2024 MLB Draft: Mock Draft 2.0

December 12, 2023

With the draft lottery in the rear-view mirror and the draft order now set in stone, we can begin looking forward toward the actual picks themselves next July.

As a refresher, last year I created a model that tries to accurately predict what specific players possess the traits and qualities a specific team looks for in any given draft. It takes into account the Top 100 picks from the last three drafts and puts weights on specific tools each team drafts toward.

The model takes into account batted-ball data, swing decisions and positional tools for position players. On the mound, it weighs pitch types, spin, velocity and pitch movement profiles, as well as release traits for any given player drafted in the Top 100 picks. By using the last three years as a sample, the goal is to draw conclusions toward what types of players teams prefer to take with their most valuable selections. The model is messy, no doubt. But it does a pretty good job at wrangling in what teams value, and why they select the players they do.

I’ll spare you the finite details of trait-weighting and skip to the good stuff. This first model-driven mock draft is no different. We’ll attempt to connect players to teams based on previous selections by those organizations.

At times, we will call an audible based on new hires at the top of those team’s scouting departments. Attaching any team to any specific player at this junction is the epitome of futility. But here we are.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following rankings and evaluations by FSS PLUS are based on subjective analysis and industry sources, and do not influence, are not influenced by, or are affiliated with the opinions and reports of Future Stars Series scouting and development staff.

1. Cleveland Guardians

JJ Wetherholt, 2B/3B — West Virginia
HOMETOWN: Mars, PA
HEIGHT: 5-11
WEIGHT: 190
BAT/THROW: L-R
DRAFT SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEWWatch video

Last year, the Cleveland Guardians put a major emphasis on injecting more impact and power into their organization. The additions of C/1B Ralphy Velazquez, C/OF Cooper Ingle and 1B C.J. Kayfus were a departure from Cleveland’s traditional draft approach in selecting up the middle talent with positional flexibility depending on development. 2022 saw the team take metric-darling OF Chase Delauter in round one, with pitching soon to follow. 2021 was heavy on the pitching side.

Wetherholt is a tremendous blend of everything the Guardians have drafted in the past. He possesses high contract rates, low chase rates, enormous barrel rates and plays up the middle of the field. Others that make sense here based on previous drafts and organizational philosophy include Oregon State 2B Travis Bazzana, Wake Forest 1B Nick Kurtz and to a lesser extent Wake Forest RHP Chase Burns.


2. Cincinnati Reds

Nick Kurtz, 1B — Wake Forest
HOMETOWN: Lancaster, PA
HEIGHT: 6-6
WEIGHT: 230
BAT/THROW: L-L
DRAFT SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEWWatch video

The Reds are generally one of the more difficult teams to model correlations to in any given draft. They’ve gone over-slot for college players in the past, and under-slot for college pitching. The team is chockfull of infield talent for the foreseeable future, and currently lack a top-end slug-first bat that could move quickly and inject more life into a a young lineup.

Kurtz is probably the best blend of polish and impact available in this class. He has a chance to be a 35-homer corner infielder who posts strong walk rates. Bazzana was just a tick behind Kurtz for this spot based on the model, though for Cincinnati the correlation scores are loose.


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3. Colorado Rockies

Chase Burns, RHP — Wake Forest
HOMETOWN: Gallatin, TN
HEIGHT: 6-4
WEIGHT: 215
BAT/THROW: R-R


As recently as 2021 and 2022, the Rockies placed an extreme emphasis on drafting players with big power at the tops of their drafts, and it skewed the correlation metric toward Georgia OF Charlie Condon here. He would certainly be in play, but the second-closest correlation connected Colorado to Burns.

With Yanquiel Fernandez, Benny Montgomery, Jordan Beck, Sterlin Thompson and Zac Veen all on the horizon, we’re calling an audible here as the fits makes more sense. At least from this chair. 

The Rockies went arm-heavy at the top in 2023 selecting Chase Dollander and Sean Sullivan with their first two picks. That followed up a 2022 draft where they made Gabriel Hughes their first selection.

Condon aside, the model thinks that trend continues. Burns has no-doubt top-of-the-rotation upside if he can continue to polish up his command out of the stretch and show he can work long innings. A fastball up to 100 mph and a slider that routinely sits 90 mph is top shelf stuff.


