the middle of the rubber with a slight crossfire delivery, three-quarters slot and a deliberate tempo in his windup. There’s a bit of drop-and-drive action that potentially helps his riding fastball play up further.

Jump showed a four-pitch mix but primarily relied on a fastball/slider/curveball combination and mixed in a below-average 83-85 mph changeup just a handful of times. His fastball touched 96 mph several times in the early innings of this outing, but he mostly sat in the 91-93 mph range. Jump has been known for his high-carry fastball since his days as a prep pitcher and his fastball seems to have a bit of sneaky riding life that consistently gets the pitch above barrels at the top of the zone. Jump’s fastball command wasn’t consistent in this outing. He was scattered and wild in the first inning before settling in a bit, but continued to work through deep counts.

His 80-83 mph slider was his most consistent secondary and a pitch he seemed to put in the zone more consistently than either his fastball or curveball. It’s a solid-average pitch that flashed above-average a few times and seems to pair well with his heater when he locates it at the bottom of the zone. His 77-79 mph curveball has more depth and top-down action and seems like a decent weapon for him to use against righties given the infrequent changeup usage.

Jump threw 5.2 innings and allowed two hits and two earned runs while striking out eight batters and walking four. His fastball quality is good enough for him to be more aggressive attacking hitters with it in the zone though for much of the game he seemed to prefer using his slider as an out pitch. In the fifth inning he went to the fastball in those counts and worked a quick 1-2-3 inning where he got two swinging strikeouts—both on the heater.

Thatcher Hurd, RHP, LSU

Hurd entered the year with big expectations thanks to a strong finish to the 2023 season and perhaps the best pure arm talent on LSU’s roster with Paul Skenes and Ty Floyd leaving in the draft. Hurd started the season as the team’s Friday night starter but was moved to Sundays after the first two weeks of the season. He was off to a solid start this weekend against Florida and kept the Gators off the board until the fifth inning when he surrendered four hits—including a homer and a double—and five earned runs.

At 6-foot-4, 230-pounds Hurd has a great pitcher’s frame and has pitched from the stretch this season while throwing with a compact arm action and three-quarters slot. He worked off three pitches in this outing: a 93-95 mph fastball, a low-to-mid-80s slider and a 76-79 curveball with 11-to-5 shape and solid drop.

There’s plenty to like with all of Hurd’s ingredients, particularly when you factor in the extremely high spin rates he gets on both his breaking balls—in the upper 2,000 rpm range with both—but he has not shown the sort of pitchability/command/deception combination to make the most of his impressive arm talent. 

Hurd needs to improve his fastball command and too frequently misses his spots with the pitch, which can either lead to hard contact or getting behind in counts—or both. In this look he missed to his glove side consistently with the heater and this was especially the case in his rocky fifth inning. He likewise didn’t show great feel for his slider and hit one batter with the pitch, leaving his slower curveball as his most consistent pitch in this outing.

It’ll be hard for a team to not get excited about putting Hurd’s arm talent in their pitching development pipeline, but after six starts and 26.2 innings he has posted a 7.09 ERA with a 26.4% strikeout rate, 9.3% walk rate and could be on the verge of getting bounced from LSU’s weekend rotation.

Jared Jones, 1B, LSU

Jones is a 6-foot-4, 253-pound righthanded hitter with tremendous raw power. He hit a pair of no-doubt homers during the weekend and has easy all-fields power and has been something of a three-true-outcomes bat for LSU this spring. He leads the team with 10 home runs and has walked at a 20% clip and struck out at a 20% clip through 25 games—meaning about 50% of his plate appearances end in either a homer, walk or strikeout.

A former catcher, Jones is mostly a first baseman only at this point and is a well below-average runner who doesn’t move particularly well at the position. The bat and 60+ raw power is the calling card here but he’s put together a solid offensive track record through his first 79 games with LSU: a .299/.432/680 line and 24 home runs. 

Michael Braswell III, SS, LSU

Braswell was a standout two-way player in high school who ranked as the No. 111 prospect in the 2021 draft class but made it to campus at South Carolina where he boasted solid defensive ability but had offensive question marks. Now with LSU, Braswell looks the part at shortstop and put together competitive at-bats throughout the weekend against Florida: he went 2-for-8 (.250) with four walks and one strikeout and has enough barrel skill and pitch recognition to be a pest for opposing hitters. 

Braswell has a line drive swing and below-average raw power, so he’s more of a bottom of the lineup offensive profile who will create value only by staying at a premium defensive profile. He has the tools and defensive actions for shortstop with snappy hands and an above-average exchange that helps his solid-average arm strength play up. He made all of the routine plays this weekend and looked good throwing on the run, though he did box a hard hit Jac Caglianone ground ball backhand attempt when he was shifted in the middle of the diamond.

Through 24 games Braswell is hitting .271/.418/.443 with a 16.1% walk rate and a 14% strikeout rate. If he can maintain that sort of plate discipline and continue playing steady shortstop through conference play he could play himself into a day two draft selection. 

Colby Shelton, SS, Florida

Shelton had a tremendous 2023 season with Alabama and led the team with 25 home runs before transferring to Florida for the 2024 season. He’s continued to look the part of a bat-first lefthanded hitting infielder and is hitting .308/.439/.747 with 12 home runs through 23 games with the Gators while sliding from third base to shortstop.

Shelton went hitless in the first two games of the LSU series before a big Sunday where he went 3-for-5 with a pair of homers. He has an aggressive approach at the plate with some swing-and-miss tendencies but does have strong hands and impressive pop. His best swing of the weekend was in a 2-2 count on Sunday against Thatcher Hurd when he got a 94-mph fastball down and in and turned on the pitch to deposit a two-run homer just over the right-center fence.

