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ESPN releases top 50 prospect rankings for 2024 MLB Draft

On3 imageby:Jonathan Wagner02/26/24

Jonathan Wagner

Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

College baseball is in full swing, MLB Spring Training is underway, and baseball is fully back. Now is a perfect time to look ahead to the 2024 MLB Draft and which prospects currently sit at the top.

Last week, ESPN MLB Insider Kiley McDaniel released his top 50 prospects for the 2024 MLB Draft, which included a mix of both college stars and high school players.

Last season’s draft class featured Paul Skenes, Dylan Crews and Wyatt Langford at the top, an absolutely loaded class at the top. This year’s is definitely more even across the board, with not much separation among the players that could go in the first round.

McDaniel’s early MLB Draft rankings feature college players almost exclusively at the top, with each of the top 13 prospects being college players. Just one high school prospect cracks ESPN’s top 15.

The top five picks, in order, in the 2024 MLB Draft belong to the Cleveland Guardians, Cincinnati Reds, Colorado Rockies, Oakland Athletics, and Chicago White Sox.

1. J.J. Wetherholt, West Virginia 2B

© Aaron E. Martinez / American-Statesman / USA TODAY NETWORK

One of the top hitters in the country, J.J. Wetherholt has a legitimate chance to be the top overall pick when the 2024 MLB Draft gets underway. Breaking out in 2023, Wetherholt hit .449 with 16 home runs and 60 RBI. He is an all-around threat, too, stealing 36 bases, while striking out just 22 times compared to 26 walks.

Wetherholt missed this past weekend’s series due to a hamstring injury. He is hitting .333 through nine at-bats this season.

2. Travis Bazzana, Oregon State 2B

Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

All Travis Bazzana has done at Oregon State is rake. He has gotten better each season, which is hard to do considering he was a .306 hitter in 2022. Last year, he hit .374 with 11 home runs and 55 RBI, stealing 36 bases as well.

This season, Bazzana is off to an even better start. He’s hitting .438 with five home runs and nine RBI through eight games.

3. Nick Kurtz, Wake Forest 1B

Mandatory Credit: Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Kurtz is a career .340 hitter, and he’s established himself as one of the best in college baseball. After hitting .338 with 15 home runs and 56 RBI in 2022, he upped his production to .349 with 22 home runs and 64 RBI in 2023.

This season, Kurtz is off to a slower start, hitting .280 with one long ball and three RBI. But once he gets going again, he has a chance to establish himself as a sure top ten pick.

4. Chase Burns, Wake Forest RHP

Chase Burns Tennessee Baseball
(© Caitie McMekin/News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK)

Not many pitchers can do what Chase Burns can on the mound. After two up-and-down seasons at Tennessee, he transferred to Wake Forest this offseason. Burns has already made an impact for the Demon Deacons, with a 2-0 record to go along with a 2.38 ERA in 11.1 innings this season.

Burns, who consistently throws his fastball in triple digits, has 18 strikeouts compared to five walks on the season and 235 to 52 in his three-year career.

5. Jac Caglianone, Florida 1B/LHP

(Photo by Jay Biggerstaff/Getty Images)

Jac Caglianone is an impact player both at the plate and on the mound. While he has struggled at times as a pitcher, he has a ton of upside from the left side and has a chance to play both ways in the professional ranks.

Caglianone is hitting .545 through six games in 2024. Last year, he hit .323 with 33 home runs and 90 RBI, and pitched to a 7-4 record behind 4.34 ERA, 87 strikeouts and 55 walks in 74.2 innings.

6. Seaver King, Wake Forest CF

Seaver King
Credit: Wingate Athletics

Seaver King hit .381 in his first year at Wingate and .411 in his second. He is an all-around hitter who had 15 career home runs before hitting the transfer portal and landing at Wake Forest.

The season is young, but King is off to a solid start. He has three home runs and seven RBI, hitting .276 with two stolen bases.

7. Charlie Condon, Georgia 1B

Charlie Condon Georgia Baseball
Kari Hodges / UGA Sports Communications

Charlie Condon saw his first collegiate action last season at Georgia and immediately became one of the country’s top hitters. He hit .386 with 25 home runs and 67 RBI.

Condon is on an impressive pace through two weeks in 2024 as well. In seven games, he has three homers and 7 RBI. And he’s also hitting .643.

