MLB Mock Draft 1.0 2024: First round leading to Mets’ pick at 19th overall
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MLB Mock Draft 1.0 2024: First round leading to Mets’ pick at 19th overall

The 2024 MLB Draft is just over a month away, with the first night taking place on Sunday, July 14 at Cowtown Coliseum in the Fort Worth Stockyards in Texas, as part of All-Star Week.

In talking to scouts around the league, he is considered a below average draft class when it comes to depth. This is also a special project with a lot of talent in non-premium positions, as you will see in the simulation below.

The top 10-12 players in the class had big springs and have recruiters more optimistic about their futures than they might have had in the spring. A few high-ranking scouts told me they thought there was a chance for a “purer” first round where there would be less surprising sub-slot deals early on, because the reward later wouldn’t is not as big as in past years.

That said, there is always talent and it is up to scouts to find them and player development teams to develop them once they are drafted.

As we approach a month, here’s a 1.0 mock draft, including the Mets’ pick…

1. Cleveland Guards – 2B Travis Bazzana – Oregon State

Unless the Guardians are looking for a player who saves value on the slots, this pick is expected to come down to Bazzana or Georgia. Charlie Condon. There is a chance Bazzana is cheaper than Condon and there is some positional certainty here.

2. Cincinnati Reds – 3B/OF Charlie Condon – Georgia

Condon had a historic season in the SEC, slashing .446/.566/1.036 with 36 home runs in 57 games. He could easily go No. 1, but it would be surprising if he lasts longer than this pick in Cincinnati.

3. Colorado Rockies – RHP Chase Burns – Wake Forest

Burns is my best pitcher in the class, with a fastball that will touch triple digits with unique pitch metrics and a plus slider. He improved his hitting in college, but his next step will be better command in the strike zone. Despite having a high velocity fastball and good shape, it was hit more than it should have been. If Burns can tighten up a few spots, he has ace potential. Colorado’s pick could come down to Condon, Bazzana and Burns.

4. Oakland Athletics – 1B Nick Kurtz – Wake Forest

Kurtz entered the 2024 season as the favorite to go No. 1 overall. He got off to a slow start but rebounded to post a 1.294 OPS with 22 home runs in 54 games. He could be a plus defensive first baseman.

5. Chicago White Sox – 1B/LHP Jac Caglianone – Florida

Caglianone, the Florida star, might have the best raw power in the class. He has reduced his swing-and-miss and chase rates this year. He also hits 99 mph on the radar gun on the mound, although the scouts I talk to think he should only be a hitter in pro ball.

6. Kansas City Royals – LHP Hagen Smith – Arkansas

Hearing that the Royals would love to have Burns, but would still be happy with Smith, who is the No. 1 college pitcher for some. He posted a 2.04 ERA in 84 innings, striking out a total of 161 batters. If it’s not one of the college pitchers, I’ve heard they’re a spot in the top two high school hitters going off the board soon.

7. St. Louis Cardinals – 2B JJ Wetherholt – West Virginia

Coming into the season, Wetherholt was at the top of MLB Pipeline’s top draft prospects. He missed a good portion of the season but came back and looked like the Wetherholt everyone knew. A good potential value pick for St. Louis.

8. Los Angeles Angels – OF James Tibbs III – Florida State

Tibbs might be the prospect who has increased his value the most in this class. In the spring, he was in the conversation late in the first round through the second, but he posted a 1.310 OPS with 28 homers and 94 RBIs and won ACC Player of the Year. He’s probably a left fielder at the next level, but he has a nice left-handed swing and excellent batted ball data.

9. Pittsburgh Pirates – DE Braden Montgomery – Texas A&M

Montgomery certainly has potential as a top 4-5 pick. However, he suffered a brutal lower leg injury during the Super Regionals. Official word on the injury hasn’t been made public, but if he avoided significant damage to his ligaments and tendons, I don’t think his fall will be precipitated on draft day. I’ve tentatively dropped him to the back of this group of college hitters until more clarity is revealed on his injury.