4. Oakland Athletics

Travis Bazzana, 2B — Oregon State
HOMETOWN: Sydney, Australia
HEIGHT: 6-0
WEIGHT: 190
BAT/THROW: L-R
DRAFT SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEWWatch video

The Oakland Athletics have placed an exorbitant emphasis on bats in the first couple rounds in the draft the last few years and Bazzana falling into their laps at four would be a huge win for the organization.

In this case, Bazzana is by far the closest correlation of any player at this spot, with high school SS/OF Konnor Griffin being the second-closest fit based on past draft tendencies. The team also seems to veer toward West Coast performers and the Beavers bluechip fits that bill as well.

Bazzana provides elite swing decisions and top shelf contact rates. He has the chance to develop into a middle-of-the-order Jason Kipnis type of second baseman who leads with the bat.


5. Chicago White Sox

Brody Brecht, RHP — Iowa
HOMETOWN: Ankeny, IA
HEIGHT: 6-4
WEIGHT: 205
BAT/THROW: R-R
DRAFT SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEWWatch video

The White Sox past tendencies to focus on arms early, plus Brecht’s spin profile as compared to previous White Sox draftees put a big weight on the correlation between the two parties here.

In the last two years, Chicago has landed names like Noah Schultz, Peyton Pallette and Grant Taylor early. All three of those pitchers boast big rpms on the breaking ball. Schultz and Taylor came with control and command concerns, something Brecht will likely battle early in his career as well. If he can wrangle in the walks this spring, he mostly certainly has Top 10 upside.

It’s arguably the best pure stuff the draft has seen, maybe ever. For what it is worth, Arkansas southpaw Hagen Smith was almost the most correlative pick here, but Brecht edged him out.


6. Kansas City Royals

Cam Caminiti, LHP — Saguaro HS
HOMETOWN: Scottsdale, AZ
HEIGHT: 6-2
WEIGHT: 205
BAT/THROW: L-L

The Royals have received the short end of the stick in draft lotteries on back to back years. In 2023, you could argue it forced the team to change course a bit at the top of the draft as they elected to select high school C Blake Mitchell under-slot to get creative later in the draft.

The team then selected another prep in high school RHP Blake Wolters. This comes two years after the team selected prep LHP Frank Mozzicato in the first round and followed that up by taking RHP Ben Kudrna and prep C Carter Jensen; all Top 100 picks. Surely that went into the model weighting here. Caminiti is moving up boards after finishing the summer strong, and now appears poised to go in the first round.

The second-closest selection here was Northeastern OF Mike Sirota whose batted-ball profile currently closely mirrors some previous early picks the Royals selected in 2022 in OF Gavin Cross and 3B/OF Cayden Wallace.


7. St. Louis Cardinals

Charlie Condon, OF — Georgia
HOMETOWN: Marietta, GA
HEIGHT: 6-5
WEIGHT: 205
BAT/THROW: R-R
DRAFT SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEWWatch video


The Cardinals have continually placed a massive emphasis on batted-ball data, specifically exit velocity buckets going back several years in the draft. Condon possesses some of the biggest power in the 2024 MLB Draft, and couples that with swing decisions that raise his floor.

Florida LHP/1B Jac Caglianone was a distant second in modeling, primarily due to his present chase rates. That said, if Caglianone can bring the chase rates down into the 30 percent range in 2024, re-running the numbers places him ahead of Condon in this scenario. Speaking real world outcomes, Condon does provide more defensive value than Caglianone. But the latter is left-handed and boasts elite, top-of-the-scale batted-ball outcomes.

Caglianone would probably go here if the polish at the plate ticks up. And we haven’t even touched on the fact he’s been up to 101 mph on the mound. Still, we’re following the model. It’s Condon this time around.


8. Los Angeles Angels

Jac Caglianone, 1B/LHP — Florida
HOMETOWN: Tampa, FL
HEIGHT: 6-5
WEIGHT: 210
BAT/THROW: L-L
DRAFT SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEWWatch video

Admittedly, I’m calling an audible here. The model suggests Sirota goes in this spot. His extremely low chase rates and up-the-middle profile would move quickly for the Angels, perhaps debuting in early 2025 if they saw fit.

More interesting is the fact that South Alabama OF Will Turner is the second-closest correlation here. But with Caglianone still on the board and the Angels’ history with two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani, the fit is too hard to ignore. Los Angeles has been there, done that. They know how to take care of a two-way star and how the routine must differ greatly from the alternative.