8. Vance Honeycutt, North Carolina CF

Vance Honeycutt
Credit: UNC Athletics

Vance Honeycutt was slowed by an injury at the end of 2023, and finished the year hitting .257 with 12 home runs and 43 RBI. It was a bit of a step down from his 2022 campaign, where he hit .296 with 25 home runs, 57 RBI, and became one of the favorites to become the top overall prospect in the 2024 MLB Draft.

Honeycutt is now hitting .296 through seven games this season. He has eight hits, five of which have been long balls, driving 12 runs in during the process. He is a true five-tool type of prospect when he’s on, as a good hitter, great defender, and dangerous threat on the basepaths.

9. Braden Montgomery, Texas A&M RF

Braden Montgomery Texas A&M
Credit: Texas A&M athletics

At Stanford, Montgomery became a star. He hit .294 with 18 home runs and 64 RBI in 2022 and then .336 with 17 home runs and 61 in 2023. In the offseason, Montgomery became one of the most notable players to enter the portal and he landed at Texas A&M.

Safe to say that decision is working out. Montgomery is off to a great start again, hitting .423 with three home runs and 12 RBI in seven games. But he remains one of the top prospects for the MLB Draft.

10. Mike Sirota, Northeastern SS

Mike Sirota
Credit: Northeastern Athletics

Mike Sirota was a .326 hitter in 37 games in 2022, driving four homers and 20 RBI. He played in 55 games last year, hitting .344 with 18 home runs and 54 RBI, stealing 19 bases.

This season has been a slow start for Sirota, who is hitting .200 in 20 at-bats. He has yet to hit a home run.

ESPN’s MLB Draft Player Rankings: 11-50

Tommy White, LSU Tigers third baseman
(Scott Clause / USA TODAY Sports)

11. Malcom Moore, Stanford catcher
12. Jonathan Santucci, Duke LHP
13. Tommy White, LSU 3B
14. Konnor Griffin, Jackson Prep HS (MS) CF/RHP (LSU commit)
15. Brody Brecht, Iowa RHP
16. Cam Caminiti, Sanguaro HS (AZ) LHP (LSU commit)
17. Bryce Rainer, Harvard Westlake HS (CA) SS (Texas commit)
18. Kaelen Culpepper, Kansas State SS
19. Trey Yesavage, East Carolina RHP
20. Slade Caldwell, Valley View HS (AR) CF (Ole Miss commit)
21. Drew Beam, Tennessee RHP
22. Caleb Lomavita, Cal catcher
23. Cameron Smith, Florida State 3B
24. Carter Johnson, Oxford HS (AL) SS (Alabama commit)
25. Dakota Jordan, Mississippi State RF
26. Josh Hartle, Wake Forest LHP
27. Anthony Silva, TCU SS
28. P.J. Morlando, Summerville HS (SC) RF (South Carolina commit)
29. Carson Benge, Oklahoma State RF/RHP
30. Hagen Smith, Arkansas LHP
31. Rodney Green, Cal CF
32. Ethan Anderson, Virginia catcher
33. Griff O’Ferrall, Virginia SS
34. Thatcher Hurd, LSU RHP
35. Jacob Cozart, NC State catcher
36. Luke Holman, LSU RHP
37. Ryan Sloan, York Community HS (IL) RHP (Wake Forest commit)
38. Ben Hess, Alabama RHP
39. Billy Amick, Tennessee 3B
40. Kevin Bazzell, Texas Tech 3B
41. Joey Oakie, Ankeny Centennial HS (IA) RHP (Iowa commit)
42. Gage Jump, LSU LHP
43. William Schmidt, Catholic HS (LA) RHP (LSU commit)
44. Carson DeMartini, Virginia Tech 3B
45. Cole Mathis, College of Charleston 1B
46. Jared Thomas, Texas CF
47. Walker Janek, Sam Houston State catcher
48. Levi Sterling, Notre Dame HS (CA) RHP (Texas commit)
49. Noah Franco, IMG Academy HS (FL) RF/LHP (TCU commit)
50. Owen Hall, Edmond North HS (OK) RHP (Vanderbilt commit)

In total, just 12 high school players crack ESPN’s top 50. That means that, of the potential top 50 players in the 2024 MLB Draft, 38 come from the college ranks.

There are plenty of high-upside players outside of the top ten, too, and this first round is truly shaping up to be a deep class littered with upside and talent.