Welcome to our 8th annual first-round MLB Draft to-do checklist characteristic.
Since 2018, we’ve taken a take a look at the first-round ability firstly of the yr and tried to spot spaces for expansion for possibilities to both solidify or improve their draft inventory all over the spring season.
- 2018 To-Do Listing
- 2019 To-Do Listing
- 2020 To-Do Listing
- 2021 To-Do Listing
- 2022 To-Do Listing
- 2023 To-Do Listing
Our draft checklist in January typically does a stable activity figuring out which avid gamers shall be within the combine for first-round alternatives later in the summertime, however every draft season options various up-and-down motion on draft forums as avid gamers carry out, battle, get injured, pop up and expand as possibilities are identified to do.
MLB Mock Draft
Right here’s how we projected the 1st around of the 2024 MLB Draft following the draft lottery.
Two notable movers from our 2023 workout had been LSU righthander Paul Skenes and Tennessee shortstop Maui Ahuna. Skenes ranked No. 10 on our draft board in early Jan. 2023, and maximum of our to-do checklist tablet for him enthusiastic about possible enhancements he may make as a hitter. As an alternative, Skenes dropped hitting fully, added 3 ticks to his fastball and extra bend to his slider and temporarily jumped Rhett Lowder and Chase Dollander to turn into the end pitching prospect within the elegance and one of the vital best possible in recent times. That resulted in a No. 1 variety and file draft bonus with the Pirates.
Ahuna moved in the other way. He ranked No. 14 at the power of his defensive skill, shortstop profile and standout offensive numbers with Kansas. After moving to Tennessee, he had a possibility so as to add to his offensive resume along with his efficiency towards SEC pitching, however as a substitute his strikeout price jumped 10 issues from 20.8% to 31.2% and his swing-and-miss questions resulted in a fourth-round variety by means of the Giants.
Every draft elegance options notable risers and fallers, however the 2024 elegance may well be extra fascinating than commonplace on this regard because the peak of the category is reasonably large open without a Dylan Crews or Adley Rutschman-caliber possibilities main the crowd. There’s a big workforce of possibilities who may in the end push for 1-1 attention, regardless that maximum of the ones avid gamers come from the varsity demographic.
Let’s dig in.
30. Carter Johnson, SS, Oxford (Ala.) HS
Spaces to support: Upload self assurance to SS profile
Johnson has an identical characteristics to Colt Emerson from the 2023 elegance as a lefthanded-hitting center infielder who’s considered as one of the vital best possible natural hitters within the elegance however has some defensive questions. A shortstop now, maximum scouts will give Johnson an opportunity to stay on the place, however there are evaluators who assume he’s extra of an offensive 2nd baseman or higher are compatible for 3rd. Improving his popularity as a defender at shortstop will best make his total profile and hitting chops stand out extra.
29. Anthony Silva, SS, TCU
Spaces to support: Touch vs. secondaries
Silva’s popularity as one of the vital best possible defensive shortstops within the nation creates a stable flooring for him within the draft, and he additionally had a robust yr with the bat for a defense-first participant: his .330/.416/.471 slash line and 12.5% strikeout price confirmed he can maintain his personal with the bat on the faculty stage. Scouts are skeptical about his affect possible and total hitting chops on the subsequent stage, alternatively, and a part of that’s the disparity in his manufacturing towards fastballs and secondaries.
- Towards fastballs: .949 OPS, 13% leave out, 23% chase
- Towards all secondaries: .814, 32% leave out, 29% chase
Including slightly extra pop could be nice, however as a high-probability shortstop it’s now not as a lot of a need as upping that touch price towards secondaries may well be.
28. Thatcher Hurd, RHP, LSU
Spaces to support: Moves consistency, support changeup
Hurd’s faculty profession has been inconsistent thus far and the most important query would possibly merely be the standard of his moves. He walked hitters at a 7.8% clip at UCLA in 34 innings, after which with LSU in 2023 that quantity jumped to 13.8%. Hurd has the stuff and construct to profile as a starter, however he must extra successfully determine his fastball for moves to arrange his spectacular slider and curveball.