Caglianone may not see the big leagues until 2026, but it would behoove the Angels to inject this type of upside and positive narrative back into their organization in the immediacy. He immediately, by a wide margin, becomes the top prospect on the farm.


9. Pittsburgh Pirates

Slade Caldwell, OF — Valley View HS
HOMETOWN: Jonesboro, AR
HEIGHT: 5-9
WEIGHT: 181
BAT/THROW: L-L

Again, an audible is being called here due to circumstances that have changed since the 2023 MLB Draft. The Pirates recently hired Scouting Director Justin Horowitz away from the Boston Red Sox.

Horowitz has had a big hand in where Boston has gone in several drafts in recent years. Should he bring the philosophy with him from Beantown, things will be different in Pittsburgh. The Red Sox value hitters more than anything. It should be assumed this will be a bat. OF Konnor Griffin certainly fits the bill here, as do Caleb Bonemer and Carter Johnson, two distinguished prep shortstops.

But nobody in the 2024 prep class can claim the title of best pure hitter over Caldwell. He’s an on-base machine who figures to steal 40 bags per year at the next level.

There’s something of a Corbin Carroll quality to his game, even if the power ceiling isn’t quite the same. It can be argued this is a bit too rich for a player who is unlikely to ever hit 20 homers in a season at the next level, but Caldwell checks just about every other box under the sun.


10. Washington Nationals

Konnor Griffin, SS/OF — Jackson Prep HS
HOMETOWN: Florence, MS
HEIGHT: 6-4
WEIGHT: 205
BAT/THROW: R-R

The Nationals hired Brad Ciolek away from the Baltimore Orioles to become their Senior Director of Amateur Scouting. It can be assumed the Nationals will value bats here, as the Orioles have made it a point of emphasis early in every single draft. Couple that with General Manager Mike Rizzo’s affinity with loud high school tools (Brady House, Elijah Green) and Griffin and the Nats seem like a match made in heaven.

Griffin has superstar tools if the hit tool reaches its potential. He’s also been up to 96 on the mound. This has been the highest correlative score thus far in the draft. North Carolina OF Vance Honeycutt was a distant second.


11. Detroit Tigers

Vance Honeycutt, OF — North Carolina
HOMETOWN: Salisbury, NC
HEIGHT: 6-3
WEIGHT: 185
BAT/THROW: R-R
DRAFT SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEWWatch video


It’s been all bats at the top of the draft the last two years for Detroit and the model believes that will continue. Much weight seems to have been pulled from Jace Jung‘s chase rates in 2022 in this pick, as well as Max Clark‘s performance metrics on the tournament circuit in 2022.

Honeycutt turned into an extremely patient hitter with a discerning eye in 2023. His chase rates are elite despite mostly average in-zone contact rates.

Most expect his bat-to-ball metrics to tick up in 2024 after showing a better pure hit tool in 2022 as a true freshman. Honeycutt barely edged out Sirota for this spot due to exit velocity scores. They grade out similarly in the field.


12. Boston Red Sox

Carter Johnson, SS — Oxford HS
HOMETOWN: Oxford, AL
HEIGHT: 6-2
WEIGHT: 185
BAT/THROW: L-R

As was previously mentioned, the Red Sox have a propensity to target up-the-middle bats. Of late, those bats have largely come from the high school side. Kyle Teel was actually their first non-high school bat selected in the first round since 2018 (Tanner Houck).

Many in the industry expect Johnson to skyrocket this spring with added muscle and more looks from scouts. It’s arguably the sweetest swing in the high school class despite inconsistent showings this past summer. He’s an above average glove on the dirt who figures to stick at shortstop.

Johnson is cookie-cutter Boston, in a good way. Bonemer was the second-highest correlation here, but Johnson’s defensive grades likely gave him the edge. One interesting note? If I move Summerville 1B PJ Morlando to the outfield (where he will play all spring for his high school) in the model, he exactly matches Johnson’s correlation score as a fit for the Red Sox. 


13. San Francisco Giants

Hagen Smith, LHP — Arkansas
HOMETOWN: King, NC
HEIGHT: 6-3
WEIGHT: 222
BAT/THROW: L-L
DRAFT SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEWWatch video

Smith’s connection to the Giants likely stems from weight put on his pure velocity, his slider shape, as well as his release height. There are some unique parts of his game that are mirrored by some former high Giants picks in Reggie Crawford, Carson Whisenhunt and William Kempner. Add in the three college arms selected early in 2021 and this is how the conclusion was drawn.

