College Hitters for Dynasty Leagues

College players to watch this season!

In an otherwise below average draft, the top of the college position player class is starting to take shape as one of the best groups in recent memory. We have hitters on path to shatter home run records. We have hitters with elite bat to ball skills showcasing elite power, and many more dynamic talents. It would not come as a surprise to see the top 5 picks all be college position players. There is a legit argument for 5 names to be taken by the Guardians 1st overall this July. Let’s take a deep dive into some of the top hitter’s in this year’s draft that dynasty owners should know!

Be sure to head over to the Pitcher List dynasty page as well to stay up to date on the latest dynasty content.

Top 2024 College Draft Hitters for Dynasty Leagues

The Top

Charlie Condon – 1B/OF, Georgia

2024 NCAA Stats: .483 AVG/.584 OBP/1.119 SLG/26 HR/3 SB/29:33 K:BB

I wrote a draft breakdown of Condon a week ago, so if you want a deep breakdown of what has led to his historic season, check that out. Condon statistically is putting up unreal numbers. He is on pace to shatter the home run record in the BBCOR era, while also spending a lot of the season above a .500 average. He combines 70 grade power with a 60 grade hit tool. On the season he has an average exit velocity of 99 mph, with an 89% contact rate. What he has been able to do this season is jaw dropping. All this talent is so impressive, but what makes it even better is the fact that he came to Athens as a walk on. Walk on to 1st overall pick is not a usual trajectory. But Condon is an unusual prospect.

Nick Kurtz – 1B, Wake Forest

2024 NCAA Stats: .322 AVG/.506 OBP/.843 SLG/17 HR/1 SB/24:42 K:BB

Kurtz entered the year as the top position player for me. I was lucky enough to be on campus at Wake Forest this preseason, and the conversations were centered around him having a historic season. He spent the preseason wrecking havoc on Wake Forest pitchers, including a home run off Chase Burns’ slider, which has above a 70% miss rate on the year and is one of the truly elite pitches in the draft.  Through the first couple weeks of the season, that hot stretch seemed more like a blip on the radar than what was to come. But that narrative has done a full 360 degree turn.

After his first 2 at bats against UNC on March 30th, Kurtz’s average dipped below .210. Missing time with some injuries, on top of constantly being pitched around, he struggled massively to start the season. He did not have Brock Wilken in the lineup with him any more, and seemed to be pressing. But on that warm late March day in Winston Salem, a switch flipped. He proceeded to hit 14 home runs in 10 games.  No, that does not say 14 hits in 10 games, it says 14 home runs. All this while raising his average from sub .210 all the way to .340 in a matter of 2 weeks. That is the dynamic talent Kurtz is. He is able to take over games and become the best player in the country in an instant.

Kurtz’s main tool is his power, but the hit tool and approach are also plus. He has shown the ability and patience to draw walks with 150 in 139 career games. On top of that, he has never swung and missed a ton. He has only struck out 106 times in those same 139 games. He walks a significant amount more than he strikes out, all while showcasing exit velocities consistently above 110 mph. As a result, there are stretches where he looks too good to be playing college baseball. He will be a fast mover in any system with the combination of hit tool, power, and advanced approach.

Hit over Power Profiles

Travis Bazzana – MIF, Oregon State

2024 NCAA Stats: .434 AVG/.590 OBP/.971 SLG/19 HR/9 SB/17:47 K:BB

Doubles power becomes home run power over time. That is one of my core evaluation tools when looking at a player’s statistical body of work. Bazzana is the epitome of that development track. His profile the last 2 years was bat to ball focus, high average hitter with more doubles power than home run power. My biggest question for Bazzana was whether his power would continue to develop. He spent the offseason at Driveline working on bat speed, and the results have been astronomical.

Bazzana has continued to showcase his elite hit tool, but he has also combined those skills with plus power. He currently has 19 HRs on the year. That total matches his career total, 17, entering this season, and he still has 30 potential games to play. The offseason work has turned Bazzana from a plus hit first prospect, who could be a stud if the power advanced, to an all around elite hitter with elite barrel skills and plus power. His K:BB ratio is next level with only 17 Ks and 47 BBs. That is the traits to a truly elite hitter.

On top of his tools, he fits the Guardians’ historical bat to ball focused hitter preference in prospects. If Condon was not having a historical season, we would be talking about Bazzana A LOT more.

JJ Wetherholt – MIF, West Virginia

2024 NCAA Stats: .327 AVG/.493 OBP/.531 SLG/2 HR/3 SB/6:14 K:BB

Wetherholt entered this season viewed as the top prospect by many in the industry. Coming off a season where he hit .449 with 16 home runs, 24 doubles, and 36 stolen bases, there was a lot to like about the profile. On top of the production he only struck out 22 times in 55 games! As is the theme with the 2024 position player class, the combination of plus contact skills with plus power makes for a scouts dream. The ability to limit swing and miss, but also still hit for power is a special skillset. Add in the speed component of his game, and all dynasty owners should be buying stock in Wetherholt’s profile.