Hurd may additionally upload to his profile by means of flashing an progressed changeup. He overwhelmingly will depend on his fastball/slider/curveball trio (98%) and his upper-80s changeup hasn’t been in particular useful when he has thrown it (1.417 OPS towards), in order that’s a transparent subject for development as effectively.
27. Owen Paino, SS, Ketcham HS, Wappingers Falls, N.Y.
Spaces to support: Foot velocity, mash New York pageant
Paino is an instinctual and fluid defender at shortstop who makes all of the performs because of superb positioning, frame regulate, dependable fingers and above-average arm power. Alternatively, he isn’t the fastest defender on the place and on account of that, and his better 6-foot-3 body, there are scouts who assume he would possibly transfer off the placement and turn into a super defender at 3rd on the subsequent stage. Including to his quickness and vary this spring may create extra self assurance in his shortstop projection shifting ahead—the place he would have some similarities to Pink Sox shortstop Marcelo Mayer as a defender.
Paino didn’t gentle the sector on fireplace as a hitter ultimate summer season and fall, so anything else instead of dominating his New York pageant this spring would best build up the worries about what his offensive profile may well be.
26. Cam Smith, 3B, Florida State
Spaces to support: Touch and way
Smith has various bodily equipment, together with plus uncooked persistent and plus arm power, packed into a big league body, however touch questions and an excessively competitive way have thus far held him again at FSU. In 2023, Smith hit .258/.326/.517 with 12 house runs, a 28.7% strikeout price, a 9.1% stroll price and extra concerningly, a 35%+ chase price towards all pitch sorts.
Smith did display some enhancements along with his touch skill and way in a 44-game summer season within the Cape Cod League—together with a notable development along with his chase price towards sliders—however he’ll want to elevate that over to ACC pageant for scouts to completely purchase in. Smith has the affect skill to put himself a number of the country’s leaders in house runs, and if he does so it’s onerous to peer him lasting till No. 26 on draft day.
25. Caleb Lomavita, C, California
Spaces to support: Maintain the interior 3rd, proceed defensive growth
Lomavita has already advanced a stable popularity as an offensive-oriented catcher. After a tight freshman debut with California in 2022, he took a large step ahead in 2023 by means of slashing .316/.367/.612 with 16 house runs and simply an 11.1% strikeout price. He additionally has an excellent wooden bat monitor file and has a blended .323/.364/.460 line in 49 video games with Cotuit within the Cape Cod League between two summers.
Whilst Lomavita is extra of a pull hitter, he additionally does higher when he’s ready to get his fingers prolonged at the outer 3rd of the zone and has struggled with pitches in on his fingers.
- Outer 3rd: 1.020 OPS
- Heart 3rd: 1.229 OPS
- Interior 3rd: .451 OPS
Professional pitchers will be capable of exploit that hollow in his recreation extra constantly. Lomavita is a sturdy athlete with above-average arm power, however he may nonetheless proceed the development he’s already proven in his faculty profession as a receiver and total defender in the back of the plate.
24. Noah Franco, OF/1B/LHP, IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla.
Spaces to support: Rake towards excellent prep pageant, stay misses in test
Franco has reputable two-way possible on the collegiate stage, and if he used to be just a pitcher he’d nonetheless be a professional prospect, however his standout efficiency as a hitter ultimate summer season and fall most likely has extra MLB groups thinking about his upside as a place participant. Franco hits for common and affect with competitive hacks from the left aspect, and because he’s taking part in at IMG Academy in Florida, he’ll have extra alternatives to accomplish towards top-end prep pitching this spring.
Together with his competitive swings come slightly of swing-and-miss, so if he can arrange his strikeouts and stay the misses in test, it’s going to best upload extra self assurance to his natural hitting chops—in particular because the offensive expectancies shall be excessive as a nook profile.