The Giants brought in new General Manager Pete Putila entering the 2023 season and their draft looked much different at the top last July (Bryce Eldridge, Walker Martin).

It’s likely this model is outdated with the potential change in philosophy at the top, in which a guy like PJ Morlando may better fit their fancy.


14. Chicago Cubs

Mike Sirota, OF — Northeastern
HOMETOWN: Queens, NY
HEIGHT: 6-2
WEIGHT: 185
BAT/THROW: R-R
DRAFT SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEWWatch video


The amount of times Sirota has come “runner-up” in this model is fairly fascinating, and unfortunate for him at the same time. He’s arguably a Top-5 talent who should cement himself higher than this with a loud showing this spring.

Sirota barely edged out Duke LHP Jonathan Santucci for this spot. His blend of polish and upside at the plate closely mirror 2023 draftees Matt Shaw and Josh Rivera.


15. Seattle Mariners

Caleb Bonemer, SS/3B — Okemos HS
HOMETOWN: Okemos, MI
HEIGHT: 6-1
WEIGHT: 200
BAT/THROW: R-R
DRAFT SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEWWatch video

Seattle’s extreme insistence to draft high school talent at the top of the draft heavily skewed this pick toward the highest high school bat on the board. Eight of the team’s last eleven Top-100 picks have been preps.

Bonemer is a tooled-up infielder who figures to stick on the left side of the dirt. The bat showed flashes of being the most impactful bat in the country this past summer.

Morlando and SS Theo Gillen both graded out well in terms of correlative relationship here as well. Once again, if Morlando is moved to the outfield in the model, he too grades out quite high in correlation. 


16. Miami Marlins

Levi Sterling, RHP — Notre Dame HS
HOMETOWN: Los Angeles, CA
HEIGHT: 6-4
WEIGHT: 195
BAT/THROW: R-R

The Marlins have gone gangbusters in recent years targeting high school pitching inside their Top-100 picks (Noble Meyer, Jacob Miller, Karson Milbrandt, Thomas White) and it played a big part in the three players most closely connected to the team with pick 16. Sterling got the nod (mostly because he’s ranked higher on our board), but RHP/SS Bryce Rainer and RHP Joey Oakie both graded out well too. Sterling has some interesting release traits that both Meyer and White can claim. Rainer could eventually supplant Sterling in this spot with a big spring. They both have tremendous arm talent.


17. Milwaukee Brewers

Seaver King, OF/2B — Wake Forest
HOMETOWN: Athens, GA
HEIGHT: 6-0
WEIGHT: 190
BAT/THROW: R-R
DRAFT SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEWWatch video

The Brewers have been extremely heavy on the college bat side of things in recent years and with King on the board he fits the mold well. He’ll need to bring his chase rates down, and that’s why he’s lasted to this point in this model-driven mock draft, but he’s got Top-5 talent and boasts exit velocities that can be matched by recent Brewers early picks (Brock Wilken, Eric Brown Jr.).

This is the first time LSU 1B Tommy White and Oklahoma State OF Carson Benge finished in the Top-3 for correlation score with a pick.


18. Tampa Bay Rays

Braden Montgomery, OF/RHP — Texas A&M
HOMETOWN: Madison, MS
HEIGHT: 6-2
WEIGHT: 204
BAT/THROW: B-R
DRAFT SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEWWatch video

The Rays are all over the map in terms of tendencies and weighting traits inside the Top 100 picks of their last three drafts. They continue to show preference toward position players, and low chase rates seem to be the pillar of their selections going back to 2021. Montgomery gets high marks at this spot for his selectivity at the plate.

His double-plus arm strength will play well in right field for the Rays going forward. The next two strongest correlative relationships for this pick (based on the players still on the board) were Oklahoma State OF Carson Benge and South Alabama OF Will Turner.


19. New York Mets

Jonathan Santucci, LHP — Duke
HOMETOWN: Leominster, MA
HEIGHT: 6-2
WEIGHT: 199
BAT/THROW: L-L

The Mets more than most teams have targeted pitching in their Top 100 picks of late, sprinkling in high school shortstops when one of their liking is available. At this stage, it’s a little early for some of the high school shortstops still on the board. Santucci, currently ranked No. 14 overall in the 2024 class on our board, is the highest-rated pitcher available at this spot.

