MLB Mock Draft 4.0: The Final Mock

Creativity in the top 10 could be the story of the draft, starting with the top overall pick. But, do Condon and Caglianone slip?

TALLAHASSEE, FL - APRIL 09: First baseman Jac Caglianone #14 of the Florida Gators and Third baseman Cam Smith #24 of the Florida State Seminoles on first base during the game on Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium on April 9, 2024 in Tallahassee, Florida. The #10 Seminoles defeated the #24 Gators 19 to 4. (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)

We are into the home stretch of draft season, now just one day away from the 2024 MLB Draft. As teams finalize their big boards and play phone tag with advisors, we will soon know where the best college and prep players in America will start their uphill climb through the minor league ranks.

While there isn’t any deviation at the very top of the draft from our Mock Draft 3.0, there is shuffling within the top five and all throughout the first round. Again, the biggest question remains: which teams will be the most creative with record-setting bonus pools?

1. Guardians: JJ Wetherholt – SS/2B – (West Virginia)

Viewed as a 1-1 candidate heading into the year, Wetherholt’s season took a bit of a detour as he missed about six weeks with a hamstring issue. He returned from the layoff looking as advertised, walking more than he punched out with an uptick in the exit velocity department.

The Guardians could very well go Bazzana here and Condon cannot be ruled out, but if the Guardians do not think there’s a huge gap between Wetherholt and the aforementioned two, grabbing the West Virginia product could give them plenty of flexibility with the largest draft pool in MLB history.

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2.  Reds: Travis Bazzana – 2B – (Oregon State)

Let’s throw our tin foil caps on for this pick. All the buzz around what the Reds would do at No. 2 seems to be around Charlie Condon or maybe Chase Burns, but it could also be a leverage play. IF the Reds don’t take Bazzana here, the Rockies almost surely will go with an arm with the next pick and the A’s are always bargain shopping. If the Reds don’t see a huge difference between Condon and Bazzana, they could end up saving some money on the latter if this all really is a leverage play.

3. Rockies: Charlie Condon – OF – Georgia

The Rockies have been tied to arms yet again this year, but all indications are that they would go with college baseball’s most productive hitter if he falls to them at No. 3. The idea of Condon launching balls at altitude could easily be enough to steer Bill Schmidt and co. from their typical pitching attack.

4. Athletics: Jac Caglianone – 1B – (Florida)

Caglianone’s ridiculous finish to what was a spectacular season has him looking like a sure-fire top five pick, especially as he demonstrated more selectivity at the plate in the postseason. It’s tough to tell at this point, but it seems as though teams may be leaning towards the University of Florida product over Golden Spikes winner Charlie Condon. If that’s the case, it’s hard to imagine him slipping beyond the A’s or White Sox.

5. White Sox: Chase Burns – RHP – (Wake Forest)

The White Sox have cast a wide net, and while there’s some sentiment that they may lean slightly towards a bat, the run-off of the top four hitters in the class should make it easy for Chris Getz to grab the arm who many consider to be the best in the class.

6. Royals: Hagen Smith – LHP – (Arkansas)

Bryce Rainer and Hagen Smith could easily be interchangeable with this pick and the next one. This will be the first draft with the Royals for former Braves scouting director Brian Bridges, who has loved to draft arms in the first round.

7. Cardinals: Bryce Rainer – SS/RHP – (Harvard-Westlake HS, CA)

As I mentioned earlier, I wouldn’t be shocked if Rainer starts to get a bit more consideration in the top five in a draft that lacks premium defenders. The Cardinals rarely pick in the top 10 and have a shot at the best prep prospect in the class.

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8. Angels: Braden Montgomery – OF – (Texas A&M)

Montgomery fits the bill of the collegiate bat who can climb quickly that the Angels so often covet. He performed well on the Cape, impressed with Team USA, and destroyed the SEC after transferring from Stanford. His ankle injury shouldn’t disrupt his overall timeline, as he should be good to go for Spring Training.

9. Pirates: Nick Kurtz – 1B – (Wake Forest)

The Pirates have been tied to both of the top prep bats in Rainer and Griffin, but this also seems like a grand landing spot for Nick Kurtz. The first baseman really mashed after returning from a minor shoulder issue, and should climb quickly for an organization that could use more bats in the high minors.

