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Draft  | Story  | 5/2/2024

MLB Draft: Create-A-Prospect

Tyler Henninger      Isaiah Burrows      Tyler Kotila     
Photo: Travis Bazzana (Oregon State Athletics)
As we get into this week, it’s time for another PG Draft article. Last week, we talked about some of the top tools on the prep and college scene, which are at the top of the class. We ranked hitters and pitchers who stand out in their respective categories.

Here’s the link to that article as well. But this week, we’ll take a page out of the NFL Draft’s book. Every year at the draft, it feels like on ESPN’s coverage, they put up some bionic graphic of a quarterback with pieces from different quarterbacks around the league. Stuff like a Lions helmet labeled “Matthew Stafford’s toughness” and then a Packers/Jets jersey saying “Aaron Rodgers playmaking,” or Ravens-colored socks attributed to Lamar Jackson’s speed.

Some sort of mock-up of a “created player” taking traits from the game’s best. We’re gonna aggregate that article over here for this 2024 MLB Draft Class. Our Draft Team has built their own player, on both sides of the ball, with traits that help make some superhuman type of player.

Think of it like the “create-a-player” feature in MLB The Show and read up on some of this class’s standout players who have carrying traits to really like in a fun article from the Draft team this week.


Hit Tool: Travis Bazzana, 2B, Oregon State

It’s no secret that Travis Bazzana’s hit tool is at the top of the class. His bat-to-ball skills, paired with the power he’s shown in the leadoff spot for Oregon State, is insane. The ability to get the barrel on the ball, paired with his explosiveness, is frightening for opposing pitching, and that’s the reason I took his hit tool for my “create-a-hitter.”

Power Tool: Jac Caglianone, 1B/LHP, Florida

Another one where it seems pretty obvious, but with the mammoth home runs that Jac Caglianone has been hitting for the Gators down in Florida, it’s hard to look the other way. It’s easy juice with a ton of lift – I mean, he’s hitting balls 450+ feet and in the race with Charlie Condon for the most homers in the country. It was an easy choice to add Cags’ power to the mix here with his ability to do some real damage with the bat in his hands.

Speed: Dante Nori, OF, Northville HS (Mich.)

Perhaps one of the more intriguing prep talents inside the Top 100 here is Dante Nori. The Northville, Michigan standout has always been one of my favorites on the prep side. He has elite athleticism in a 5-foot-11, 188-pound frame with freaky speed. He consistently turns in plus run times and was 6.15 in his 60-yard dash at PG National with a 1.42 10-yard split.

Arm: Braden Montgomery, OF/LHP, Texas A&M

Braden Montgomery’s done some really impressive stuff with the bat in his hands, but he also has an absolute cannon from the outfield. He’s a collegiate two-way who can get up on the mound and bump mid- to upper-90s. It’s an uber-fast arm with upper-90s throws from the outfield that makes this trait an asset for the “create-a-hitter.”

Defense: Vance Honeycutt, OF, North Carolina

Vance Honeycutt has been raved about as a potential 5-tool player who excels in all aspects of the game. But if there’s one thing that deserves a cap tip, it's the defense. The ball being hit into centerfield or anywhere near Honeycutt is basically an auto-out. He’s able to run down balls in the gap and cover a ton of ground, making him a real asset on the grass with his defense.

Athlete: Konnor Griffin, OF, Jackson Prep (Miss.)

Konnor Griffin is revered by some as the top prep player in the class. Some feel he’s a 5-tool potential player, and others have some concerns. But there’s no doubt about Griffin having an elite frame and stature as a prep prospect. Griffin’s 6-foot-4, 210-pound frame oozes athleticism and was an easy decision for the article.

Putting that all together: Throwing all of those tools in the hopper and you have a hitter who’s got the bat-to-ball of Bazzana and the power of Caglianone. An athlete akin to Griffin with the speed of Nori, arm of Montgomery, and defense of Honeycutt. Blending all that together makes for quite the talent on the offensive side of things.


Fastball: Chase Burns, RHP, Wake Forest

One of the most exciting arms in college baseball this spring has been Chase Burns. A triple-digit fastball from that high slot that has an angle to it and an insane burst out of hand is a real threat to kick off an arsenal for a pitcher. It gets whiffs around the 30-40% range with a outlier spin profile up above 2,700 RPMs. The pitch averages around 98 mph and has been up to 101 mph this spring, with 20.1” of IVB — a truly dominant fastball.

Curveball: Johnny King, LHP, Naples Community (Fla.)