The 6-foot, 200-pound lefty hitter looks like a power-over-hit offensive profile who’s power could be appealing if he sticks somewhere in the infield. His actions didn’t scream pro shortstop to me this weekend, though he looked fine at the position. He has solid arm strength that should play on the left side of the infield, though his footwork and exchange seemed just a bit light for middle infield and there were a few plays that were closer than they should have been because Shelton takes a bit longer than you’d want to get rid of the ball.

Even if he’s not a long term shortstop his lefthanded power and chance to stick at third base or second base should be appealing for teams on draft day. 

Luke Heyman, C/1B, Florida

Heyman serves as a designated hitter, catcher and first baseman when Jac Caglianone is on the mound and provides huge raw power from a 6-foot-4, 220-pound frame. He employs a steep swing and sends towering fly balls all over the park in batting practice with easy plus raw power though there are real hit tool questions given his swing path and pitch recognition. 

Heyman is hitting .261/.400/.522 through 23 games and over the weekend he went 1-for-12 (.03) with a double, two walks and eight strikeouts. There were plenty of whiffs against fastballs and breaking stuff this weekend and he also expands the zone too frequently to feel confident about even a fringe-average hit tool. 

When Heyman does make contact he can send the ball a long way and he mis-hit several balls that traveled higher and further than you would have expected given the contact quality. Sticking behind the plate at catcher will be significant for his profile though he will have plenty of work to do there given his frame and actions. The power alone makes Heyman an interesting prospect, though I expect plenty of divergent opinions on him from the industry depending on how he’s viewed defensively.

Other Players To Note

Florida LHP Cade Fisher (2025) was a projection lefthander out of high school who ranked as the No. 221 prospect in the 2022 draft class. At the time he stood out for his deception, feel for pitching and physical frame. He put together a solid season for Florida in a reliever role in 2023, but has pitched as Florida’s Friday night starter in 2024 where he has struggled to a 7.94 ERA through his first six starts and 27.2 innings.

He gave up five runs on five hits in five innings against LSU while showing a three-pitch mix. His fastball ranged from 87-92 mph but was mostly in the upper 80s as soon as the second inning and pitched heavily off a sweepy slider in the 76-81 mph range. He also mixed in an 83-84 mph changeup. None of the pitches looked like above-average offerings in this look, and Fisher’s control was inconsistent and scattered as well though that’s typically been an area of strength for him. He has a strong pitcher’s frame at 6-foot-4, 210 pounds and throws from the third base side of the rubber with a sidearm slot and crossfire delivery that adds deception and angle to his stuff. 

Florida RHP Liam Peterson (2026) ranked as a top-100 prospect out of high school in the 2023 draft class and pitched over the weekend as the team’s Saturday starter. He’s a high-waisted righthander with a 6-foot-5, 205-pound frame and a four-pitch mix. He pitched in the 92-97 mph range and touched 98 in the first, but his fastball lacked deception and was barreled up frequently by LSU hitters.

He mixed two distinct breaking balls: the first a 79-82 mph slider with short 10-4 action and the second a mid-70s curveball with 11-5 shape and solid spin (in the 2,400 rpm range) that flashed average but was inconsistent and popped out of his hand too often. The most interesting pitch in his arsenal was actually an 83-85 mph changeup that was a consistent swing-and-miss pitch to lefties which was also effective later in the game against righties when he started pitching off it more. It looked like an above-average offering while both the breaking balls looked fringy or average. He was a below-average strike thrower in this game and pitched 4.1 innings with eight hits, four earned runs, three walks and four strikeouts. 

Florida RHP Ryan Slater leads Florida with 13 appearances so far this season and has been a go-to option in the bullpen. A 6-foot-3, 205-pound righthander, Slater throws a 90-92 mph fastball with low spin rates, a mid-80s slider that’s his most used pitch and a mid-80s changeup with solid tumbling action. He works from the first base side of the rubber, has a short arm action and throws from a three-quarter slot with an up-tempo delivery. He’s a bit scattered but has upped his strikeout rate slightly compared to his first two seasons with the Gators—going from 23% after sitting in the 18-19% range in 2022-2023. 

LSU RHP Gavin Guidry has lost some of the prospect pedigree he boasted coming out of Louisiana powerhouse Barbe High a few years ago as a two-way prospect. Now a draft-eligible sophomore, Guidry has pitched exclusively out of the bullpen for LSU where he pitches off a plus 81-85 mph slider with heavy sweeping action and spin rates in the 2,700-2,800 range. He will also throw a fastball but he’s not added much velocity compared to his prep days and sits in the 89-92 mph range.

Florida RHP Luke McNeillie (2026) looks the part on the mound with a solid pitcher’s frame at 6-foot-3, 185 pounds with a clean delivery and loose arm action, but he’s posted a 10.29 ERA in 14 innings this spring as a true freshman. McNeillie ranked as the No. 189 prospect in the 2023 draft class thanks to his operation and feel for spin and he’s already added a bit of oomph to his fastball. He now sits in the low 90s and has touched 97 this spring for Florida and has a chance for an above-average slider in the mid 80s that is a consistent swing-and-miss pitch to righties when it’s landed to the glove side. 

LSU OF Paxton Kling was a top-five round talent out of high school but he withdrew from the 2022 draft class and enrolled on campus at Baton Rouge. He’s a player scouts want to like because of his raw tools and athleticism, but he’s yet to put things together and show a consistent offensive approach. Kling has the raw power to hit the ball out with relative ease to the right-center gap in batting practice and he’s also shown above-average speed and arm strength but he too often puts together non-competitive at-bats. There’s length to his swing and he has had issues with secondary pitches dating back to high school. He went 0-for-7 with four strikeouts and one walk during the weekend and on the season is hitting just .197/.409/.288 with a 23.4% strikeout rate. 

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