10. Nationals: Konnor Griffin – SS/OF – (Jackson Prep, MS)

The consensus No. 2 prep hitter in the class, Griffin boasts ridiculous upside with plus power and speed and the ability to play either a good shortstop or potentially elite center field. If Kurtz is on the board, they could go that route as well, but the Nationals would likely be happy to grab one of the highest ceilings in the draft at 10.

11. Tigers: Cam Caminiti – LHP – (Saguaro HS, AZ)

The top high school arm in the draft, Caminiti has enjoyed plenty of helium throughout the spring and into the summer. The Tigers interest in the southpaw has been well-documented, but Scott Harris does love his natural hitters and James Tibbs III could fit that bill as well.

12. Red Sox: Trey Yesavage – RHP – (East Carolina)

Yesavage is one of those players who could make sense going to any team. The 6-foot-4 right-hander is as safe as they come, but not without exciting potential. He possesses a quality fastball at 93-95 MPH along with a splitter and slider that look like above average pitches or better. He’s is a particularly great fit for the pitching-driven Red Sox front office, especially when you consider some of the similarities he has to Nick Pivetta.

13. Giants: Cam Smith – 3B – (Florida State)

Smith followed up a breakout on the Cape with a ridiculous draft-eligible sophomore season for the Seminoles, showcasing both a good feel to hit and plus power. Christian Moore and James Tibbs both could get looks from the Giants here, as well as Caminiti or Yesavage if they fall.

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14. Cubs: James Tibbs III – OF – (Florida State)

Tibbs has seen his draft stock soar as he torched the ACC on his way to winning the conference’s Player of the Year award. The outfielder quelled minor hit tool questions by hitting .303 on the Cape and cutting his strikeout rate to just 11% in his junior season while launching 28 home runs. The Cubs could also go with Christian Moore or Carson Benge as well as Cam Smith if he’s still on the board.

15. Mariners: Christian Moore – 2B – (Tennessee)

After posting an OPS north of 1.000 in both his freshman and sophomore seasons, Moore was one of the best hitters in college baseball this season, seeing his contact rates leap along with some of the best exit velocities in the entire country. He continued to perform through Tennessee’s National Championship run, and while he may be limited to second base defensively, his track record of mashing and continued improvements at the plate have really propelled his draft stock.

16. Marlins: Seaver King – SS – (Wake Forest)

Big tools with the ability to play all over the diamond, King proved that he can handle ACC pitching after transferring from Division II Wingate. An organization desperate for reinforcement up the middle would likely be thrilled to nab King and would probably give him every opportunity to prove he can stick at shortstop.

17. Brewers: Carson Benge – OF – (Oklahoma State)

A lot of teams in the middle of the first round have been tied to Benge, and if he slips to No. 17, the Brewers could be all over it. Evaluators remain confident Benge can handle a move to center field and he fits the bill of the type of hitters the team seems to gravitate towards.

18. Rays: Theo Gillen – SS – (Westlake HS, TX)

Toolsy with a great feel to hit, Gillen would likely go earlier if not for a somewhat concerning injury history that includes shoulder surgery as a sophomore and a knee injury as a junior. Gillen offers as much upside as you’ll find in the back half of the first round which seems to be what the Rays generally like to chase, especially when they go the prep route.

19. Mets: Ryan Waldschmidt – OF – (Kentucky)

Arguably the most well-rounded college bat on the board, Waldschmidt offers a good blend of power and speed along with a strong approach. Cal’s Caleb Lomavita could be an option here, or if the Mets are higher on LSU’s Tommy White, he may be a fit as well.

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20. Blue Jays: Caleb Lomavita – C – (California)

If the Mets don’t grab Lomavita, this could be right around the back-end of where the Cal backstop could get selected. Solid defensively with good bat-to-ball and at least average pop, Lomavita’s aggressive approach may deter some, but many see Lomavita as the best catcher in the draft, with plenty of teams in this range likely thrilled to see him fall to them.

