2024 MLB Draft Deep Dive: JJ Wetherholt

The 2024 MLB draft is set for Sunday, July 14, 2024, in Arlington Texas as part of the 2024 MLB All-Star Weekend festivities. The Phillies will pick at number 27 in the 1st round. Currently, the Phillies have 17 picks in the 2024 draft. The baseball people here at EOP will keep you updated on the top prospects in this year’s draft. This week we look at 2B JJ Wetherholt, West Virginia. The 2024 MLB Draft 1st pick belongs to the Cleveland Guardians.

Wetherholt is one of the most advanced pure hitters in the 2024 class, and after a solid freshman campaign with West Virginia in 2022 he turned into one of the best offensive seasons in the country in 2023. He led the nation in hitting and slashed .449/.517/.782 with 16 home runs, 23 doubles, and 35 stolen bases.

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Projected 1st Pick 1st Round

 After the season Wetherholt played with Team USA where he again looked like the best hitter in the field and ranked as the top prospect on the roster. A 5-foot-10, 190-pound lefty-hitting second baseman, Wetherholt has a clean and fluid lefthanded swing with a slightly uphill bat path and plenty of hand speed through the zone.

He handles velocity and secondaries equally well and does a nice job recognizing pitches out of the hand and tracking the ball to the plate, with no clear holes to exploit offensively. While his contact skills and pure hitting ability stand out first and foremost (he had an 85% overall contact rate in his first two seasons with WVU), Wetherholt also has above-average power that plays to all fields.

He’s filled out with lots of strength in his wrists and forearms with a heavy barrel that has a knack for finding the baseball and a home run spike from 2022 to 2023 came after he put the ball in the air with more frequency. He dealt with a hamstring injury during the 2023 summer but is an above-average runner when healthy and is a fine, if not flashy, defender at second base. West Virginia has said it intends to try him at shortstop this spring.

The WVU second baseman will enter the 2024 college baseball season as a projected Top 5 pick by almost every baseball website. He rocketed up MLB Draft boards and mock drafts this spring after hitting a .449 batting average and being named Big 12 Player of the Year.

Wetherholt Cleveland Bound?

Unbelievable hitter. He won the batting title last year. Hit almost .450. Power showed up. Stole a bunch of bases. He can hit. I think he’s going to go out in the spring and show that he can play shortstop,” said Mayo. “He’s played mostly second base before. I don’t know if this might be splitting hairs over some of the other guys at the top of the college list, but I think that his ability to show he can handle a premium position is what kind of gave him the very slight edge over the (next) guy.”

Wetherholt put together one of the best offensive seasons in WVU baseball history. He was a unanimous first-team All-American, NCBWA District 2 Player of the Year, and a finalist or semifinalist for a slew of national awards. At the plate, the Mars, Pennsylvania, native clubbed 16 home runs, 24 doubles, and two triples, becoming the first player since 2002 with 40 extra-base hits and 36 stolen bases.

Matt Bednarczyk
Matt Bednarczyk

Matt Bednarczyk is your host of Talking Philly Sports With Matty B. He is a proud retired US Army Sergeant First Class, he is also a combat veteran with over 80 months served in Afganistan, and Iraq . Huge Hockey Fan. Matt is a lifelong 4 for 4 Philly sports fan. Born and raised on the Mayfair and Tacony neighborhood lines of Northeast Philly. He brings over 40 years of Philadelphia Sports passion and provides a realistic look at our Major Sports Teams and the most passionate sports fans on the planet. Look for his show live on Edge of Philly Sports.