Diving down into the prep ranks, southpaw Johnny King’s had a real pretty breaker since he was playing 14u for the Gulf Coast Monarchs in the BCS National Championships in Fort Myers. It’s been one of my favorite arms on the circuit and he’s come a long way, blowing up this spring as he’s posted top-tier stats with a nice uptick in stuff and velocity. The breaker works the upper-70s with spin in the 2700-2800 RPM range. It’s got a big 1-7 shape, and he’s refined it over the years, making it a real threat.

Slider: Brody Brecht, RHP, Iowa

While Brecht picked up a full head of steam in 2023 with his 100+ mph heater and the loud arm with the fastball, his slider has been devilish in its own right. He has worked the upper-90s on the fastball this year, less of the 100+ heaters, but that slider has been improved this year. Brecht’s slider averages the upper-80s with about -14 inches of horizontal break. It’s got a nasty sweep with spin above 2,800 RPMs. It’s a downright filthy pitch in any arsenal.

Changeup/Splitter: Talan Bell, LHP, Hagerty HS (Fla.)

One of my favorite changeups in this class comes from Talan Bell. He may not throw the pitch super hard, but a low- to mid-80s pitch with a ton of arm-side fade does the job. He gets the spin down south of 2,000 RPMs around the 1,900 RPM range with plenty of depth and feel to miss barrels with it, missing bats in the zone as well.

Command: Ryan Johnson, RHP, Dallas Baptist

While Ryan Johnson’s delivery, antics, tempo, etc., are something in themselves I’d love to throw into this mix, his command is worth talking about as well. Johnson gets up there, works quickly, and throws a ton of strikes. He fills the zone and gets it done for the DBU staff, time and time again. Johnson’s thrown 79.1 innings on the spring just 10 walks and 118 strikeouts to his credit.

Putting that all together: Throwing RHP/LHP out of the window, imagine that a pitcher who’s got a triple digits fastball from Burns, a hellish slider from Brecht, a big 1-7 breaker from King, fading changeup from Bell, and the command of Johnson? It would make for a truly devastating arsenal and makeup for an arm.

- Tyler Kotila


Hit: Travis Bazzana, 2B, Oregon State

It was not much of a question on who to take here, as Bazzana has all the components to be the most successful hitter in the class at the next level. The profile features bat speed, bat to ball ability, and an advanced approach that rarely expands the zone. It would not be a surprise if Bazzana competes for multiple batting titles at the Major League level. 

Power: Dakota Jordan, OF, Mississippi State 

There are plenty of players that could be used here, but I went ahead and took Dakota Jordan. Immense strength and absurd bat speed allows Jordan to generate light tower power to all fields. The ease in which Jordan generates that power can be jaw dropping at times. It would make for a scary combination when combined with the hit tool of Bazzana. 

Speed: Austin Overn, OF, Southern California 

There is no denying Overn can absolutely fly. The Trojan outfield recorded a school record 14 triples a year ago because of that speed and has been able to swipe 30 bags across his first two years in college. It truly makes an impact speed that can create tons of havoc on the bases for opposing teams. 

Arm: Cameron Smith, 3B, Florida State

Smith features outstanding arm strength that can generate easy, on-line carry across the diamond. It grades out as at least plus, if not higher. The arm leaves no question as to whether Smith can stick on the left side of the infield long term and is a legitimate asset on the defensive side of the ball. 

Defense: Jacob Cozart, C, North Carolina State

NC State has produced a handful of outstanding defensive catchers and Cozast appears to be the next in line. Advanced framing ability allows Cozart to steal strikes at an extremely high rate. He stays quiet behind the plate and consistently expands the zone for his pitching staff. The glove alone makes it highly likely Cozart winds up in the big leagues. 

Athlete: Seaver King, SS/OF, Wake Forest

King is about as twitchy as they come. He can glide around the diamond with ease and outstanding speed. The athleticism guarantees he sticks up the middle long term and has allowed him to handle both shortstop and center field if needed. Very few players move like King, and it is a big part of why he will likely be an early first round selection this summer. 


Fastball: Cam Caminiti, LHP, Saguaro HS (AZ)

There is no better fastball in the prep than Caminiti. The offering comfortably sits in the mid-90’s and can creep up to 98 mph at times. The lefthander creates the velocity with extreme ease. It would not be a surprise if the pitch is in the triple digits in the near future. 

Curveball: William Schmidt, RHP, Catholic HS (LA)

Very few pitchers can spin the baseball like Schmidt, especially on the curveball. The young righthander shows spin rates over 3000 rpm on the offering, creating extremely sharp 12-6 action. The pitch is a legitimate out pitch at the next level and can consistently overmatch hitters. 

Slider: Chase Burns, RHP, Wake Forest 

Burns is known for his overpowering fastball, but his slider may be an even better offering. The pitch works into the low-90’s with spin rates over 3000 rpm. Tight, late action can consistently generate whiffs. It is a true weapon that can produce ugly swings often.  

