Cincinnati beat the odds this past December at the winter meetings and while they didn’t win the draft lottery, they did the next best thing and wound up with the #2 pick in the draft despite having a winning record and some of the lowest odds among lottery eligible teams. This year’s draft is still a little more than six weeks away, but with the high school season and college season over for most, teams are likely feeling a bit safer about who is where on their draft boards. The crew over at Baseball America has released their most recent mock draft earlier today and they have the Reds looking at an outfielder.

This year’s draft class is very college heavy at the top and at this point it would feel like a big shock if Cincinnati were to select a high school player. They’ve been linked to several of the college players recently, including Oregon State’s Travis Bazzana, Wake Forest’s Chase Burns, and Florida’s Jac Caglianone. But Baseball America has them drafting Georgia outfielder Charlie Condon in this version of their mock draft.

To say that Charlie Condon has had a good season this year would be like saying that Tom Brady had a good career. Condon has played in 54 games this season (he’ll play more as Georgia is in the College World Series) and has made an absolute mockery of college pitching. The 21-year-old has hit .443/.558/1.043. Yes, you read that correctly – his slugging percentage is 1.043. He’s hit 19 doubles, a triple, and 35 home runs this year. Some quick math shows that adding up to 55 extra-base hits. In 54 games. That’s also come along with 50 walks and 39 strikeouts in his 274 plate appearances.

Baseball America’s draft rankings have Condon as the top player in the class. MLB Pipeline has him rated second behind Travis Bazzana. The 6′ 6″ and 216 lb. draft-eligible redshirt sophomore has a plus hit tool and plus power, is currently leading the NCAA in average, home runs, slugging percentage, and extra-base hits. He’s got both the production and the tools that stand out to scouts and analysts alike.

36 Responses

  1. old-school

    Conventional wisdom has Condon or Bazzana 1/2 or 2/1.

    Reds need a polished complete hitter desperately.

    Kiley McDaniel did a mock draft this week and had the Reds drafting Chase Burns Wake Forest with the 2nd pick. Wake’s pitching coach is on record as saying he is the best college pitcher he has ever seen, including Paul Skenes. Burnes struck out 16 against a top 5 Clemson team and set the school record for K’s in a season. Krall has stated the Reds top organizational priority is to build a pipeline of elite young pitching. They went after Greene and Lodolo 2017 and 2019. Could they go Lowder and Burnes in 23/24? Interesting to see how this plays out.

    • MK

      Krall’s philosophy here might be creating the weakness we are currently seeing, a lack of quality hitting from mlb all the way down. There needs to be a balance.

      • Doc

        Or that lack of quality hitting could be because Friedl was out, McLain is out, CES is out, Marte is out, and there was a lengthy sick call list for a week or more.

      • Harry Stoner

        We’re all ready to go along and believe that Benson and EDLC’S appalling K rate, Steer and India’s slump, Maile and Fraley’s lack of productivity and the overall poor situational can directly be related to McLain, Friedl and CES’s injuries.

        Of course they can.

        For the know-it-alls, contrarians and Bell-Ball true believers.

      • MK

        Doesn’t explain it through the rest of the system.

    • Old Big Ed

      As I said elsewhere, I saw Burns pitch live against UNC. He’s 10-1, and I got the “1.” He was not very impressive, but everybody is entitled to an off day. I can’t unsee that, though.

  2. Laredo Slider

    Reds need to build an OF. How they do that, by draft, FA, trades, remains to be seen but they are lacking ML OF talent at ML level.

    • Captain redsleg

      We definitely need to draft the BEST AVAILABLE OUTFIELD BAT in the draft because our minor leagues are full of infielders and we need big time power/contact guys that can transition to ML pitching swinging a wooden bat….

  3. Votto4life

    I would absolutely ecstatic if Condon falls to the Reds. If not Condon then Bazzana. This is not the time for Nick Krall to get creative and think outside the box.

    • MK

      Can guarantee one of those guys will fall to the Reds.

    • Captain redsleg

      I agree get 1 of the top 2 proven hitters against good pitching….not a project guy with high upside….someone that can contribute almost immediately….

  4. LDS

    Wishful thinking I’m guessing. The Reds picking a pitcher or an infielder seems more their style.

  5. MK

    Condon just homered in first inning of NCAA Regional for #36. Boy has some power.

    • Reaganspad

      And Travis hit 28 last night.

      73 bbs, and 32 Ks. That is the stat that stands out.

      950 slugging with 585 on base percentage which is 20 points better than Conlin and the best in the ncaa.

      Guy can play CF. Worst part of his game is he is still learning baseball as he is from Australia. I posted a few weeks ago that he was picked off first, with bases loaded.

      He is 15 for 20 on stolen bases as he was picked off another time as well. But he fast and smart, he will figure that out. I remember watching Nick Madrigal in college toying with pitchers and swinging at pitches outside the zone and crushing them cause he could, almost like he was board.

      Just read an article on him this week that talked about how he passed up going to cape cod league to go to Driveline to work on the holes in his game. We to Cape Code the next year and was the MVP. Wood bats and all.

      Fortunately, we will get to see which player comes up bigger in Omaha. But I like the Reds position on this.

      But 73 walks to 52 for Conlin, (with only 32 Ks), steals and the ability to play CF have me pulling for Travis

  6. The Duke

    Speak of the devil, Condon just hit his 36th HR of the year in his first at bat of the CWS playoffs for Georgia.