A hamstring injury has slowed the hype around Wetherholt this season, but we cannot forget how highly regarded he was coming into the year. Recency bias can get us infatuated with Condon, Bazzana, and Kurtz, but Wetherholt is just as special as those guys are. If he can stay healthy the rest of the season, he is going to go on a run that kickstarts the conversation for him at 1st overall.

Power over Hit Profiles

Jac Caglianone- 1B/LHP, Florida 

2024 NCAA Stats: .401 AVG/.495 OBP/.854 SLG/23 HR/1 SB/14:23 K:BB

Jac Caglianone is one of the best players in college baseball history. His skillset both at the plate and on the mound will be remembered for generations of college baseball fans. Caglianone’s power is the tool that most will remember as legendary. Last season he set the BBCOR era HR record with 33 home runs in 71 games. This year he already has 23 through 38 games which puts him on pace to match that total of 33 in 56 regular season games instead of 71. He just finished a stretch of 9 straight games with a home run, that ended Saturday in a game that he was the starting pitcher and pitched 5 innings. If not for Condon’s generational season, we would be talking about Cags running away with the Golden Spikes award, given to the best player in college baseball.

Caglianone does not come without question marks for me. There is a lot of effort in his swing, which I think will create potential issues when he is not able to just out athlete his opposition. There are no swing and miss concerns, only 14 Ks in 38 games this season, but the approach is not sound. For arguably the most feared hitter in college baseball, he only has 21 walks in 38 games. There is an aggressiveness to his offensive game, and because of his supreme talents, he is able to get away with it. I will be intrigued to see if his aggressive approach translates at the next level when pitchers are more precise.

None of that analysis is to take away from the greatness that is on display each and every week as Cagliohtani continues to wreak havoc on the sport. Just some questions that come with an elite talent.

Braden Montgomery- OF, Texas A&M

2024 NCAA Stats: .376 AVG/.518 OBP/.906 SLG/22 HR/4 SB/30:41 K:BB

Braden Montgomery’s decision to enter the transfer portal and transfer to Texas A&M may go down as the most mutually beneficial decision in the sport. Montgomery has been a much-needed superstar in the middle of A&M’s lineup. The duo of Montgomery and Laviollete has been one of the best in the country. The change of scenery has also seemed to be a big boost for Montgomery’s production.

Following 2 great seasons at Stanford, Montgomery’s decision to enter the portal was a shock wave. Every school in the country wanted him. His production in College Station has reached a new level. He currently has 22 home runs on the season, matching his total of 17 with the Cardinal in 2023. He has also seen his average rise from .330 to .384, OBP rise from .461 to .521, and SLG rise from .611 to .925. Montgomery’s impressive season has him cementing his name in the top 5 of this years draft.

Montgomery’s operation is super efficient and powerful. As a switch hitter, he is better from the left side with more power and consistency from his dominant side. The majority of his at-bats will come from the left side, so it is beneficial that is his better side. From the right side, he features the same amount of power and bat speed that allows him to be a legit power bat on both sides of the plate. He has the potential to be a big impact power bat at the next level.

Billy Amick- 3B, Tennessee

2024 NCAA Stats: .336 AVG/.431 OBP/.724 SLG/12 HR/2 SB/25:16 K:BB

Another high profile transfer portal addition in the offseason. Billy Amick had a fast rise from a bench piece at Clemson at the beginning of the 2023 season, all the way to one of the top power hitters in the nation for Tennessee. Once he moved into the starting roll with the Tigers the rest is history. He proceeded to hit .413 with 13 home runs in 46 games, and has followed right where he left off this season. He does not have the same production in average, but the power has ticked up. Amick already has 12 home runs on the season, and if it had not been for the 3 weeks he missed with injury, he would be well beyond the 13 from 2023.

Amick does not stand out physically, but his bat speed is evident each time he takes a swing. He epitomizes getting your “A swing” off. There is natural loft to his swing, which allows him to get the ball in the air to the pull side consistently. His approach is more aggressive than you would hope for an impressive power hitter, with only 16 BBs in 32 games. You would like to see some better swing decisions, but swing and miss is not an issue. With continued development within his approach he will be a very interesting prospect to follow. The contact is consistently loud, and he has shown an above average hit tool to go with plus power.