Changeup/Splitter: Trey Yesavage, RHP, East Carolina 

Yesavage features a wide array of pitches, but his splitter is a true weapon. The offering shows quality velocity separation from the fastball and can be used against both right-handed and left-handed hitters. The ability to kill spin gives the pitch late, tumbling action that seemingly falls off the table at times. Arm speed deception adds another element to a true plus offering. 

Command: Braylon Doughty, RHP, Chaparral HS (CA)

Doughty has skyrocketed up draft boards this spring thanks in part to outstanding stuff, but also outstanding command. It is the type of command that you don’t see from a prep very often. The righthander has only walked seven total hitter this spring, good for a minuscule 4% walk rate. The ability to attack the zone consistently the way Doughty does gives him a high chance of succeeding at the next level. 
-Tyler Henninger


Hit Tool: Charlie Condon, 3B/OF, Georgia

Condon is on one of the most torrid stretches in NCAA history and the hit tool has been top-of-class elite dating back to last year. It’s elite pitch recognition, zone awareness and innate bat-to-ball that gives so much to like with the stick long term. There’s a ton of polish to the overall profile, and it’s a credit to the overall hit tool. 

Power: Jared Jones, 1B, LSU

Jones has 80-grade raw power that is simply a sight to behold at points. He has left the stadium and gone backside right-center in MLB parks. It’s top of class physicality and strength with effortless torque and leverage to his lower half. Jones’ highly touted pop has been on display for the past two years and hasn’t slowed down by any means. 

Speed: Slade Caldwell, OF, Valley View HS (AR)

It’s hard to find a more exciting runner in the class than Caldwell. He’s a 70-grade type runner that shows in game with his hustle and first-step quick twitch fibers. The Ole Miss commit wrecks havoc on the paths, and his footspeed plays more of an impact than arguably any runner in the prep class. It’s high end athleticism that shows on both sides. 

Arm: Cade Arrambide, C, Tomball HS (TX)

Arrambide is a rare arm behind the dish with several sub 2.00 pop times and an easy 70-grade arm. It has heavy low line carry and it helps him control the run game as a result. The arm talent is one of the best to come from a prep catcher in quite some time. He can manipulate slots with it too and get to the bag in plenty of time. 

Defense: Wyatt Sanford, SS, Independence HS (TX)

Sanford is one of the premium gloves you can find regardless of class or college and prep. He has advanced instincts on the dirt and plus actions all around with the arm to stick at the 6-hole long term. Combined with his above-average athleticism and the defender he projects to be is awfully enticing at the next level. 

Athlete: Will Taylor, OF, Clemson

Taylor’s high-end two-sport pedigree has carried to the gridiron and center field for Clemson. He’s long been touted for his two-sport abilities since his prep days and even made an impact with both on campus at one point. He roams out in center field and the overall ease to his game and speed stands out immediately. 


Fastball: Christopher Cortez, RHP, Texas A&M

Cortez’s fastball is routinely sitting in the high-90s and has gotten up to triple digits for the current No. 1 team in the nation. It’s plus arm speed and simply explodes out of the hand. He has good IVB metrics and plays up, as well. Potent arsenal  from one of the more enticing arms in the class. 

Curveball: Boston Bateman, LHP, Camarillo HS (CA)

Bateman has been spinning it at such a high end rate this spring that even his slider is bordering in the top-of-class discussion for the prep side. I’m sticking with his hammer 1-7 curveball that is one of the standout offerings in 2024s. It’s a power offering with big depth and intent from an angled, tough release point and spin rates nearing 2900 RPM. 

Slider: Hagen Smith, LHP, Arkansas

Smith’s slider is arguably  the best put away pitch in baseball. It has a nasty two-plane action in the high-80s with advanced shape that has garnered some of the best whiff rates in college baseball. It tunnels with immense bite and teeth, showing traits of a true punch out pitch at the highest level and a 70-grade offering. 

Changeup: Bryce Cunningham, RHP, Vanderbilt

Cunningham is a mid/high-90s strike thrower with a plus 86-88 mph changeup as his go-to. He creates heavy armside fading action to both sides and it just falls off a table at points. It kills spin in the lower 1200 RPM range and he mimics it awfully well. Hard to find a better changeup with a higher usage rate in this class than Cunningham. 

Command: Luke Holman, RHP, LSU

Holman fits the mold of a backend starter at the pro level, and it starts with his innate command of three pitches that’s been on display all spring. He gets ahead with fastball to all, but he can command his above-average slider to either side and bury it in any count. He can flip in a good changeup to both sides, as well and works with pace and tempo from a deceptive release point. It’s high end pitchability and a full starter’s mix for strikes. 

-Isaiah Burrows