5 collegiate prospects to follow for the Cleveland Guardians at the top of the MLB Draft

The Cleveland Guardians landed the top pick in the MLB Draft this season. Here are five collegiate level prospects to follow leading up to the draft.
Oakland Athletics v Cleveland Guardians
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4. JJ Wetherholt, 2B, West Virginia

JJ Wetherholt, Cleveland Guardians
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It's interesting that two middle infielders, let alone second basemen, made this list, but there is good reason for it. While Travis Bazzana is the hot name on the market, JJ Wetherholt is right there with him, maybe even in front.

Wetherholt has been a name at the top of draft boards for months now, and there is a good reason why. As a sophomore in 2023, Wetherholt was named the Big 12 Player of the Year and was a unanimous First Team All-American selection while also earning Academic All-American honors as well. Leading up to the season, he was often listed as the potential top pick in the draft, but there has been a dip this year due to a reported hamstring injury that caused him to miss 24 games.

In 2023, Wetherholt was nearly unstoppable at the plate. He hit .449 with 24 doubles, two triples, and 16 home runs. He scored 67 times, logged 60 RBI, and walked 26 times for the Mountaineers. On the basepaths, he was just as dangerous, swiping 36 bases on the year. Perhaps the most impressive stat? He struck out just 22 times in 225 at-bats. 

This year has been different for Wertherholt. He missed time due to the injury and has appeared in just 19 games. Like any player, he's slowly made his way back. The speed isn't here right now, just three steals and no triples, but there is still his eye. In just 19 games, he's drawn 20 walks and has maintained a .339 batting average and .506 on-base percentage.

The interesting thing with Wetherholt is the "what could have been" questions. Had he not started the year injured, he would be getting more traction.For a team like Cleveland, Wetherholt should still be deep in the mix for the top pick. The potential is clearly there, and the 2023 stats make him seem like the ideal candidate. His eye and plate discipline are intriguing. But is it enough to overcome the hype that Bazzana has drawn?