The MLB Draft lottery treated the Cincinnati Reds very kindly this past week. After losing some ground during the inaugural draft lottery a year ago, Cincinnati greatly improved their draft status heading into 2024 by securing the No. 2 overall selection.
This will undoubtedly bring a very talented young player into the Reds already-loaded farm system. And while it's still very early in the process, MLB.com's Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo gave their thoughts on how the first 10 picks of the 2024 MLB Draft could unfold.
It should be noted that these projections were made prior to the draft lottery, so the picks were made purely on the player's talent, not necessarily how they might fit within an organization. The Reds, however, could land a very skilled first baseman.
Way-too-early 2024 MLB mock draft projects Reds to select first baseman
MLB.com selected West Virginia infielder JJ Wetherholt to go No. 1 overall, which allowed Wake Forest first baseman Nick Kurtz to slide to No. 2 in their projection. Kurtz is a 20-year-old, left-handed hitting first baseman who posted a .353/.527/.784 slash line during his sophomore season with the Demon Deacons.
If the Cincinnati Reds select Kurtz with the second overall pick in the 2024 MLB Draft, that would be back-to-back years in which the team took a player from Wake Forest University in Round 1. Cincinnati selected Rhett Lowder in the first round of last year's MLB Draft.
Kurtz is an absolute powerhouse. At 6-foot-5, 235-pounds, Kurtz has massive pop in his bat. During his first two seasons at Wake Forest, the slugger has mashed 39 home runs and posted an OPS of 1.207 in 110 career games. Kurtz is an absolute monster.
It's not often that you see first basemen drafted so high, as teams usually target middle of the field prospects like shortstops, catchers, and center fielders in Round 1. But Nick Kurtz has the type of power profile that excites baseball scouts and executives.
There's a long way to go until the 2024 MLB Draft next July, but Cincinnati Reds fans should keep a close watch on the college circuit next season, as the one of the best players in the game is likely on his way to the Queen City next summer.