2024 Shriners Children's College Showdown

Here Are The Top 2024 MLB Draft Prospects At The College Baseball Showdown

Here Are The Top 2024 MLB Draft Prospects At The College Baseball Showdown

Oregon State infielder Travis Bazzana headlines the group of top MLB Draft prospects playing at the College Baseball Showdown.

Jan 30, 2024 by Joe Harrington

In the first game of the 2023 TCU Baseball season, coming just a few miles away from Fort Worth in Arlington, Texas, Brayden Taylor clobbered a home run during an 11-4 win over then No. 10 Vanderbilt in the second game of the 2023 College Baseball Showdown. 

Taylor drove in four runs in three games, had four hits against Arkansas, scored a run in each game at the College Baseball Showdown and added a double. 

TCU went 2-1, with it’s only loss being an upset in the final game against Missouri, 9-8, in extra innings. Otherwise, TCU’s wins over No. 10 Vandy and No. 8 Arkansas made the weekend successful for the Horned Frogs. 

Taylor, a preseason All-American, cemented himself as one of the stars of the 2023 college baseball season. He was the Big 12 Tournament MVP, an All-Big 12 performer and a third-team Baseball America All-American. 

It all was predictable. 

Taylor came to Arlington in 2023 as one of the top MLB Draft prospects. By the end of the season, Baseball America ranked him as the No. 14 overall prospect. Two spots behind him was Vanderbilt's Enrique Bradfield at No. 16. Oklahoma State pitcher Juaron Watts-Brown was No. 46. 

Watts-Brown pitched four innings and picked up the win against Missouri at the Showdown last year.  

All three were drafted, while Bradford (No. 17 to Baltimore) and Taylor (No. 19 to Tampa Bay) were first-round picks. 

Altogether, the six teams at the 2023 College Baseball Showdown produced 37 MLB Draft picks that July. Three teams– TCU, Arkansas and Vanderbilt sent seven prospects apiece to MLB teams via the draft. 

This year, with the event spanning over three weekends and including more teams, those numbers will go up. And, unlike last year, the field will include one of the consensus top-4 prospects in the MLB Draft: Travis Bazzana of Oregon State.

Here are the 10 highest-ranked 2024 MLB Draft prospects playing at Globe Life Field this February:

1. Travis Bazzana, Oregon State, IF

  • Baseball America ranking: No. 3
  • MLB.com ranking: No.3 

Hailing from Sydney, Australia, Bazzana is on track to be one of the top players taken during the 2024 MLB Draft, also scheduled to be held in Arlington. 

But could his trip to town in February make him move up to be the top pick this summer? 

West Virginia’s JJ Wetherholt and Nick Kurtz of Wake Forest own the top two spots entering the season, but Bazzana is right behind them. 

Bazzana hit .374 with 11 home runs and a .622 slugging percentage in 2023, but it's his 36 stolen bases and blazing speed that help make him a highly regarded prospect. 

Baseball America rates him as a plus runner, elite athlete and notes his good defense. 

An elite college hitter, perhaps the only thing keeping Bazzana from the top two spots on most rankings is his second base position. He could transition to the outfield with his speed at the next level.  

Travis Bazzana to the Colorado Rockies?: MLB Draft 2024 Analysis: Who Do The Colorado Rockies Take At No. 3?

2. Braden Montgomery, Texas A&M, OF

  • Baseball America ranking: No. 9
  • MLB.com ranking: No. 10

Montgomery transferred to Texas A&M after playing for Stanford the past two seasons. 

Coming out of high school, he was seen as a pitching prospect, as well as a hitter, but he’s now seen as an outfield prospect. 

He hit 17 home runs for the Cardinal with a .336 average and has an 80-plus throwing arm in the outfield, according to Baseball America. 

Montgomery certainly will be tested in the SEC this season. 

3. Hagen Smith, Arkansas, LHP

  • Baseball America ranking: No. 17
  • MLB.com ranking: No. 15

Hagen Smith pitched five innings in a 3-2 win over Texas at the 2023 College Baseball Showdown. He allowed one hit, walked two and struck out eight in the game. 