Wake Forest LHP Josh Hartle actually draws a tick higher correlation score due to his cutter usage and the Mets affinity to draft that pitch in the last three years, but we’re calling an audible and sending Santucci instead.


20. Toronto Blue Jays

Trey Yesavage, RHP — East Carolina
HOMETOWN: Boyertown, PA
HEIGHT: 6-4
WEIGHT: 230
BAT/THROW: R-R

Like the Mets, the Blue Jays have gone pitching-heavy in their Top 100 picks over the last several years with some high school shortstops thrown in when the opportunity is right.

Yesavage figures to be a quick mover with metrics on the slider that line up well to other arms selected early in recent drafts to Toronto (Juaron Watts-Brown, Landon Maroudis).

There was not a close relationship between any of the players currently available here and the Blue Jays, though Yesavage and prep SS Bryce Rainer graded out the closest.


21. Minnesota Twins

Jacob Cozart, C — NC State
HOMETOWN: High Point, NC
HEIGHT: 6-3
WEIGHT: 218
BAT/THROW: L-R

We’re calling another audible here. While TCU SS Anthony Silva received the closest relationship score based on the Twins previous Top 100 picks from the last three years, we’re going to throw Cozart their way.

Minnesota currently doesn’t have a player lined up to take over the catching position when Ryan Jeffers undoubtedly prices himself off the roster after the 2026 (or even 2025) season.

Cozart is a really solid ballplayer and the top catching prospect in this draft. He can hit, but he can really defender at the position too.


22. Baltimore Orioles

Carson Benge, OF/RHP — Oklahoma State
HOMETOWN: Yukon, OK
HEIGHT: 6-2
WEIGHT: 185
BAT/THROW: L-R

You can be sure the Orioles will select a bat in this spot. It’s quite literally the only thing GM Mike Elias has selected inside the Top-50 picks in any Orioles draft. Benge is going to grade out extremely well in the Orioles model as they prefer big exit velocity guys with low chase rates.

Benge’s 90th percentile exit velocity figures can stand up to anyone in this class, and his sub-20 percent chase rate will draw scouts’ attention too. It’s a strong correlation between player and organization here.


23. Los Angeles Dodgers

PJ Morlando, OF/1B — Summerville HS
HOMETOWN: Summerville, SC
HEIGHT: 6-3
WEIGHT: 204
BAT/THROW: L-R

This is the earliest the Dodgers have selected in the draft in an extremely long time. There were actually five names with extremely similar correlation scores at this spot.

Morlando ranked No. 1 in large part due to his swing-decision metrics from this past summer. He’d be a good value here at pick 23 as arguably the best pure hitter on the highest school side of things this year.

Others who were close included prep 1B Noah Franco, prep SS Theodore Gillen, prep OF Braylon Payne and Cal OF Rodney Green Jr.


24. Atlanta Braves

Josh Hartle, LHP — Wake Forest
HOMETOWN: King, NC
HEIGHT: 6-4
WEIGHT: 204
BAT/THROW: L-L

The Braves’ insistence to draft pitching in droves certainly pushed Hartle into this spot on the model. He’s the highest-rated arm currently on our board. His interesting slider metrics, as well as his unique release traits probably played into this correlation as well.

Prep RHP Joey Oakie and fellow Wake Forest hurler Michael Massey both graded out close her as well.


25. San Diego Padres

Bryce Rainer, SS/RHP — Harvard-Westlake
HOMETOWN: Simi Valley, CA
HEIGHT: 6-3
WEIGHT: 199
BAT/THROW: L-R

The Padres have had a type for several years now. It’s the high-ceiling, toolsy prep. Rainer might be the most distinguished infielder in the class with a 70-grade throwing arm on the dirt and above average raw power. He’s also been up to 97 on the mound where many think his eventual calling will be.

Rainer has a higher ceiling than many of the players selected before him in this spot.

Prep OF Braylon Payne was the second-closest player-fit here.


26. New York Yankees

Rodney Green Jr., OF– Cal
HOMETOWN: Berkeley, CA
HEIGHT: 6-3
WEIGHT: 188
BAT/THROW: L-L

It’s been left-handed bats in the first round for the last several years (with the exception of George Lombard Jr.) for the Yankees in this spot. Those hitters have also had one things in common in that they all hit the ball extremely hard.