23. Griff O’Ferrall, SS, Virginia
Spaces to support: Enlarge toolset, display higher arm power and dad
O’Ferrall has a gentle Eddy, high-performing profile that makes him one of the vital dependable avid gamers within the nation, however does elevate questions on his possible affect skill in professional ball. Some groups would possibly like his spectacular natural hitting skill and stable glove paintings within the center infield, whilst others will marvel about his uncooked persistent and whether or not he’s a greater are compatible for 2nd base on the subsequent stage.
O’Ferrall has homered simply thrice in his 123 faculty video games and all 3 of the ones have long past to the pull aspect. Turning some of the 20 doubles he hit in 2023 into homers in 2024 may assist his reason, as may appearing extra pace on his throws from his arm aspect on the shortstop place.
22. Jonathan Santucci, LHP, Duke
Spaces to support: Keep wholesome, submit all season
Santucci has a well-rounded arsenal from the left aspect in addition to stable beginning characteristics, however he hasn’t ever began greater than seven video games in one season with Duke. In 2022, he cut up time as a reliever and in 2023, he handled an harm that restricted him to only 29.1 innings. His 92-94 mph fastball, low-80s slider and mid-80s changeup every have above-average or higher possible—all he wishes to try this spring is stay appearing that very same high quality stuff over a complete season as a starter.
21. Cam Caminiti, LHP/OF, Saguaro HS, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Spaces to support: Sharpen secondaries
Caminiti’s professional upside is larger at the mound than as a hitter, and the previous member of the 2025 highschool elegance had no downside overpowering prep batters along with his 92-95 mph fastball. The heater is a possible plus pitch out of an athletic supply and nice pitcher’s body, however Caminiti can support a couple of breaking balls.
He’s thrown a slurvy, sweepy slider within the higher 70s and a curveball within the low 70s, however each pitches can support in persistent, chew and consistency. Now and then, he small children the curveball and doesn’t totally get on peak of it and each breaking balls can mix in combination now and again. As soon as he begins throwing them with extra intent, alternatively, they may turn into solid-average or higher secondaries.
20. Bryce Rainer, SS/RHP, Harvard-Westlake HS, Studio Town, Calif.
Spaces to support: Offensive efficiency towards SoCal pageant, innings at the mound
There are many two-way avid gamers within the 2024 elegance, however Rainer could have the most efficient upside on all sides of the ball of any highschool participant. He has an opportunity for above-average persistent as a lefthanded-hitting shortstop with double-plus arm power, and there are scouts who assume that arm ability may make him one of the vital higher pitching possibilities within the elegance as effectively.
Rainer has spent extra time as a hitter than a glass in his highschool profession, however after flashing a 95-96 mph fastball with super ease—on peak of a hammer breaking ball—ultimate summer season on the House Code Video games, many scouts are all-in on his pitching upside. Merely appearing extra of that stuff all over the spring will create extra self assurance in his profile at the mound for scouting departments.
19. Cade Arrambide, C, Tomball (Texas) HS
Spaces to support: Display bat-to-ball abilities, receiving consistency
Arrambide has various uncooked persistent and were given to that persistent in video games ultimate summer season and fall towards high quality pageant, however he additionally confirmed one of the vital swing-and-miss that he has. Prep catchers are among essentially the most dangerous demographic, so if Arrambide can display extra touch skill this spring and push his hit software analysis up a half-grade or so, that can assist alleviate one of the vital possibility.
Arrambide has a well-earned defensive popularity because of his monstrous throwing arm and elite in-game pop instances, however his consistency as a receiver and blocker ultimate summer season used to be much less constant from tournament to tournament. Some nationwide evaluators most likely noticed best the dangerous seems of Arrambide as a defender, so being extra constant in that subject this spring will assist erase any defensive questions.
18. Jacob Cozart, C, NC State
Spaces to support: Touch vs. spin, manufacturing vs. 93+ pace
Cozart took a large step ahead offensively as a sophomore, however between two faculty seasons he’s a .275/.369/.474 hitter. Every other yr hitting over .300 will upload extra conviction to his hit software, particularly since his wood-bat monitor file out of doors of a short lived stint with USA Baseball’s faculty trials are not up to stellar.