Overall, the lefty went 8-2 with a 3.64 ERA in 11 starts and 18 games. He had 109 strikeouts in 71 2/3 innings. 

Smith has control issues at times and had Tommy John surgery in high school, but in two seasons at Arkansas, he’s improved each year. 

He has been clocked at 98 mph and averages around 93. The question is, will Hagen pitch in the Feb. 23 game against Oregon State and Travis Bazzana?

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4. Drew Beam, Tennessee, RHP 

  • Baseball American ranking: No. 34
  • MLB.com ranking: No. 22

Beam is one of the most consistent pitchers heading to Arlington and one of the pitchers to watch this season. 

As it stands now, pitching is not headlining a draft class dominated by college hitters, so any pitcher in the top 40 has a chance to rise up the rankings, including Hagen Smith, as MLB teams always will want more pitching. 

Beam throws five pitches, and in two seasons at Tennessee, he has a 3.20 ERA and 150 strikeouts. He has touched 98 mph and his curveball and changeup have plus potential. 

He’s 6-foot-4, which means he has the build to be a top pick if he continues his development. 

Beam will have opportunities to flash his potential against Texas Tech’s Kevin Bazzell on Feb. 16. 

5. Anthony Silva, TCU, IF

  • Baseball America ranking: No. 29
  • MLB.com ranking: No. 38

As a freshman, Silva hit .330 with 11 doubles and seven home runs, while stealing 17 bases. 

He likely was going to get drafted out of high school in 2022 but pulled out of the draft to go to TCU. Smart. 

He was one of the best players on a College World Series team in 2023. 

Silva drove in six runs and was 3 for 11 in the 2023 College Baseball Showdown. 

His calling card is his bat, but he does project to stick at shortstop in the majors. 

6. Carson Benge, Oklahoma State, OF/ RHP 

  • Baseball America ranking: No. 60
  • MLB.com ranking: No. 26 

Benge might have been a higher-ranked prospect, if Tommy John surgery his freshman season hadn’t slowed him down. 

He pitched just 35 innings in 2023, as coach Josh Holliday made sure not to overwork him. That allowed Benge to showcase his bat. 

He hit .345 with seven home runs and 43 RBIs, while slugging .538. He was a semifinalist for the John Olerud Award. 

He carried a 6.69 ERA and struggled with control, but also touched 96 mph and throws four pitches. 

Baseball America notes that he has a future as a pitcher if he wants, but MLB.com is higher on him as an outfielder with a 60 hit grade and fielding arm.  

7. Kevin Bazzell, Texas Tech, IF/ Catcher 

  • Baseball America ranking: No. 55
  • MLB.com ranking: No. 47

Bazzell played third base in 2023, but he’ll move back to catcher with Hudson White transferring to Arkansas. 

Bazzell hit .348 with 24 doubles, 10 home runs and 62 RBIs. 

He's a strong defender at third base, where Baseball America projects him to play, but becoming a catcher actually may improve his draft stock, which may explain why MLB.com has a higher grade. A catcher who can hit will always be one of baseball’s most valuable commodities. 

8. Billy Amick, Tennessee, 1B/3B

  • Baseball American ranking: No. 62
  • MLB.com ranking: No. 50

A corner infielder who is projected to be Tennessee’s third baseman, Amick jumped on the scene as a sophomore with a .413 average, 17 doubles and 13 home runs with Clemson. 

He drove in 63 runs and did all that in just 46 games. 

The son of NASCAR driver Lyndon Amick, Billy Amick headed to the Vols so he could play third base. Amick’s calling card is his power hitting.  

9. Christian Moore, Tennessee, INF

  • Baseball America ranking: No. 77
  • MLB.com ranking: No. 67

Moore hit .304 in 63 games for the Tennessee as a sophomore, including 17 home runs and 13 doubles. He also stole 16 bases. His slashline was impressive: .304/.603/.444. 

Strikeouts were a problem, however (25% of his at-bats), and his contact rate was not great (65%). However, his overall impressive offensive numbers probably are held back, prospect wise, by scouts being down on his arm and projecting him as a second baseman. 

