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The Competition for No. 1 Overall Has Become a Two-Horse Race

The Guardians have a big decision to make come draft day

All eyes are peering in on college baseball as the race to determine who will serve as the best option for the Guardians at first overall has become an all-out battle.

Since the Guardians have landed the No. 1 pick in the 2024 MLB Draft, many within the Guardians fandom have been speculating who will emerge as the head of the table once the All Star Break rolls around. With the college baseball season just entering the final half of its schedule, the leaders of the pack are beginning to separate themselves from the others. As destiny would have it, there are two players who are having historic seasons for their schools. They are making the choice for the Guardians very easy, yet very difficult.

One of these two powerhouses is Oregon State 2nd baseman Travis Bazzana. If you have read my previous prediction for who will be taken at No. 1 all the way back in December, I mentioned Bazzana as one of my favorite choices. Being probably the best overall prospect and having true 5-tool potential, Bazzana has a wide repertoire of skills on display. His contact skills are elite and all he does is mash the ball with incredible bat speed. He also has plus sprint speed, stealing 36 bags in the 2023 season. As for his glove, there is not much substance that I can base this off of. But MLB Pipeline grades both his fielding and arm at 50, so with that speed of his, he can probably play up as an above average fielder.

At the other half, we have Georgia outfielder Charlie Condon. In those aforementioned predictions I made in December, I withheld Condon from the conversation, as I thought there were better pieces that deserved the spotlight. And boy, was I wrong in doing so. Charlie is having an insane run this season, displaying tremendous home run power with twenty four big flies. Before the season even started, MLB Pipeline gave Condon plus power. And, considering the fact that we are entering the final third of the college baseball season and Charlie is already on the brink of eclipsing his home run total of 25 last year, one could only imagine how Pipeline rates him there. Add in his great affinity for making solid contact with the ball, and the bat would have 40-homer upside.

At this point, I can’t even determine who is the better choice. I’ve been a Bazzana guy for a while now, but I just can’t stop thinking about Condon’s upside. I think the big kicker in this situation is that this pick could be pivotal if the Guardians are trying to make a run in the next two to three years. I’d argue that Cleveland would do something they haven’t done before and aim for a quick call-up, as the window for serious contention can open up as soon as next year (maybe this year, even, if everything goes right). Whoever we aim for might end up being the last piece of the puzzle for a serious World Series push. But, for the time being, let’s savor this historic race that Condon and Bazzana are running (along with the other top draft prospects). This is a serious display of power and skill they are putting out there, so I’m just going to enjoy the show.