There are some questions on his offensive profile whilst you dig into the numbers, and addressing the ones this spring shall be an important. In a 174-pitch pattern towards 93+ mph pace with NC State, Cozart has controlled only a .599 OPS. He may stand to make extra touch towards spin, as his 21% total leave out price jumps to 34% whilst you isolate breaking balls.
17. Hagen Smith, LHP, Arkansas
Spaces to support: Take care of pace positive aspects, refine supply, sharpen command
Smith added persistent to each his fastball and slider as a sophomore with Arkansas, leaping two ticks on each pitches, and now sits with a 93 mph fastball. If he maintains the ability on each pitches, whilst additionally including slightly of ease to his fairly effortful supply and improves his regulate and command, he’ll glance extra like a large league starter profile.
Thru two seasons within the SEC, Smith has controlled an excellent 30% strikeout price, however that has include a 13.4% stroll price, which is able to for sure lead some scouts to mission him within the bullpen on the subsequent stage. There’s slightly of head whack and balk in his supply now, and if he could make marginal enhancements in that subject this spring, his loud fastball/slider mixture will best glance extra spectacular.
16. Josh Hartle, LHP, Wake Woodland
Spaces to support: Upload extra persistent
Hartle has one of the vital best possible beginning profiles in all the draft elegance, because of plus regulate of a four-pitch combine, a super pitcher’s body at 6-foot-5, 200 kilos and a reasonably blank and simple operation—regardless that there may well be blended ideas on an arm stroke that may get slightly lengthy within the again.
Whilst Hartle’s natural pitching characteristics are superb, he does possess one of the vital slower fastballs within the elegance amongst day one pitching possibilities. He sat round 90 mph in 2023 and has been as much as 94, and has relied extra on blending a cutter, curveball and changeup and dotting across the zone than overpowering hitters to leave out bats. If he can upload pace this spring, he’ll elevate his upside and enchantment to a broader set of groups that would possibly imagine him within the first around.
15. Brody Brecht, RHP, Iowa
Spaces to support: Throw extra moves
Greater than any pitcher in this checklist, Brecht must do a greater activity filling up the strike zone in 2024. Handiest righthander Chase Burns can fit him on a natural stuff foundation these days, and Brecht most likely has the brink on Burns with regards to natural athleticism, arm velocity and supply.
Nonetheless, his 19.2% stroll price is shockingly excessive for a faculty pitcher who has first-round possible, and he might want to support that to protected his standing on this vary of the draft. Brecht made marginal enhancements yr over yr and went from a 21.2% stroll price to an 18.4% stroll price, and a brand new unique center of attention on baseball (Brecht prior to now performed for Iowa’s soccer workforce) has scouts thinking about the prospective strides he could make in 2024. Brecht’s elite arm ability however questionable really feel for pitching make him one of the vital high-variance names in this checklist.
14. Charlie Condon, OF, Georgia
Spaces to support: Display defensive versatility
Condon took the varsity baseball global by means of hurricane as a freshman in 2023 when he homered 25 instances, led all newbies with an .800 slugging proportion, averaged just about 94 mph in go out pace and used to be named the freshman of the yr. He has a reasonably well-rounded offensive profile recently, however did spend maximum of his time in the beginning base.
There’s an opportunity he’ll get extra taking part in time within the outfield this spring with Georgia, and if he displays he can maintain a nook outfield position in professional ball, his power-over-hit package deal turns into all of the extra interesting. If now not, reinforcing his offensive chops as a draft-eligible sophomore in his 2nd season shall be as necessary as anything else.
13. Caleb Bonemer, SS, Okemos (Mich.) HS
Spaces to support: End up shortstop profile
Bonemer made essentially the most of his summer season and fall in 2023 by means of appearing his hitting chops, persistent possible and velocity. He used to be one of the vital vital up-arrow possibilities within the elegance, and now joins each PJ Morlando and Konnor Griffin because the top-end highschool choices on this yr’s elegance.