21. Twins: Kaelen Culpepper – SS – (Kansas State)

The Twins seem to be on the college bat trail, which could make Tommy White or Walker Janek options here. Instead, the Twins go with a well-rounded shortstop who put up strong numbers back to back seasons and finished his collegiate career on a hot streak.

22. Orioles: Vance Honeycutt – OF – (North Carolina)

The biggest hit tool question mark in the first round, Honeycutt is the best defensive outfielder in the draft and offers plus power. Draft models may not love him as there is little precedent of collegiate hitter striking out north of 25% of the time going on to succeed at the big league level, but Honeycutt is a rare physical talent. Already boasting as deep of a system as there is in baseball, the Orioles can afford to swing for the fences here.

23. Dodgers: Brody Brecht – RHP – (Iowa)

Brecht really saw things come together command wise down the stretch, which could push him closer to the middle of the first round given his athleticism and raw stuff. If not, the fit with the Dodgers is seamless, an organization that has historically been very tolerant of command challenges, valuing stuff and athleticism on the mound above all.

24. Braves: Jurrangelo Cijntje – RHP/LHP – (Mississippi State)

A strike thrower with a mid 90s fastball from the right-side and low 90s fastball from the left-side, Cintje is a high floor arm who should climb quickly. The Braves have targeted arms in the last five drafts, and they’d likely jump at the opportunity to grab the intriguing switch-pitcher.

25. Padres: Slade Caldwell – OF – (Valley View HS, AR)

Speaking of draft trends, the Padres have gone the prep route with their last seven first round picks, and are expected to do the same this year. That could mean RHP Ryan Sloan, LHP Kash Mayfield or shortstop Kellon Lindsey as well. One of the best blends of hit and speed in the draft, Caldwell fits the bill of what the Padres often look for.

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26. Yankees: Tommy White – 3B – (Louisiana State)

A bit of a polarizing prospect, White never quite matched his incredible freshman season that saw him mash 27 home runs in just 55 games for NC State before transferring to LSU. Regardless, he compiled 75 homers in his 187 game collegiate career and cut his strikeout rate down to just 16% in his junior season. The Yankees love powerful, free swingers and could feel as though they could get the most out of White’s impressive offensive tools.

27. Phillies: Ryan Sloan – RHP – (York HS, IL)

The Phillies have leaned towards high school talent with their last four first round selections, two of which were hard throwing right-handers in Andrew Painter and Mick Abel. At 6-foot-5, 220 pounds, Sloan is a powerful teenage arm who can reach the upper 90s and already boasts a great feel for a changeup.

28. Astros: Walker Janek – C – (Sam Houston State)

Janek is expected to go closer to the middle of the first round, but a run of prep prospects and arms could cause one of the top catchers in the class to slip. The Astros have reportedly been casting somewhat of a wide net, and it is fair to argue that Janek is the best player available at this point.

29. Diamondbacks: Malcolm Moore – C – (Stanford)

The potential for above average hit and power make Moore an intriguing option late in the first round, even if he can’t stick behind the dish, though he has made strides in that regard. It’s hard to imagine him slipping much further than this.

30. Rangers: Kellon Lindsey – SS – (Hardee HS, FL)

Arguably the best wheels in the class, Lindsey stood out as a quarterback at Hardee High School as well before shifting his focus to baseball. He has a simple swing from the right side that is geared for contact, but there is likely more power in the tank as he learns to use his lower half better. He has the tools to stick at shortstop as well as he gains more reps.

Supplemental/Compensation Picks

31. Diamondbacks: Tyson Lewis – SS – (Millard West HS, NE)

32. Orioles: Billy Amick – 3B – (Tennessee)

33. Twins: Dakota Jordan – OF – (Mississippi St.)

34. Brewers: Jonathan Santucci – LHP – (Duke)

35. Diamondbacks: Carter Johnson – SS – (Oxford HS, AL)

36. Guardians: Kash Mayfield – LHP – (Elk City HS, OK)

The savings with the first overall selection could pay off wonderfully if the Guardians are able to meet a price tag others aren’t on the second best prep southpaw in the class.

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37. Pirates: Griff O’Ferrall – SS – (Virginia)

38. Rockies: PJ Morlando – OF/1B – (Summerville HS, SC)

39. Royals: Wyatt Sanford – SS (Independence HS, TX)