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Draft  | Story  | 5/16/2024

MLB Draft: Most Likely To...

Tyler Henninger      Isaiah Burrows      Tyler Kotila     
Photo: PJ Morlando (Perfect Game)
As the spring continues to wind down or ramp up, depending on how you look at it, we’re taking a look at some players at the top of the class who really stand out. For that we’re going to take our picks on some superlative categories. The PG Draft Team got together and talked over some of these “Most Likely To…” categories and discussed which players might be the best fits.

The Draft Team takes into account the current player stock but puts on its projection caps to try to imagine how some of these players will look down the road. For the Superlative categories, our scouts on the Draft Team offer up which players they think could be noteworthy names in a couple of years from now. 

Let’s dive in.

Most Likely To Be A Two-Way At The Next Level?

- College:
Jac Caglianone, 1B/LHP, Florida
It seems like a slam dunk, but with the prowess Jac Caglianone has shown this spring, it seems hard not to choose him. There’s a belief that he can two-way at the next level, and after all, he’s sitting atop our PG Top 400 Draft Board. He’s hitting moonshots and showing off some beyond-impressive power. Caglianone has 28 home runs and has driven 55 runs while hitting .418 this spring. He’s getting up on the mound and getting it done as well. Caglianone has held opponents to a 2.14 average and pitched to a 4.07 ERA over 59.2 innings of work, with 66 punchouts. He’s been doing it on both sides of the ball the last two seasons, and we believe he could get it done at the next level. -TK

- Prep: Bryce Rainer, 3B/RHP, Harvard Westlake (CA)
On the prep side, California’s Bryce Rainer seems the most fit to continue to two-way at the next level. Rainer has made some noise in 2024, helping raise his stock and prove that there is real upside on both sides of the ball. Rainer has a long, lean frame and athleticism that helps him on both sides of the ball. Creates a loud impact with good swings in the batter’s box. Put together some quality swings at the NHSI last month as well. On the mound, it’s a mid-90s heater with a loose, easy arm action and offspeed to pair. Really controlled and clean down the slope and has looked good on the prep scene overall. The upside is there on both sides of the ball, and he’s been having a solid season out west for Harvard-Westlake. -TK

Most Likely Bat To Be A Quick Riser In A Pro Organization

- College:
Travis Bazzana, 2B, Oregon State
This seems like another slam dunk choice, but when it comes to players who may excel when they get into a pro org, Travis Bazzana feels like he’s at the top of the list. Bazzana has been exceptional in the leadoff spot for the Beavers, and he consistently finds ways to get it done. The hit tool and polish in the batters’ box are beyond impressive, and it's the reason we think that he could fly through the ranks of an organization. There’s no reason that he could not find himself rising through the ranks, after the spring that he has had. With an advanced approach at the plate and plus-swing decisions, paired with his polish with the bat, make for an extremely attractive and safe profile. It has the makings of someone who could be a quick riser after he joins a pro organization. - TK

- Prep: Theo Gillen, SS/OF, Westlake (TX)
On the prep scene, one of the players who has really come a long way and proven that there is real upside is The Gillen. He’s an athletic and projectable 6-foot-3, 198-pound frame with a ton to like. He’s been exceptional with Westlake in Texas and has shown off traits on the circuit that lead us to believe he could be a quick riser through a pro organization. Gillen’s got a really fluid and balanced operation in the batters’ box with some smoothness through contact. He’s a high-IQ player with a profile that should do well within a pro organization. Gillen’s been one of the several prep players in Texas who have really taken off this spring and with Gillen’s upside as an athlete, as well as in the batters’ box, it’s hard not to buy into the profile here. - TK

Most Likely To Lead The Class In Home Runs With A Pro Organization

- College: Charlie Condon, OF/3B, Georgia
If there was a no-brainer, it might have been on this one. Charlie Condon has been unstoppable at the plate, and while Jac Caglianone and Travis Bazzana are also up near the top, Condon’s 34 home runs are downright silly. Condon’s .454 average, .567 OBP, and 53 extra-base hits really are impressive. The spring Condon has been putting together has been downright silly. The ability to just destroy baseballs has been on display often and it’s easy to project here — thinking that Condon will make noise with the stick once he joins a pro organization as well. He just has a ridiculous amount of power in the swing with a ton of leverage and loud impacts that are often highlight-reel. Condon’s video-game-like numbers have been something truly special. -TK 

- Prep: Hunter Carns, C/OF, First Coast (FL)
On the prep side, there’s some hope that Hunter Carns can go out and show off some loud swings with a pro organization. Carns really made some noise last fall, and this spring, he’s been excelling on the First Coast HS squad in Jacksonville, Florida. Carns has a ton of pop in the swing and has shown some truly explosive impacts. He’s been a personal favorite of mine on the prep circuit for years with some serious traits to like. With loud impacts and a swing that produces results often, it’s easy to see why he could lead the class in home runs on the prep side of things in a few years. - TK

Most Likely Arm To Be A Quick Riser In A Pro Organization?