Potential Impact Players with Question Marks

Cam Smith – 3B, Florida State

2024 NCAA Stats: .405 AVG/.484 OBP/.656 SLG/9 HR/3 SB/33:19 K:BB

Smith came out the gates of this season absolutely hot. He spent a lot of March flirting with hitting above .500 on the year. He has cooled off a little since, but the numbers are still impressive. Standing in at 6 foot 3, 220 pounds, his physical gifts are extremely impressive. He has showcased the ability to impact the baseball with impressive exit velocity numbers. The power has taken a back burner as of late, but the tools and physicality are there to be a legit power threat.

Coming into the season, there was a lot of buzz around the draft-eligible Sophomore. He spent last summer in the Cape hitting .347/.406/.575 with 6 home runs. That was coming off his Freshman season where he really struggled with the speed of the game. He has also made great strides with swing and miss. During his Freshman season, he struck out 66 times in 51 games. He only struck out 24 times in 44 games on the Cape, and has followed that up with only 33 in 39 games this season. The signs of development in swing and miss, combined with his impressive batted ball profile, and age will have his name called early in July.

Vance Honeycutt- OF, North Carolina

2024 NCAA Stats: .305 AVG/.413 OBP/.665 SLG/16 HR/22 SB/58:26 K:BB

There is an argument to be made that Vance Honeycutt is the most dynamic player in the country. From a fantasy standpoint, he has the opportunity to make an impact in the most ways with his combination of power and speed. Tools are evident watching him play. He could play gold glove defense in the MLB tomorrow, utilizing 80 grade speed with elite reads. Honeycutt also features present plus power. He has the ability to go to all field with juice, and when he hits them they are touched. So what is stopping him from going 1st overall?

Honeycutt has major approach concerns. While average is not the most valuable MLB stat, there is a correlation between college average to pro success. This is the first season Honeycutt has hit above .300, and it is far from a guarantee he stays above it. He also has major swing and miss concerns. Currently sitting at 58 strikeouts in 40 games, on top of the 90 he had as a Freshman in 64 games. It is easy to assume that the swing and miss will only increase as the pitching advances. This year when facing potential 1st rounders Trey Yesavage and Chase Burns, he looked severely overmatched. Against those two, he combined to go 0-6 with 5 K’s.

I love Honeycutt as a prospect. There is a floor of being a big league regular due to his 80-grade defense, 80-grade speed, and 60-grade power. The issue is whether he will be a 3 true outcome Gold Glove defender who hits sub .200 with 200 K’s with 30 home runs and 20 steals, or whether he can compete for MVPs. The realistic comp from a tools perspective is Byron Buxton. We have seen what Buxton has done in MLB, the highs and the lows. Honeycutt can replicate both the good and bad.

James Tibbs III- 1B/OF, Florida State

2024 NCAA Stats- .396 AVG/.497 OBP/.826 SLG/16 HR/6 SB/14:29 K:BB

James Tibbs is the opposite of Vance Honeycutt. He is so highly regarded because of his advanced approach, combining plus power with more walks than strikeouts. But what Tibbs lacks is the elite difference making ability defensively and athletically. He is most likely a 1B/OF profile, which means he will have to hit a lot to provide value. Tibbs has the skill set to do just that.

We have seen a lot of college hitters enter pro ball, and see their value skyrocket. Tibbs gives me those vibes. His skillset centers on an elite approach. He has plus power, showcasing both doubles and home run power, while also having an advanced feel for the strike zone. On top of an elite eye, he carries plus bat to ball skills. This is a guy who just always rakes no matter the competition or environment. His college career slash line is .342/.460/.681 with 43 home runs and 41 doubles. Add in .303/.390/.472 with wood in the Cape and it just feels like a hitter who never stops hitting. That will continue at the next level.

Dakota Jordan – OF, Mississippi State

2024 NCAA Stats: .378 AVG/.500 OBP/.764 SLG/15 HR/3 SB/51:34 K:BB

When getting off the bus, Dakota Jordan could be mistaken for Mississippi State Linebacker. Standing in at 6 feet, 200 pounds, he is one of the most physically gifted college baseball players. That translates to the field. He showcases some of the most impressive power in the country, due in large part to his bat speed. As a draft eligible Sophomore, he has hit .378 this season with 15 home runs and 10 doubles. He has the ability to leave the yard to all fields, while showcasing absurd exit velocity numbers.

Jordan does not come without questions. There is swing and miss to his game. He currently has 51 Ks in 40 games this season, up from 46 Ks in 44 games last year. But that is par for the course for most power hitters in this day and age. Part of Jordan’s concerns is also that he hits the ball on the ground too much, due to a flat bat path. Similarly to Kemp Alderman last season, there is going to be a lot of buzz surrounding his EV being top of the scale. If Jordan can start to elevate the ball more, the power advancements will be astronomical. He will always be one of the most physical dudes on the field, and those traits will carry him to success. Jordan will be a fun prospect to follow at the next level.

Photos by Icon Sportswire | Featured Image by Justin Redler (@reldernitsuj on Twitter)

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