10. Washington Nationals – OF Konnor Griffin – Jackson Prep HS (MS)

Flip a coin here on Griffin vs. Bryce Rainer. The Nationals are a team that typically seeks high wins. The Gatorade National High School Player of the Year has five-tool potential and already possesses a big-league body. He can play either shortstop or center field, but one scout I spoke to prefers him in center.

11. Detroit Tigers – SS Bryce Rainer – Harvard-Westlake HS (CA)

The other best high school bat shouldn’t have to wait long. He has a projectable build at 6-foot-3, 195 pounds and there’s a chance he outgrows shortstop and ends up at third base, but he should get plenty of stick for that spot.

12. Boston Red Sox – OF/SS Seaver King – Wake Forest

King transferred from Division II Wingate to one of the nation’s top programs in Wake Forest after hitting .424 in the Cape Cod League. He posted a .954 OPS for the Demon Deacons and has one of the best pure bat speeds in the class. He can be overly aggressive at times and needs to work on some plate discipline, but he makes his swings count. Defensively, he presents himself best at shortstop or center.

13. San Francisco Giants – LHP Cam Caminiti – Saguaro HS (Arizona)

Caminiti, the cousin of a former great player Ken Caminiti, reclassified from the 2025 class to the 2024 draft. This will pay dividends as he is considered an almost certain first round pick. His speed increased this spring, reaching 98 mph. He has work to do to develop his changeup and find his distinct breaking ball, but he is a southpaw with high potential.

14. Chicago Cubs – RHP Trey Yesavage – East Carolina

Yesavage is the third college pitching prospect who could go a little higher than that. He beat Burns in the regional playoff match. He has a solid four-pitch mix with all of his grades above average. It would be surprising if he fell out of the top 15.

15. Seattle Mariners – 3B Cam Smith – Florida State

Strongly built with a 6-foot-3, 220-pound frame, Smith made swing changes and, year after year, reduced his swing and miss rate while maintaining some of the highest exit velocities in the class. He is one of seven players to have a contact rate of at least 80 percent, a 90th percentile exit velocity of at least 108 mph and a pursuit rate of 23.2 percent or less (stat of Baseball America). He has suitors as high as 12th with Boston, but should fit squarely in the teens.

16. Miami Marlins – 2B Christian Moore – Tennessee

Moore entered the season as the second-best draft-eligible volunteer behind Billy Amick, but he is likely to edge out Amick in July. He has an aggressive swing that has 25-homer potential at the next level, but sometimes pushes him to run more than you’d like. He’s probably a second baseman at the next level. I heard it connected in the 15-23 range.

17. Milwaukee Brewers – OF Carson Benge – Oklahoma State

Benge is an athletic two-way player who won’t hit until the next level. Likely a right fielder with an above-average arm, he exhibits solid bat-to-ball skills and displays strong exit velocities. One scout warned that some swing adjustments will be necessary in pro ball, but he has the ingredients you look for in an advanced college bat.

18. Tampa Bay Rays – RHP William Schmidt – HS Catholic (LA)

To some, Schmidt is the best high school arm in the class. He has a projectable 6-foot-4, 180-pound frame with a fastball that will touch 98 and a hammer of a curveball. The Rays have never been shy about taking high school players in the first round, so Schmidt has a place here.

19. New York Mets – OF Vance Honeycutt – North Carolina

A little over a month after the draft, I heard the Mets were primarily tied to college bats. I don’t envision a high school bat or arm being available to lure them to this spot. I wouldn’t rule out a swing at the Iowa right-hander Brody Brecht. The names I’ve heard most often here are Honeycutt, Benge, Mississippi State outfielder. Dakota Jordan, and Kentucky’s rising outfielder Ryan Waldschmidt.

Honeycutt had a big super regional weekend, sending the Tar Heels to Omaha for the College World Series. In a class full of college bats, it will come down to the flavor of the ice cream for the teams. He could be five places ahead or five places behind. Offensively, he has 20/20 upside, but that comes with a 27 percent strikeout rate. For reference, anything over 25 percent is a big red flag for most teams. Some template-based teams won’t even look at him in the first round. Defensively, he may be the best center back in this class.

There are differences in what he might ultimately become, but at No. 19, taking a chance on a potential 20/20 player in the middle of the field makes a lot of sense for the Mets.