We've never seen a college hitter like Charlie Condon

April 3rd, 2024

Are we witnessing the best hitting season in college baseball history?

Whether that ends up being the case remains to be seen. But, boy, is Charlie Condon doing what he can to put himself in that conversation.

The Georgia first baseman/outfielder and MLB Pipeline’s No. 4 Draft prospect for 2024, Condon was hitting over .500 until taking a rare 0-for in Tuesday’s blowout win over Georgia Tech. Still, his numbers are eye-popping. The sophomore is slashing .481/.593/1.130 with 19 home runs through 29 games. He leads NCAA Division I in all those categories, as well as hits (52) and total bases (122).

After putting together one of the best freshman years in college history in 2023, Condon has a chance this year to set the all-time NCAA D1 records for hitting, OBP and slugging percentage. That’s dominance unlike anything we’ve ever seen.

“One of the most important things I took with me into this offseason was refusing to be complacent,” Condon said on this week’s MLB Pipeline Podcast. “I think that’s kind of what’s continued to pay off for me. I knew the work I put in my freshman year when I redshirted ... a lot of [my success last year] was because of that work. I took a very similar approach into this offseason, knowing I’d seen the recipe for success pay off.

“It’s hard to expect results in a game that is so variable with so many things you don’t have control over. Just the ability to control offseason preparation and belief in myself and things like that have put me in a good spot to perform.”

Somewhat amazingly in hindsight, Condon wasn’t heavily recruited out of high school in the competitive Georgia prep scene and had to walk-on at Georgia before redshirting his freshman year. But he wasn’t the physically imposing presence he is now, a 6-foot-6, 216-pound slugger who is so long and strong he can mis-hit balls out of the yard.

“I don’t necessarily feel like I was wronged out of high school with the recruiting process,” he said. “I wasn’t the caliber of player I am today. I knew I was going to be a late bloomer. That’s just how my family genetics work -- my brother grew late. My dad grew late when he was younger. So I just knew it was going to take a little more time.

“I had to believe in myself and know that time was eventually going to come. I had a ton of people in my corner in high school that were kind of seeing what I was seeing. I was so thankful to have them, because opportunities like the preferred walk-on spot at Georgia wouldn’t have been possible without other people who believed in me and voiced their opinions for me. Then once I got on campus here -- all the time and hours and resources this university has put into my development, it’s just been a perfect storm of molding me into what I am today.”

Condon isn’t just a slugger. He’s walked nearly as much as he’s struck out over his college career. This year, he is walking way more (26-17 BB/SO ratio) while bouncing between first and third base and both corner outfield spots. He credits the work he’s done to develop since arriving at Georgia, including his experience in the wood bat Northwoods League last summer.

“I give a lot of that credit to the guy I’ve hit with since middle school, Zach Blonder -- he built my swing from the ground-up, and knows it just about better than I do,” Condon said. “A lot of my offseason training is strength-related and working on getting power numbers up, but it’s also about getting feel for the barrel and seeing spin and plate discipline.

“When I showed up to campus as a freshman, I swung at everything. If I got a good pitch, I could hit it pretty good. But that’s a spot where my game has developed the most: having the discipline to put myself in good counts to hit and earning those good pitches to hit rather than having them just fall into my lap.”