10. Austin Overn, Southern Cal, OF 

  • Baseball America ranking: N/A
  • MLB.com ranking: No. 64

After Moore, there aren’t any more consensus top-100 prospects, but Overn is the highest graded by MLB.com. Texas Tech’s Kyle Robinson is the No. 64 prospect on Baseball America. 

Overn was a four-sport athlete in high school and had a future in football, before he chose to focus on baseball. Obviously, it means he is one of the best athletes in college baseball. 

He has an 80 grade for speed. He’s considered one of the fastest players in the draft class and projects as a center fielder. 

The left-handed hitter was a freshman All-American in 2023 and slashed .314/.402/.503. He led the nation in triples with 14 and added 11 doubles. He stole 16 bases. He has improved as a hitter at USC, but his calling card right now is his speed and defense. 

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Three More Prospects at the College Baseball Showdown

Kyle Robinson, Texas Tech, RHP

  • Baseball America ranking: No. 64
  • MLB.com ranking: N/A

Blake Burke, Tennessee, 1B

  • Baseball American ranking: No. 67
  • MLB.com ranking: N/A

Jazen Keisel, Oklahoma State, RHP

  • Baseball America ranking: No. 79
  • MLB.com ranking: N/A

Dylan Dreiling, Tennessee, OF

  • Baseball America ranking: N/A
  • MLB.com ranking: No. 85

When Is The 2024 College Baseball Showdown?

The first weekend of competition at the Shriners Children's College Showdown is Feb. 16-18. The second weekend is Feb. 23- 25. The final weekend is March 1-3. 

How To Watch The 2024 College Baseball Showdown

Subscribe to the FloSports app and FloBaseball to watch the College Baseball Showdown, which has been renamed the Shriners Children's College Showdown.

What Teams Are Playing In the 2024 College Baseball Showdown?

Here are the teams: 

  • University of Oklahoma
  • Texas Tech University
  • Baylor University
  • University of Tennessee
  • University of Nebraska
  • University of Oregon
  • University of Arkansas
  • Oklahoma State University
  • University of Michigan
  • Oregon State University 
  • TCU 
  • Texas A&M
  • University of Southern California 
  • Arizona State University

2024 Shriners Children's College Showdown Schedule

All times Eastern

Friday, Feb. 16 

  • 12 p.m. – Nebraska vs. Baylor 
  • 4 p.m. – Oregon vs. Oklahoma 
  • 8 p.m. – Tennessee vs. Texas Tech

Saturday, Feb. 17 

  • 12 p.m. – Baylor vs. Oregon 
  • 4 p.m. – Texas Tech vs. Nebraska 
  • 8 p.m. – Oklahoma vs. Tennessee

Sunday, Feb. 18 

  • 11:30 a.m. – Nebraska vs. Oklahoma 
  • 3:30 p.m. – Oregon vs. Texas Tech 
  • 7:30 p.m. – Tennessee vs. Baylor

2024 Kubota College Baseball Series Weekend 2 Schedule

All times Eastern

Friday, February 23 

  • 4 p.m. – Michigan vs. Oklahoma State 
  • 8 p.m. – Oregon State vs. Arkansas

Saturday, February 24 

  • 4 p.m. – Michigan vs. Oregon State 
  • 8 p.m. – Arkansas vs. Oklahoma State

Sunday, February 25 

  • 2 p.m. – Arkansas vs. Michigan 
  • 6 p.m. – Oklahoma State vs. Oregon State

2024 Kubota College Baseball Series Weekend 3 Schedule

All times Eastern

Friday, March 1 

  • 3 p.m. – USC vs. TCU 
  • 7 p.m. – Arizona State vs. Texas A&M

Saturday, March 2 

  • 3 p.m. – Texas A&M vs. USC 
  • 7 p.m. – TCU vs. Arizona State

Sunday, March 3 

  • 12 p.m. – Arizona State vs. Texas A&M 
  • 4 p.m. – USC vs. TCU

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