clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Checking in on the Guardians’ Options for the First Overall Pick - 1.0

A weekly feature to evaluate the Guardians’ options for the number one pick in the 2024 MLB draft

NCAA BASEBALL: JUN 04 Baton Rouge Regional - LSU v Oregon State Photo by John Korduner/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Are we about to go Bazzanas in Cleveland? Or will we be Condon-ing adding right-handed power bat?

The college baseball regular season, including conference tournaments, will conclude by the end of May. For any teams who qualify, the College World Series will commence on June 14th and end on June 24th. Then, the Guardians will have their choice of any baseball player they want on Sunday, July 14th.

With limited time left to evaluate players, the Guardians’ choices seem to be narrowed down to four options: Oregon State’s left-handed hitting second-baseman Travis Bazzana:

Georgia’s right-handed hitting corner outfielder Charlie Condon:

Texas A&M’s switch-hitting outfielder Braden Montgomery:

or Mississippi prep star right-handed hitting shortstop and pitcher Konnor Griffin

Wake Forest’s Nick Kurtz and Chase Burns are also standout performers, but I think it’s safe to assume the Guardians won’t be selecting a first baseman number one in this instance and that the risk of taking a pitcher number one will likely lead them to one of the four hitters listed above, given that the options there seem to be at least equal to Burns in talent and potential.

Let’s check in on some stat lines:

Travis Bazzana, 21 (turns 22 in August) 6 foot, 199 pounds: 32 games, 162 plate appearances: 41/13 BB/K, .458/.605/1.042 with 18 home runs, 9 steals and 3 caught stealing. Has only played second base, but is generally thought to be capable of outfield play, including centerfield, if needed.

Bazzana’s MyMLBDraft Collection of Prospect Evaluator Blurbs.

Charlie Condon 21 years old tomorrow (!), 6’6”, 216 pounds: 35 games, 176 plate appearances: 32/24 BB/K, .485/.591/1.114 with 23 home runs, 2 steals and 1 caught stealing. Condon has played six games at first base, eight in left field, 11 in centerfield and seven in right field. He profiles best as a corner outfielder.

Condon’s MyMLBDraft Collection of Prospect Evaluator Blurbs.

Braden Montgomery turns 21 at the end of April, 6’2”, 195 pounds: 34 games, 163 plate appearances: 30/25 K/BB, .392/.515/.923 with 19 home runs, 4 stolen bases and 2 caught stealing. Montgomery has been used strictly as a right-fielder.

Montgomery’s MyMLBDraft Collection of Prospect Evaluator Blurbs.

Konnor Griffin, turns 18 in May, 6’4”, 210 pounds: 31 games, 123 plate appearances, 37/8 BB/K, 5 home runs, 65 stolen bases, .515/.645/.975, 77/13 K/BB as a pitcher, 1.51 ERA. Griffin throws 96-97 mph with his fastball, though he is seen as a hitting prospect. He is mostly thought of as a future shortstop or a future centerfielder, defensively. His regular season wraps up on April 25th then his team will enter the Mississippi high school baseball playoffs for an indeterminate amount of time.

MyMLBDraft Collection of Prospect Evaluator Blurbs.

Let’s take a look under the hood at performance against offspeed pitches:

And against fastballs:

Finally, let’s see a combination of numbers versus level of competition and corresponding output:

It’s important to keep in mind how these prospects have performed when asked to hit with wooden bats, as that will, obviously, be what they pick up when they reach the majors. Travis Bazzana was MVP of the Cape Cod league last summer with a 1.037 OPS in 158 plate appearances. In only fifty at-bats in Cape Cod, Condon had only a .648 OPS, but in more extensive time in the wooden bat Northwoods league he hit .286 with 18 doubles, seven home runs, and 68 RBIs in 248 at-bats. In 69 plate appearances at Cape Cod last summer, Montgomery had a .900 OPS. Griffin played for the U.S. under-18 team in Taiwan last summer but I can’t seem to find any stats of how that experience went but it’s surely useful info for the Guardians to evaluate.

With the information presented above, I would tend to agree with Covering the Corner’s Brendan who is working on a piece about the two-person race for the Guardians’ number one pick - it looks to be either Travis Bazzana or Charlie Condon who will be donning a Guardians’ hat on July 14th. However, the switch-hitting ability and Cape Cod success of Braden Montgomery gives him an outside chance and there are certainly folks who believe the ceiling of Konnor Griffin is by far the highest in this class.

We will continue to monitor the performance of these four prospects over the next two months as we prepare for the first number one pick in Cleveland history. Check in on Oregon State, Georgia Texas A&M and Konnor Griffin’s MaxPrep page to keep up to date!