Get to know No. 9 Draft pick Konnor Griffin

July 15th, 2024

He was the top high school Draft prospect in the country, and for good reason. With the physical frame of a Major League slugger, the speed of a player who could steal 30 bases at the big league level and an arm that brings 96 mph from the mound, there's no telling what Mississippi prep star might accomplish at the professional level.

Here's what to know about the No. 9 overall pick in the 2024 MLB Draft, selected by the Pirates:

Ht/Wt: 6-foot-4/215 pounds
B/T: R/R
DOB: 4/24/2006
College: Committed to Louisiana State University
High School: Jackson Prep (Flowood, Miss.)
Born: Florence, Miss.
MLB Pipeline ranking: No. 9
MLB Draft selection: No. 9 overall (Pirates)

He's got massive five-tool potential

At 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds, Griffin is already bigger than many big leaguers. He's obviously built for power at the plate, but he can also run well, to the point that MLB Pipeline sees 30-homer/30-steal potential for him at the next level. Defensively, he is projected to be able to hold his own at shortstop despite his size, but he is seen as a possible Gold Glove Award-winning center fielder.

He shattered school records

This guy put up video game numbers, even for high school. He shattered school records by the end of April -- he scored his record 69th and 70th runs of the season in his 37th game on April 25. At that point, he also owned the school record for career steals, with 111 (78 of which had come in 2024).

His model player? Acuña, of course

Huge power and explosive speed? It's no wonder Griffin has said he models his game after 2023 National League MVP Ronald Acuña Jr., who became the first player in AL/NL history to hit at least 40 home runs (41) and steal 70 bases (73) in the same season.

"He plays with a lot of energy, hits home runs, hits in the gap, likes to steal bases," Griffin told the Biloxi Sun Herald. "So I would say a lot of my game is similar to his."

A better athlete than a trio of baseball legends?

The assistant head coach for baseball at Jackson Prep in Mississippi is none other than former MLB pitcher Jay Powell. Powell has played with the likes of Alex Rodriguez, Chipper Jones and Todd Helton. According to Mississippi Today, Powell said that Griffin is a better athlete at his age than any of those three. High, high praise.

His arm is an absolute cannon

Griffin was more than a shortstop/outfielder in high school -- he pitched, too. And his arm is electric, clocking in at 96 mph. If he wasn't such a tremendous position player/hitter, he could very well have been a first-round Draft pick on the mound. But MLB teams will likely see his bat and glove as much more valuable assets at the professional level.

If you ask Griffin, he prefers the position-player route, too.

"I can throw hard and I’ve learned a lot about pitching from Jay Powell, but I really want to play every day whether it’s in the outfield, shortstop or whatever," he told Mississippi Today. "I want to be an everyday ballplayer. I don’t want to sit for four days and then pitch every fifth game. I want to play."

He's one of two high school players on the Golden Spikes Award watchlist

Though every winner of the Golden Spikes Award -- presented to the best amateur baseball player in the country each year since 1978 -- has been a collegiate athlete, occasionally there will be a prep star or two who make the preseason watch list. This year, there are two: Griffin and Cam Caminiti (cousin of former MLB All-Star third baseman Ken Caminiti) from Saguaro High School in Scottsdale, Ariz. No high school player has ever won the award, and only one has made the semifinalist cut of 25 -- Royals superstar shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. in 2019.