-College: Ryan Johnson, RHP, Dallas Baptist
Johnson is an absolute animal when he takes the mound. He is an intense competitor that works fast and attacks the hitters with fairly advanced stuff. The fastball works in the upper-90’s and can get into the triple digits. A deadly sweeper shows late, shape action and already grades out as a plus pitch. The command of stuff has really stood out and is what could slow him to quickly ascend through a system. He rarely gives up free bases, walking right around one hitter per nine this spring. If needed, the right-hander could very well fill a role in the pen for a team making a potential playoff push before settling in as a starter long term. -TH

-Prep: Braylon Doughty, RHP, Chaparral HS (CA) 
Doughty has been one of the biggest risers this spring and looks to have solidified himself as a day in pick. The stuff is some of the best amongst all the prep arms. The fastball works in the mid-90’s and hammer, mid-80’s breaking with spin rates over 3000 rpm consistently misses bats. The curveball could be a 70-grade pitch when it is all said and done. While stuff stands out, the ability command is what gives Doughty the chance to fly through a system. He can pound the zone with his entire repertoire, posting a walk rate around 5% this spring. It is one of the more well-rounded arms in the entire class, both collegiate and prep arms included, and has the chance to be a truly loud profile when he enters pro ball. -TH
Most Likely To Win A Batting Title

-College: Travis Bazzana, 2B, Oregon State 
Winning a batting title is an extremely tough task, but if there is anyone in this class that can do it, Bazzana would be the guy. His hit tool is a large reason why the Beaver’s second baseman was mentioned earlier as the bat that could rise through a system the quickest. The swing checks off pretty much every box you could want. It’s an incredibly balanced left-handed swing that gets on plane early and explodes through the zone with precision and authority. The barrel accuracy stands out, consistently squaring up balls and rarely getting fooled. The hit tool grades out as an easy plus tool, maybe even a borderline 70-grade tool, and is the best amongst all the college bats at the top of the board. -TH

-Prep: PJ Morlando, 1B, Summerville HS (SC)
Morlando has established himself as the best hitter in the prep class for a while now. The Summerville product features an enticing mix of bat to ball skills, bat speed, and power potential. Morlando utilizes a simple trigger that allows him to almost always be on time, no matter what pitch is thrown. He rarely swings and misses and when he does make contact it is usually hit hard. It isn’t very often we see a prep bat with the type of offensive ceiling that Morlando possesses. The hit tool will carry the profile throughout pro ball and should allow him to hit for a high average with some juice. -TH

Most Likely To Lead the Class In Pro Strikeouts?

-College: Hagen Smith, LHP, Arkansas

-Prep: Cam Caminiti, LHP, Saguaro HS (AZ)

Going with a pair of explosive lefties with wipeout arsenals. Smith’s fastball/slider combo is one of the best mixes you can find in the class and has the potential to miss bats at the highest MLB level. Caminiti’s fastball explodes out of the hand and has consistently hit the upper-90s with improvements to the slider shape and the changeup still has flashes of a potential out pitch at the next level. Both of them have sky-high ceilings and ultra fast arms from the left side. -IB

Most Likely To Win A Gold Glove?

-College: Vance Honeycutt, OF, North Carolina

-Prep: Wyatt Sanford, SS, Independence HS (TX)

You can have a good discussion based around this superlative as there’s high end defenders up the middle at both levels. Honeycutt is a rare 70-grade athlete with elite closing speed in center field that has been on display for three seasons now. He has a rare first step and innate tracking ability to his routes along with the quick-twitch needed out there. He’s as good a bet as any in the class to impact the game at that high of a Gold Glove level. On the prep side, it’s hard to find a more polished and premium glove in the prep class than Sanford. The hands, clock, feet all work in rhythm and he checks every box you need to project at the six-hole long term. He has a low line arm slot with carry and adjusts on the move. Sanford has the tools and traits to be tagged as a highly touted defender if it all comes together. -IB