Together with his hitting efficiency already banked, Bonemer’s greatest subject for draft inventory development most definitely comes at the defensive aspect. He has performed each shortstop and 3rd base solidly, regardless that maximum scouts most definitely recall to mind him as a most likely 3rd baseman someday. If he’s ready to support his fielding, his short-area quickness and vary at shortstop this spring, he’ll make an inexpensive case as the 1st highschool participant off the board.
12. PJ Morlando, OF/1B, Summerville (S.C.) HS
Spaces to support: Publish large numbers, support athleticism
Morlando is in large part considered as essentially the most whole offensive participant within the prep elegance. He’s a sophisticated hitter who led USA Baseball’s 18U workforce in hitting and has an intensive monitor file as a high-end performer all over his highschool profession. On peak of that, he has one of the vital best possible uncooked persistent within the elegance.
Alternatively, Morlando’s defensive profile is extra restricted than friends like Caleb Bonemer and Konnor Griffin, and plenty of scouts view him as a long term first baseman, in spite of time spent in each appropriate discipline and heart discipline. If he can support his athleticism this spring and display a extra life like likelihood to be an on a regular basis outfielder in professional ball, then his left-right profile seems extremely interesting. There were simply 4 highschool first baseman decided on within the first around all over the bonus pool generation (2012-present):
- 2013: Dominic Smith, No. 11, Mets
- 2015: Josh Naylor, No. 12, Guardians
- 2017: Nick Pratto, No. 14, Royals
- 2022: Xavier Isaac, No. 29, Rays
There’s a robust likelihood that Morlando is drafted as an outfielder even supposing groups imagine he’ll sooner or later transfer to first base, in the similar manner Pink Sox first baseman Triston Casas used to be decided on as a 3rd baseman because the twenty sixth total pick out in 2018.
11. Konnor Griffin, OF/SS/RHP, Jackson Prep, Flowood, Leave out.
Spaces to support: Create self assurance in swing and hit software
There’s no toolsier participant in the highschool elegance than Griffin, and so groups who’re extremely invested in drafting upside and don’t thoughts slightly of possibility shall be far and wide Griffin on draft day. And that’s in particular true if they’re out of doors the variety the place the elite faculty bats shall be decided on.
Whilst Griffin does have a stable monitor file as a hitter, he doesn’t have the perfect operation within the field and a few scouts marvel what the actual high quality of his hit software is. His swing has been disconnected and out of sync now and then, so keeping up consistency and fluidity in that division this spring in Mississippi shall be necessary. He must dominate his highschool pageant, and he’ll want to do to be able to steer clear of drawing any form of skepticism in regards to the a lot critiqued “Mississippi highschool hitter” demographic—despite the fact that avid gamers like Austin Riley and probably Colt Keith and Blaze Jordan are quieting that slightly.
10. Tommy White, 3B, LSU
Spaces to support: Chase much less, support defensive popularity
White is among the maximum prolific house run hitters in faculty baseball, however he has two evident spaces of shock for scouts projecting him on the subsequent stage: swing selections and defensive profile.
White is among the maximum competitive, free-swinging hitters within the elegance with a 41% chase price between his two seasons with NC State and LSU. That hasn’t hampered his manufacturing within the slightest on the faculty stage, however there are some questions on whether or not he can reign in that aggression or proceed to excel regardless of it towards professional pitchers. Appearing slightly extra swing self-discipline may well be encouraging.
Moreover, he’s been a high quality faculty 3rd baseman, however scouts view him as a primary baseman in professional ball. If he can support his footwork, glovework and all-around defensive recreation on the sizzling nook to present himself a greater likelihood to stay there long run, his right-right profile turns into extra interesting.
