Discover more from The Skippers View
MLB Draft: 3 Can't Miss College Hitters
It's never too early to start talking about the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft that takes place every July. Here are 3 slam-dunk college prospects that seem like a can't miss.
The 2023 MLB Draft saw a plethora of pro-ready college talent, some of the best we’ve seen in decades. Big names like Paul Skenes, Dylan Crews, Wyatt Langford, and Rhett Lowder did not make it past the top 10.
It was so crazy that first-rounder Nolan Schanuel got called up to the Angels in August after attending college courses at FAU that May.
With Schanuel’s situation being an anomaly, it’s always fun to look at what college players could make that sort of impact after the draft next summer!
1. Vance Honeycutt
If having an 80-grade name was a “thing” in Major League Baseball, Vance Honeycutt would be at said 80. The dude just sounds like he should already be in the show. But as we all know, it’s the on-field play that does the talking, and luckily for Honeycutt, he can back that up with no sweat.
A Junior at North Carolina, Honeycutt was an absolute menace at the dish as a freshman, hitting .296 with 25 HR, 57 RBI, and swiping 29 bags. The only knock on the outfielder was his 90 strikeouts over 247 at-bats.
In 2023, Honeycutt limited his strikeouts as a sophomore to just 51, while walking 8 more times than he did the year prior. A sign of someone who can make adjustments. However, this came at a cost, as the Salisbury, NC native only clubbed 12 HR, and hit just .257, a staggering drop from his 2022 campaign.
Honeycutt’s defense and athleticism have never been questioned, he took home the ACC Defensive Player of the Year in 2023 and has 48 career stolen bases. What I’m looking for in 2024 is for Honeycutt to put everything together, with that being a high HR total, low K%, and his continued stellar defense. If he does that, the kid has 1.1 potential written all over him.
2. Travis Bazzana
Hailing from Sydney, Australia, Bazzana is a rare breed of Aussies who chose the baseball-over-cricket route. As a baseball fan, and from an entertainment standpoint, I’m sure glad that he did.
A middle infielder, and current Oregon State junior, Bazzana is coming off a tremendous summer where he played for the Falmouth Commodores of the Cape Cod Baseball League. Bazzana shined in the most prestigious summer baseball league, hitting .375 with 6 HR and 31 RBI. This was good enough to take home Most Valuble Player honors, an awesome sign that he will translate to wood bats very well, as he dominated against the best competition available.
The Aussie native shows elite bat-to-ball skills and separates himself by generating tons of bat speed allowing his exit velocities to tower over the average D1 hitter. He is a frozen-rope machine.
There is no doubt in my mind that Bazzana’s hit tools will make him a hot commodity come draft time next year.
With 17 career home runs, 99 RBI, and 104 walks, look for Bazzana to continue his dominance for Oregon State in 2024.
3. Charlie Condon
In 2022, Charlie Condon was redshirted by Georgia. Seems like that must have fueled some fire inside him. Why? Because the 2023 SEC Freshmen of the Year was tearing the cover off the baseball when he burst onto the scene this past spring.
While Condon still roams the outfield for the Bulldogs, he may be more fit for a first base or DH spot when he reaches pro ball. The kid stands tall at 6-foot-6-inches, 211 pounds. I get serious CJ Cron vibes.
Condon slugged .800 with 25 HR over his first 56 collegiate contests and shows an outstanding amount of raw power to all fields. Seriously, if this guy ever got to play at Coors Field regularly, we would see some Statcast records.
Although we only have one season’s worth of sample size, I expect Condon to mature at the plate this coming season, and focus on hitting off-speeds better too. If he can maintain his speed and athleticism, along with striking out less, the sky is the limit for the Marietta, Georgia, native.
Thanks for reading The Skippers View! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.