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MLB Draft

Top 10 MLB Draft Prospects for 2024

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JJ Wetherholt, MLB Draft, PIttsburgh Pirates

The 2024 MLB draft is just over a month away. The first round of the draft begins on July 14 during All-Star week in Arlington, Texas.

The Pittsburgh Pirates will be waiting a bit longer to make their first selection than they have in recent years. In this year’s draft, the Pirates have the ninth pick, their latest first-round selection since they selected Quinn Priester with the 18th pick in 2019.

Since taking over as Pirates’ general manager, Ben Cherington has shown a preference towards hitting prospects and college players. In his first draft in 2020, the Pirates took Nick Gonzales at No. 7. They’ve had the first-overall pick twice — Henry Davis (2021) and Paul Skenes (2023). In between Davis and Skenes was the lone prep first-rounder, Termarr Johnson.

The top of this year’s MLB draft is heavy on college players with the majority being position players. Here are the top 10 draft prospects for 2024 according to MLB Pipeline.

1. INF Travis Bazzana, Oregon State University

  • Tools: Hit: 60, Power: 60, Run: 60, Arm: 50, Field: 50, Overall: 65

Bazzana is coming off of a superb season at Oregon State in which he slashed .407/.568/.911 with 28 home runs, 66 RBIs and 16 stolen bases in 60 games. Bazzana, who turns 21 years old in August, is a bat-first prospect and scouts do love his upside. It’s easy to see why bases on the numbers.

2. INF/OF Charlie Condon, University of Georgia

  • Tools: Hit: 60, Power: 70, Run: 40, Arm: 55, Field: 50, Overall: 65

Choosing between Bazzana and Condon at the top of this year’s MLB draft is like splitting hairs. As impressive as Bazzana’s numbers were this year, Condon’s were even better. He slashed .433/.556/1.009 with a whopping 37 home runs in 60 games played. He has a rare blend of pure hitting ability and big-time power.

3. 1B/OF Jac Caglianone, Univeristy of Florida

  • Tools (batting): Hit: 55, Power: 70, Run: 40, Arm: 60, Field: 55, Overall: 65
  • Tools (pitching): Fastball: 70, Slider: 50, Cutter: 50, Changeup: 55, Control: 40, Overall: 50

Power defines Caglianone, both with the bat and with his triple-digit fastball on the mound. At the plate this season, he hit .411 with a 1.392 OPS and 33 homers in 62 games. On the mound, he went 5-2 with a 4.71 ERA and struck out 82 batters in 72.2 innings. In an era where every team wants their own Shohei Ohtani, there is a lot to like regarding Caglianone.

4. 1B Nick Kurtz, Wake Forest University

  • Tools: Hit: 60, Power: 65, Run: 40, Arm: 50, Field: 60, Overall: 60

Kurtz’s batting average this season dropped to .303 but he owned a .531 on-base percentage, a 1.294 OPS and slugged 22 home runs in 54 games. In addition to standing out when the bat is in his hands, Kurtz is a quality defensive first baseman.

5. RHP Chase Burns, Wake Forest University

  • Tools: Fastball: 65, Curveball: 60, Slider: 70, Changeup: 55, Control: 55, Overall: 60

From one Demon Deacon to another. Burns has quality pitches across the board and broke out in his first season with Wake Forest as a transfer. He went 10-1 with a 2.70 this season and struck out 191 batters in an even-100 innings.

6. LHP Hagen Smith, University of Arkansas

  • Tools: Fastball: 65, Slider: 65, Splitter: 50, Control: 50, Overall: 60

Smith is the second of two pitcher-only prospects in the top 10 and as with Burns, there is plenty to like. The left-hander posted a 2.04 ERA in 84 innings while yielding 41 hits. He struck out nearly half the batters he faced (161 of 331, 48.6%).

7. INF JJ Wetherholt, West Virginia University

  • Tools: Hit: 70, Power: 50, Run: 60, Arm: 50, Field: 50, Overall: 60

Wetherholt is a local product and graduated from Mars, the same high school as current Pirates closer David Bednar. The 21-year-old missed some time with a hamstring injury but still put together a solid season. He hit .331 with a 1.061 OPS and only struck out in only 10% of his plate appearances.

8. OF Braden Montgomery, Texas A&M

  • Tools: Hit: 50, Power: 60, Run: 50, Arm: 70, Field: 70, Overall: 60

In 61 games this season with the Aggies, Montgomery slashed .322/454/.733 with 27 homers and 85 RBIs. The 21-year-old has a big arm and has collegiate pitching experience though scouts hold him in higher regard as an outfielder.

9. INF/OF Konnor Griffin, Mississippi (High School)

  • Tools: Hit: 50, Power: 60, Run: 65, Arm: 70, Field: 60, Overall: 60

The top prep player in the 2024 MLB draft according to Pipeline already has advanced tools across the board. Griffin was named this year’s Gatorade National Player of the year and has 30/30 upside.

10. INF Bryce Rainer, California (High School)

  • Tools: Hit: 55, Power: 60, Run: 55, Arm: 60, Field: 50, Overall: 60

Closing out the top 10 is another high school prospect in Rainer. There was speculation that he could be a two-way prospects but the 18-year-old emerged as a shortstop this season and projects to stick at the position. Pipeline mentions Corey Seager as a comparison.

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