9. Braden Sir Bernard Law, OF/RHP, Texas A&M
Spaces to support: Righthanded swing, touch
Sir Bernard Law made large enhancements along with his strike zone self-discipline yr over yr and boosted his on-base proportion 100 issues on account of it. After hanging out at a 26.6% price and strolling at a 6.6% price in 2022, Sir Bernard Law struck out 20.6% of the time and walked 16.5% of the time in 2024—which jumped his OBP from .361 to .461.
Subsequent on his to-do checklist may well be his manufacturing as a righthanded hitter. Sir Bernard Law has been a lot better from the left aspect—which is the robust aspect of the platoon—in his faculty profession. He has a .331/.432/.641 slash line as a lefthanded hitter and a .265/.333/.434 slash line as a righthanded hitter with considerably extra swing-and-miss from the suitable aspect and extra house run manufacturing from the left aspect.
He may additionally stand to make extra touch from all sides of the plate to assist protected a top-10 variety.
8. Seaver King, SS/OF, Wake Woodland
Spaces to support: ACC efficiency, defensive readability
King’s offensive monitor file is phenomenal. He used to be one level shy of being a .400 hitter in two seasons with Department II Wingate (N.C.) and slashed .399/.454/.676 with 15 house runs, 38 doubles and 20 stolen bases in 89 video games with this system. He’s additionally added various wood-bat monitor file between his summers within the Northwoods League, Cape Cod League and with Workforce USA.
Now, he must proceed that efficiency in his first try towards ACC pitching this spring, the place he must face extra pace, however can be a lot much less of a point of interest for opposing recreation plans because of the presence of slugger Nick Kurtz. If he doesn’t leave out a beat within the ACC, it’s onerous to peer him now not being decided on a number of the first 15 alternatives.
King is a standout athlete who has stable possible at a variety of defensive positions, but when he seems like an above-average common in heart discipline—or any other spot—this spring that would possibly assist codify his most likely position in professional ball as effectively.
7. Chase Burns, RHP, Wake Woodland
Spaces to support: Flash 3rd pitch, dominate as a starter
As discussed prior to now, Burns has one of the vital best possible natural stuff within the elegance with an elite fastball/slider mixture that competitors Brody Brecht’s. He used to be a lights-out starter as a freshman with Tennessee in 2022, however took a step again in 2023, the place he transitioned to a long-relieving, piggy-back position.
Burns has thrown a stable price of moves in his faculty profession, however showcasing his stuff in a season-long beginning position with Wake Woodland as a part of one of the vital best possible pitching staffs within the nation must upload self assurance to his profile this spring. A part of that would come from increasing his repertoire. His fastball and slider accounted for round 93% of his pitch utilization in his first two seasons, and whilst that is sensible given the standard of the ones pitches, flashing a stable 3rd pitch extra continuously wouldn’t harm.
6. Vance Honeycutt, OF, North Carolina
Spaces to support: Make extra touch
When it comes to equipment, athleticism, defensive profile and school manufacturing, Honeycutt has most likely the most efficient case for the 1st total pick out within the draft. The avid gamers in entrance of him have merely performed a greater activity showcasing an affect hit software. Honeycutt has best hit .279 throughout two seasons with UNC, and he has performed that whilst hanging out at a 25.5% clip—regardless that he did support from 29.7% to twenty.4% from his freshman to sophomore seasons.
His swing, touch skill and total hit-tool high quality are the one actual questions for Honeycutt. He wishes to turn enhancements on this subject and must face sufficient high quality pageant to quite transfer the needle with a standout season. That suggests appearing higher pitch popularity towards secondaries, appearing a capability to make use of all the discipline and hitting for common towards 92+ mph pace.
5. Mike Sirota, OF, Northeastern
Spaces to support: Hit the ball more difficult, proceed CAA domination
Like Honeycutt, Sirota has a particularly well-rounded equipment profile and he additionally has the easier natural hit software of the duo, regardless that that has been displayed towards CAA pageant as a substitute of ACC. Like several small-school hitters, Sirota will want to proceed dominating his pageant like he did in his first two seasons when he slashed .338/.449//.611 with a very good 14.2% stroll price.
