Scouting reports for the top 5 Draft prospects

April 25th, 2024

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We've unveiled our expanded Top 150 Draft Prospects list, and there's plenty of change, especially towards the top. There's a new No. 1 in college slugger Charlie Condon, who wound up at Georgia as a preferred walk-on and redshirted during his first season in Athens.

With the release of our list, it's time to take a look at the top five prospects -- all college position players.

Here are scouting reports for each of them:

1. Charlie Condon, OF/3B, Georgia
Condon should surpass Jeff Pyburn (No. 5 overall in 1980) as the highest-drafted player in Bulldogs history because he has a huge offensive ceiling. He has top-of-the-scale raw power that plays from foul pole to foul pole and his combination of bat speed, strength and leverage in his 6-foot-6 frame allows him to mishit balls yet still drive them out of the park. Despite his long arms, he keeps his right-handed swing relatively compact and controls the strike zone while repeatedly making loud contact against all types of pitching.

Though he's a below-average runner, Condon is reasonably athletic and covers ground with long strides once he gets going. After splitting time between first base and the outfield corners as a freshman, he has played all three outfield spots and third base this spring. He's not quick enough for third or center but he does have solid-to-plus arm strength and can provide average defense in left or right field.

2. Travis Bazzana, 2B, Oregon State
The left-handed-hitting infielder is compact and strong with plenty of bat speed. He has an advanced approach at the plate with a ton of raw power, though he can occasionally be susceptible to offspeed stuff on the outer half of the zone. He’s proven he can hit lefties as well as righties. A plus runner, he’s a legitimate base-stealing threat.

While some worry about where he can play defensively, some scouts think he’s going to be just fine at second base. His athleticism helps him have good range, he has enough arm for the spot and he can turn the double play effectively. A second-base profile isn’t one often seen at the top of a Draft, but the conviction in his bat is so strong, he’s going to get a lot of attention in the top 10.

3. Jac Caglianone, 1B/LHP, Florida
A 6-foot-5 physical beast, Caglianone has top of the class left-handed raw power, and he gets to it, as evidenced by his Division I-leading 33 home runs in 2023. He’s very aggressive in the box and there was concern about his tendency to chase pitches out of the zone (44 percent chase rate last year), but he doesn’t strike out a lot and makes a lot of hard contact. He’s cut his miss and chase rates in 2024 and has a minuscule strikeout rate this spring. He’s solid defensively at first base as well.

The Tommy John surgery recipient struggled to find the strike zone in his first collegiate pitching action last year, but a more compact delivery was helping him stay around the zone more, even if his walk rate still remained high. He touches triple digits with his fastball and he introduced a 90 mph cutter that he featured more than his slider this fall to go along with a solid changeup. He might be a top-of-the-first-round bat, with some seeing him more as a second-rounder on the mound.

4. Nick Kurtz, 1B, Wake Forest
Kurtz's signature tool is his well-above-average power to all fields, the product of outstanding bat speed, strength and a left-handed stroke designed to drive balls in the air. More than just a slugger, he's a complete hitter with no discernible weakness who crushes left-handers and right-handers and all types of pitches. He controls the strike zone, covers the entire plate and hits the ball with authority all over the ballpark.

Kurtz also plays a quality first base and has average arm strength. The only blemishes on his game are his below-average speed, which doesn't really matter given his position and offensive upside, and an injury history that includes a broken rib that knocked him out of the end of the 2023 College World Series. If he's as good as scouts believe he is, he could turn into Jim Thome with defensive value.

5. Braden Montgomery, OF, Texas A&M
Montgomery had more of a hit-over-power profile in high school but that has reversed in college. A switch-hitter with strength and a quick, aggressive stroke from both sides of the plate, he does more damage as a lefty hitter, and his plus power plays to all parts of the ballpark. While he improved his plate discipline last spring, he still swung and missed at pitches in the strike zone too often and struggled to handle breaking balls.

With average speed and plus-plus arm strength, Montgomery fits best in right field. As a pitcher, he can reach 96 mph with his fastball and miss some bats with his low-80s slider and mid-80s changeup. His lack of control and command limit his effectiveness, however, and he has a much higher ceiling and floor as an outfielder.