    As long as it’s one of Condon or Bazzana, i’ll be happy. Bazanna has the speed and instincts for CF, walks more, strikes out less, and is more proven in wood bat leagues.

    • AllTheHype

      Yeah those 2 guys have separated themselves. The overall draft is underwhelming, but fortunately for the Reds the top 2 are really good.

      Hopefully the Reds don’t overthink the selection. it should be an easy one.

      • Harry Stoner

        The Reds have been down this road recently, drafting infielder after infielder without a place for them: Senzel, Barrero, India, EDLC thinking they’ll turn them into outfielders some day.

        While signing Suarez, Candelario and India to multi year contracts, drafting McLain, trading for Newman and bringing in Espinal.

        Still have a very light hitting OF.

        Sure, why not Bazzana?

      • The Duke

        Bazanna could be a .300/.400/.500 hitting CF, pretty sure that would be useful too.

      • BK

        EDLC and Barrero were signed as international free agents. EDLC has played exclusively in the infield. Barrero had been a CF in Cuba before signing with the Reds and returned there later in his development. Senzel remained exclusively as 3B in the Reds minor league system through 2017 and added 2B and one game at SS in 2018. He moved to CF in 2019. India still hasn’t logged an inning of OF in a counting game as a pro.

        There’s no evidence that the Reds drafted (or signed) amateurs intending to move from infield to outfield, although it’s a good idea if they draft an athletic player with the skillset to play OF–something most middle infielders can handle.

  7. RedsMonk65

    Whichever one it is, plug him in after the All-Star break — we need a BOPPER! 😉

  8. MBS

    Are there rules against trading draft spots in the MLB draft?

    I’m not saying they should do this, but I’m not convinced the top 2 prospects are the top 2 guys. If Condon goes #1, and the Rockies/A’s need them some Bazzana, that could be interesting return. It would be harder for me to do the reverse of that, that is if Bazzana goes #1. I like Condon, and Kurtz a lot for the Reds.

    • RedsMonk65

      I don’t believe MLB allows trading draft picks like the NFL or other sports.

    • BK

      Competitive Balance Picks are the only MLB picks that can be traded.

  9. Rick

    Condon. Tough league & a hit & power machine. Brock Bowers of baseball.

    • Votto4life

      Condon is 6’6” and apparently has prodigious power. I really hope he falls to the Reds.

      • Mauired

        If Condon falls to Reds it would be a blessing. But it would be silly for Cleveland to pass on a historic bat.

        Reds would have still have the opportunity to get a potential all-star slugger with Caglianone. Not a bad second prize.

        Bazzana is going to be a great player too but his speed and up the middle defense isn’t worth passing up Caglianone’s potential homeruns titles.

  10. Mauired

    I’m curious. Is there a possibility whoever Reds take, could they be in Reds lineup this year?

    Schanuel did it last year with Angels and I don’t think he’s as good as anyone Reds will get.

    • Doug Gray

      No. The Angels are notoriously aggressive in their promotions while the Reds – in the draft year itself – are a team that has slow-rolled guys. Pitchers usually don’t even pitch the year they are drafted and the hitters have tended to not even get on the field until August and then when they do, have played every few days. MLB moving the draft from the 1st/2nd week of June to the middle of July has really messed things up because some guys would only miss a week or two of on-field action between the end of the season and the start of pro ball they are now missing like 2 months and many teams just don’t want to ramp them back up after such a long lay off.

      • Old Big Ed

        I don’t disagree with any of that, and I also wouldn’t expect either Bazzana or Condon to be in MLB this year.

        However, I think the Reds may reconsider how they deploy their new position-player draftees, especially the college players. A player in the College World Series will only have been idle for about a month, and I just don’t get the point of not playing him in 30+ games in AA or wherever they put him. I understand being conservative with pitchers, but not with hitters.

        The only college hitter that they’ve taken in the first round since India is Matt McLain in 2021. UCLA played last on June 6, and McLain still got in 31 games in MiLB in 2021.

        So, I wouldn’t be surprised if they sign Bazzana or Condon very quickly at slot or above, then send them to Dayton to Chattanooga. If they are lucky, they might have them in Cincinnati in early 2025.

    • MK

      Albert Pujols moved fast and not even he was that fast. Ryan Wagner was the last Reds first round pick to play for the Reds the same year. That was one of Jim Bowdon’s follies and pretty much ruined Wagner.

      • Mauired

        From last draft less than a year ago there are at least 3 guys already in the majors. Schanuel was playing with Angels in August last year. Langford made the Rangers on opening day. And Skenes was promoted by Pirates in May.

        Reds don’t traditionally do it but have occasionally. Mike Leake went straight to Reds but I believe it was the season after drafting him.

        India and Senzel would be the latest examples of high college hitter draft picks. But two things are different this time around. Whoever the Reds take should be much better than Senzel and India. But more importantly, when those guys were taken the state of the Reds was much different. They were in the middle of a rebuild not in the middle of a playoff run. There maybe a little more urgency this year to get a guy like (hopefully) Condon in the lineup.

  11. Mauired

    *Mclain was another high pick but also taken during another rebuild.

  12. Mauired

    In an elimination game, Cags just hit a 3 run blast off a lefty to put his team ahead. Was 119mph off the bat.

    It also made him the 1st college player in almost 40 years with back to back 30 homer seasons. I just don’t understand how Reds could pass up this guy.