He additionally added to his resume by means of hitting effectively all over more than one summers within the Cape Cod League, the place he used to be a .312/.465/.477 hitter in 37 video games. His loss of persistent with a wooden bat will elevate eyebrows, so including extra affect this spring shall be any other subject for possible development for Sirota.
4. Jac Caglianone, 1B/LHP, Florida
Spaces to support: Moves at the mound, swing selections on the plate
Caglianone is most likely essentially the most proficient total prospect within the draft elegance because of an upper-90s fastball from the left aspect and simple double-plus uncooked persistent that resulted in a nation-leading 33 house runs in 2023. Whilst Caglianone’s ability is plain, so are his spaces for development.
He must turn into extra of a glass and no more of a thrower at the mound, and he must turn into extra of a natural hitter and no more of a unfastened swinger within the batter’s field. His 44% chase price is among the worst marks amongst hitting possibilities within the elegance—which is a testomony to his uncooked persistent that he controlled to homer 33 instances regardless of it—and can create questions on how his hitting skill and tool translate to professional pitching. He’s struck out at about an 18% clip and walked at a 5% clip for 2 seasons—the previous isn’t a subject matter however the latter may well be progressed.
At the mound, Caglianone has vital reliever questions because of the 16.1% stroll price he posted in 2023 and the overall inconsistency along with his liberate level and moves. If he places the ball over the plate extra continuously, he has the natural stuff to dominate even within the inner most hitting convention within the nation.
3. Travis Bazzana, 2B, Oregon State
Spaces to support: Reverse-field pop, throwing
Bazzana has established himself as one of the vital best possible natural hitters within the elegance because of nonstop efficiency in wood-bat summer season leagues and with Oregon State all over the spring. He makes robust swing selections, a ton of touch and makes use of all the discipline with scorched line drives.
At 6-foot, 199 kilos, Bazzana gained’t be puzzled for a slugger, however he may up his inventory by means of showcasing extra all-fields persistent after maximum of his 17 homers with Oregon State have long past to the pull aspect. Hitting for slightly extra affect total couldn’t harm both. One minor be aware is that Bazzana has thrown from an ordinary, low slot on regimen performs at 2nd base, and which may be a priority for scouts when projecting his protection to professional ball. He’s greater than athletic sufficient to be an above-average defender, however taking away any questions on his throwing movement and arm power could be great.
2. JJ Wetherholt, 2B, West Virginia
Spaces to support: Display he can play shortstop
At the side of Travis Bazzana and Nick Kurtz, Wetherholt is among the maximum well-rounded hitters within the elegance and is coming off a 2023 season the place he led all DI hitters with a .449 common. There’s now not a lot more he can do to improve his offensive popularity, so he wishes to easily stay appearing round his profession common to care for top-of-the-board inventory.
He’s going to get a possibility to modify his defensive profile this spring, alternatively. He’s shifting from 2nd base to shortstop, and if he displays he can play the placement each day at professional ball, it’s onerous to discover a actual query mark in his profile. That may be sufficient to determine him as the most obvious 1-1 ability this elegance recently lacks.
1. Nick Kurtz, 1B, Wake Woodland
Spaces to support: Take care of offensive profile, display defensive versatility
Kurtz could have much less alternative to support his popularity as a defender than Wetherholt, since he’s anticipated to proceed taking part in first base for Wake, the place he’s most likely one of the vital best possible defenders within the country. Elite first base protection doesn’t transfer the needle up to elite protection additional up the defensive spectrum, so the most important factor for Kurtz shall be to easily proceed mashing.
He must be the central offensive determine at Wake Woodland this spring now that Brock Wilken has moved to professional ball, and if he plays round his profession common—.345/.499/.708 with 20 or extra homers—he must have an excellent chance to turn into the easiest drafted hitter in program historical past. The monitor file of top-of-the-draft faculty first basemen is dicey, so any likelihood to exhibit defensive versatility and athleticism within the outfield will best embolden groups which are afraid to leave out on the place.
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