Green Jr. has posted extremely impressive barrel rates over his time at Cal. He’s also a premium defender who will stick in centerfield. While the overall contact rates will scare some teams away, the ceiling here is enormous.

His batted-ball data is what put his name in this spot over Stanford C Malcolm Moore.


27. Philadelphia Phillies

Joey Oakie, RHP — Ankeny
HOMETOWN: Ankeny, IA
HEIGHT: 6-2
WEIGHT: 190
BAT/THROW: R-R

The Phillies haven’t selected a college player with their first pick since 2019 (Bryson Stott, UNLV) and in that time two high school arms (Mick Abel, Andrew Painter) have bolstered a top-heavy farm system.

Oakie is currently No. 43 on the FSS board and, at this stage, represents the highest-rated high school arm on the board.

Prep two-way standout Noah Franco also received a high correlation score here.


28. Houston Astros

Cam Smith, 3B — Florida State
HOMETOWN: Lake Worth, FL
HEIGHT: 6-3
WEIGHT: 222
BAT/THROW: R-R

The Astros search for future resources on the dirt is set to continue in 2024 if this model is correct. Their selections of Alex Ulloa and Brice Matthews drove this weighting, although South Alabama OF Will Turner and TCU SS Anthony Silva had a high correlation score here too.

Ultimately it was likely Smith’s top-end exit velocity numbers that pushed his name past Silva and Turner in this setup.


29. Arizona Diamondbacks

Tommy White, 1B/3B — LSU
HOMETOWN: St. Pete Beach, FL
HEIGHT: 6-2
WEIGHT: 235
BAT/THROW: R-R
DRAFT SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEWWatch video

Arizona has gone all over the map with their early picks in recent years with college guys like Tommy Troy, Gino Groover, Jack Hurley and Ivan Melendez. All of those players share enormous exit velocity readings.

White’s gaudy batted-ball data pushed his name to the top of Arizona’s model in this outcome with Mississippi State OF Dakota Jordan coming in right behind him. Interestingly, LSU righty Luke Holman was the third model-friendly selection here, likely due to the enormous carry on his fastball and how it shares traits with 2022 early-pick Landon Sims.


30. Texas Rangers

Luke Holman, RHP — LSU
HOMETOWN: Sinking Spring, PA
HEIGHT: 6-4
WEIGHT: 195
BAT/THROW: R-R

It’s largely been pitchers at the top of recent drafts for the Rangers with big fastballs being the link. Holman possesses one of the better metric fastballs in college baseball and could see a breakout year in Baton Rouge.

Based on metrics alone, Tennessee RHP Drew Beam was the second-closest selection here, with Kansas State RHP Tyson Neighbors being a third option.


31. Arizona Diamondbacks

Anthony Silva, SS — TCU
HOMETOWN: San Antonio, TX
HEIGHT: 6-2
WEIGHT: 204
BAT/THROW: R-R

Arizona has gone all over the map with their early picks in recent years, though college position players continues to be the emphasis with this second first-round pick. Silva figures to stay on the dirt and provide a bit more floor as compared to their earlier pick, White.

Silva is a draft-eligible true sophomore who showed a great deal of polish in 2023. Many scouts expect his batted-ball data to improve with more strength and reps in 2024.


32. Baltimore Orioles

Theo Gillen, INF — Westlake HS
HOMETOWN: Austin, TX
HEIGHT: 6-3
WEIGHT: 204
BAT/THROW: L-R

While Gillen had an inconsistent summer, he still managed to put up some of the gaudiest data you can find on the high school side of anyone in the class. His 90.1 overall contact rate, 86.8 percent contact rate against fastballs north of 92 mph, and 83.8% contact rate against spin all ranked at or near the top of the class.

Couple those figures with a chase rate under 18 percent and a strikeout rate under 15 percent and it’s hard to foresee a scenario where his name doesn’t surge as we approach July.

Gillen will certainly have to put up a better baseball card slash in the spring, but the underlying numbers all point to a rather polished hitter who should handle pro ball just fine.

This was purely an audible selection on our part. For the record, Mississippi State OF Dakota Jordan is who the model says Baltimore would select with this pick, with South Alabama OF Will Turner also in the mix.


Joe Doyle
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