These are the 10 best college hitters in this year's Draft

June 11th, 2024

The unquestionable strength of the 2024 Draft is college position players. They claim the first four spots on MLB Pipeline's Draft Top 200 list, seven could go in the first 10 picks and as many as 20 could land in the first round.

It will be an upset if the Guardians take anyone but Oregon State second baseman Travis Bazzana or Georgia outfielder/third baseman Charlie Condon with the No. 1 overall selection. They've separated themselves from the rest of the Draft class, regardless of demographic, and they headline our ranking of the 10 best college hitters available.

1. Travis Bazzana, 2B, Oregon State (No. 1 on Draft Top 200)
The Golden Spikes Award finalist’s season is over, but what a season it was. He batted .407/.568/.911, currently places second in NCAA Division I in both on-base and slugging percentage and also swiped 16 bases. He walked more than twice as often as he struck out, finishing with miniscule 16 percent miss and 17 percent chase rates, all reasons executives ranked him as the best prospect in the class in our recent survey.

2. Charlie Condon, OF/3B, Georgia (No. 2)
Condon has gone from a preferred walk-on who redshirted in 2022 to offering the best combination of hitting ability, power and plate discipline in this Draft. A Golden Spikes Award finalist as well as the Southeastern Conference player of the year, he leads D-I in hitting (.433), slugging (1.009), OPS (1.565), homers (37, a record since the NCAA enacted stricter bat guidelines in 2011), extra-base hits (87) and total bases (233).

3. Jac Caglianone, 1B/LHP, Florida (No. 3)
The Gators’ advancement to Omaha means college baseball fans will get to see Caglianone pitch again, but he’s going to be swinging the bat at the next level. He’s second behind Condon among D-I hitters with 33 homers and fourth in slugging (.860) while hitting .411 with a .532 OBP. He doesn’t miss much for a slugger (21 percent) but some worry about his chase rate (40 percent).

4. Nick Kurtz, 1B, Wake Forest (No. 4)
A data darling, Kurtz may have the best combination of swing decisions, contact and exit velocities in the entire Draft. He recovered from an early-season slump and shoulder injury to bat .306/.531/.763 with 22 homers and a D-I best 78 walks, including a stretch with 14 blasts in nine games that included six long balls in seven at-bats.

5. JJ Wetherholt, SS/2B, West Virginia (No. 7)
While his numbers this year weren’t as huge as his sophomore season, Wetherholt did bounce back from missing time with a hamstring issue to finish with a 1.061 OPS over 36 games. A team that's confident the injury won't impede him could get a hitter just as good as the ones at the top of this list.

6. Braden Montgomery, OF, Texas A&M (No. 8)
Montgomery fits the classic right-field profile with huge raw power and arm strength. After spending his first two college seasons at Stanford, he transferred to Texas A&M and slashed .328/.457/.730 with 27 homers. He suffered a season-ending injury to his right ankle on an awkward slide at home plate on Saturday in the opener of the Aggies' Super-Regional sweep of Oregon.

7. Seaver King, 3B/OF, Wake Forest (No. 13)
King has some of the best bat-to-ball skills and defensive versatility in the college class, starting games at third base, center field, shortstop and second base while hitting .308/.377/.577 with 16 homers and 11 steals in his first season at Wake Forest. He spent the previous two years at NCAA Division II Wingate (N.C.), where he put together a 47-game hitting streak.

8. Cam Smith, 3B, Florida State (No. 14)
A Draft-eligible sophomore, Smith has made everyone forget about his rough freshman season by hitting .347 on the Cape last summer and then posting a .402/.497/.677 line with 16 homers to help the Seminoles make it to Omaha.

9. Tommy White, 3B, Louisiana State (No. 15)
White is known most for his power because he set D-I freshman and North Carolina State records with 27 homers in 2022, then went deep 48 more times in the next two years at Louisiana State. His pop overshadows his hitting ability and contact skills, which translated into a .355/.419/.704 line in three college seasons.

10. James Tibbs, OF, Florida State (No. 16)
Tibbs went 7-for-11 with three homers in one game during the Seminoles’ Super Regional. That shouldn’t surprise anyone as he’s performed all year, with 28 homers and 94 RBIs (tied for second in the nation), a big reason why we projected him to go No. 8 to the Angels in our most recent mock draft.