The 2024 MLB Draft is still seven months away, but you know teams are already considering who to select. The Guardians ended up winning the draft lottery despite only having a two percent chance, while the Philadelphia Phillies will be picking 27th.
MLB Pipeline has released its inaugural first-round mock draft, and it certainly makes for interesting reading. Particularly the Phillies' pick, which, if it comes to fruition, should be one that delights the fans.
That's because Jim Callis has the Phillies selecting Dakota Jordan of Mississippi State.
"Jordan may have more bat speed than anyone in the Draft," Callis writes. "And he's a quality athlete who was recruited to play wide receiver by the Bulldogs."
Jordan is an intriguing prospect, with a significant upside. His initial plan was to play both baseball and football for Mississippi, before deciding to focus on the former.
In case you missed it, we examined Baseball America's first mock draft pick for the Phillies.
Dakota Jordan, a beast at the plate
Jordan is known for having excellent power to go with his bat speed, making for a dangerous combination for opposing pitchers to deal with. Although MLB.com notes he still needs to work on handling breaking balls better.
Regardless, the 20-year-old had an exceptional first season with the Bulldogs, with him exceeding expectations. He hit 10 home runs and had 40 RBI in 44 games, on his way to producing a .307/.397/.575 slash line and .972 OPS.
Jordan also played 11 games in the NECL, with the Newport Gulls. He again impressed, with a .379/.514/.517 slash line and 1.031 OPS.
Defensively, Jordan plays in both left and center field and is still a work in progress. His arm strength has improved, and at some point it might be worth moving him to the infield.
Some short-term shock and confusion
The Canton, Mississippi native caused some shock when he entered his name into the transfer portal back in June. However, he then withdrew his name within 24 hours to remain at Mississippi State.
It isn't clear what prompted Jordan's initial decision to enter his name into the transfer portal. However, he did take to social media to provide some reassurance to Bulldogs fans.
"I came to Mississippi State to play in college baseball's best stadium, in front of the country's most passionate fans," Jordan wrote in his post. "But I also came here to grow as a player and a person. I am grateful for the chance I had to do that in 2023, but there is so much more to do. I don't like talking about rumors, but let me put it to rest — there is no way I could give up the chance to wear the M over S. I am a Bulldog. It was always the case. 2024 is coming, and my teammates and I intend to be ready. Good days are ahead. Let's go. DJ."
MLB has Jordan rated as the 27th-best prospect in their Top 100 draft prospects. Meanwhile, scouting organization Perfect Game gives him a national ranking of 69th and grades him 10/10, which equates to the potential to be a very high draft pick and/or elite-level college prospect.
Of course, a lot can happen between now and July, with many different variables to consider. However, as things stand, if the Phillies were to draft Jordan, there would be a lot of happy people in Philadelphia.