Charlie Condon Draft Prospect Breakdown

A Rhett Lowder fantasy baseball breakdown

The term walk-on was popularized by the 1993 inspirational movie Rudy. Every walk-on who develops into a productive athlete becomes an inspiration to aspiring athletes who think, “That could be me one day.” Charlie Condon was a “preferred” walk-on at the University of Georgia. He did not play at all as a freshman, earning a redshirt to retain his eligibility. That same overlooked player is having a historic 2024 season, setting himself up to hear his name called early during the MLB draft this July.


Charlie Condon: An Unexpected Rise


2024 College Stats: .482 AVG/.586 OBP/1.109 SLG/24 HR/2 SB/25:32 K:BB

While Condon may have been overlooked in high school, it wasn’t because of a lack of production. He has always hit. He batted .515 as a junior in high school, then followed that season up with a .432 average his senior year. The lack of national exposure was due mostly due to the fact that he had not finished growing and had not filled out his frame. Any opportunity to join an SEC baseball program showcases talent but not earning a scholarship shows Condon’s physical limitations entering college.

The player we see on the field every weekend now is different. The time spent in the weight room during his redshirt year in 2022 was massive to Condon’s development. He now stands at a physical 6’6, 215 lbs with impressive athleticism. He translated that physical development into a massive Redshirt Freshman season, in which he was awarded National Freshman of the Year by all major publications. Somehow he has made his All American 2023 season seem like amateur hour.


Light Tower Power


Let’s first address the elephant in the room. Yes, home runs are at an all-time high across college baseball. The power surge is to the point where you have to question a lot of absurd offensive stats. That needs to be used in evaluating Condon’s power with wood at the next level but ultimately does not diminish the fact that he is having a historic season. Through 36 games, he already has 24 HRs. That puts him on pace to hit 37 total through a 56-game regular season. Last season, Jac Caglianone broke the BBCOR era record with 33 HR in 71 games. Condon is on pace to shatter the record books in the regular season alone and could be the first player to reach 40 home runs since 1997 with a hot streak in the postseason.

Coming into the season, I wrote about the high-ceiling potential of Condon as a draft prospect. There were still questions about his overall prospect pedigree mostly because of the fact that he only played one full season. He showcased impressive power in the 2023 season with an .800 SLG to go with the 25 home runs. Said power is what makes most MLB organizations enthralled with his potential. Let’s look at his swing.

Condon’s operation is very simple. He does not overswing or chase power. That mindset allows him to make consistent contact, not selling out just to hit home runs. He knows how strong he is, and he knows all he needs to do is make contact and it will go out. From that mindset, he is still able to impact the baseball to the tune of a 115 EV and above.

Back when I wrote about Jackson Holliday, I mentioned the importance of covering the high-vert fastball at the top of the zone. In an era where pitchers are chasing swing and miss, that is many power hitters’ Kryponite. As we can see with Condon, he does a phenomenal job being “flat” in his approach to the high fastball. His side bend matches the plane of the pitch, allowing him to naturally elevate that pitch. There is no dropping of the hands, or back shoulder, just a clean attack to the ball creating natural backspin to the pull side. As the pitching gets better, Condon’s clean mechanics will allow for him to handle the better stuff.


Plus Hit Tool


When you lead the nation in home runs, power is going to be what most evaluators circle as the key to MLB production. I mean more than 50% of Condon’s hits have gone for extra bases. But he is also hitting .482 on the season. The ability to carry that level of production is indicative of a plus hit tool combined with double plus power. What sets Condon apart from his peers is that he crushes the ball AND makes a ton of contact.

Hit tool is the hardest tool to truly evaluate. The reason is some hitters have elite hand-eye coordination and can manipulate the baseball to where they want. That skillset eventually hits a wall when pitching becomes elite. The other end of the spectrum is hitters with elite athleticism that can out athlete their competition. At the MLB level that athleticism runs out when pitching is that good. The truly elite hitters hit the ball extremely hard and do not strike out. Condon does that about as good as anyone.

Travis Bazzana has some of the best barrel awareness of any prospect in recent memory. Braden Montgomery is regarded as arguably the best power-hitting prospect in this year’s class. Both of them individually will be top 5-10 picks this July. Condon combines Bazzana’s barrel skills with Montgomery’s power. Whichever type of prospect you prefer, whether it be contact first or power first, Condon is elite in both categories. That is the combination for a truly special talent.


Fantasy Outlook


Do we have to factor in the ball environment in evaluating Condon? 100%, yes. The college game is juiced to no end. It is not a coincidence that the BBCOR era record was broken by both Caglianone and Brock Wilken in 2023. It seems like Condon will easily break Caglianone’s 33 from last year. Condon’s record-breaking season does not make him unique compared to past draft power hitters. That does not change the fact that what he does is elite. A .482 average with 25 home runs through 36 games is insane at any level. He is doing his best to make the Cleveland Guardians decision easy this July.

For dynasty owners, Condon will not be around long in any FYPD. I would be shocked if he makes it past 2-3 in any drafts. But for those owners that may be drafting at the top, Condon has the skillset to be special. The limitations of Condon is that his future is realistically 1B/OF, so he will have to be an elite hitter to be productive. He also has not shown any speed through college. The combination of elite barrel skills, with elite exit velocity numbers are the ingredients of a special hitter. Condon described himself as a late bloomer. Well, he has blossomed from walk-on to one of the best hitters in the country.

Photo courtesy of Georgia Baseball | Adapted by Aaron Polcare (@bearydoesgfx on Twitter)

2 responses to “Charlie Condon Draft Prospect Breakdown”

  1. david l says:

    How does this dude stakc up to langford? feel pretty similar in power and plate skills (minus the speed)

    • Trevor Powers says:

      Yes very similar. I would say in terms of college production Condon has shown much more consistency and production in both power and hit tool. Condon has been able to get to his power more in game and obviously combines the insane power with great avg numbers as well. Their walk and strikeout numbers are eerily similar for both their college careers, which is a good way to analyze their respective approaches. Obviously the main differentiator is the speed and the potential of playing a premium position for Langford, but the bat profiles are very similar. I would be interested to see the Trackman data on Langford at Florida because Condon’s contact rates are out of this world good for a power hitter.

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