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12 Vanderbilt baseball players you should know

As usual, Vanderbilt baseball is expected to have several players selected in the 2024 MLB Draft.

The Commodores may not be as prominent as usual on the first day of the draft. Unless Vanderbilt has a first-round pick, it would be only the second time since 2013 that they have been.

The first day of the first two-round draft begins Sunday (6 p.m. CT, MLB Network). Rounds 3-10 will be released on Monday and rounds 11-20 will be released on Tuesday on MLB.com.

There are also a few signees who could have been drafted and signed instead of coming to school, but that number is smaller than usual. The Commodores had four signees drafted in 2023 and seven in 2022.

Here are the names you need to know:

MLB DRAFT SERIES Why Vanderbilt baseball’s MLB draft series will end in 2024

Vanderbilt baseball players eligible for selection in 2024 MLB Draft

Right-Handed Pitcher Bryce Cunningham

MLB Pipeline rankings: 63

Cunningham will likely be Vanderbilt’s starter thanks to his mid-90s fastball and swing-and-miss changeup. He’s served as the Friday night starter for most of the season, raising his stock significantly. He has a chance to go in the first round, but is more likely to fit in the second round.

Left-Handed Pitcher Carter Holton

MLB Pipeline rankings: 69

Injuries prevented Holton from reaching his full potential at Vanderbilt, but the left-hander still ranks among the best college pitchers thanks to his fastball that can reach 96 mph and produce 11.3 career strikeouts per nine innings. He’s likely a second- or third-round fit.

SS Jonathan Vastine

MLB Pipeline rankings: 188

Vastine will have the best year of his career in 2024 with a .299 batting average, a team-leading 18 doubles, 10 home runs and 12 stolen bases. He’s also one of the nation’s most efficient shortstops. His defense will make him a relatively high pick, but teams are wary of his 26% career strikeout rate. He’s projected in the 4th-6th rounds.

Right-Handed Pitcher Greysen Carter

MLB Pipeline rankings: 226

Carter hasn’t been very successful in college, posting a 5.62 ERA and 8.4 walks in nine innings. But he’ll certainly draw professional interest due to his fastball that can reach 103 mph. He’ll likely fit in the 4th-6th rounds and should be one of the most sought-after college relief players.

Left-Handed Pitcher Devin Futrell

MLB Pipeline rankings: Unranked

Futrell will never be a big-name prospect, as his fastball tops out at 92 mph, but he had three successful years at Vanderbilt with a 3.92 ERA and 1.98 walks per nine innings. A 6-5 left-handed pitcher with a strikeout background like Futrell will always be in demand. He is projected in the 6th-10th rounds.

INF Davis Diaz

MLB Pipeline rankings: Unranked

Diaz was drafted out of high school. He never hit for average or power at Vanderbilt and didn’t perform well in his limited opportunities to play shortstop. Teams may still like his ability to make contact (16% strikeout rate in his career) or his Cape Cod League performance, and he’ll likely fit in on Day 2.

C. Alan Espinal

MLB Pipeline rankings: Unranked

The bad thing about Espinal is that he had a 32% strikeout rate in college, but Espinal also hit 19 home runs in 326 career at-bats and has proven he can play catcher, which will likely get him drafted in the later rounds.

Right-Handed Pitcher Andrew Dutkanych

MLB Pipeline rankings: Unranked

Dutkanych was the 42nd overall prospect in the 2022 draft. He showed signs of appeal at Vanderbilt but only played 17 innings due to injury. The draft-eligible sophomore underwent Tommy John surgery in March that also threatens his 2025 season. A team that liked him in high school could still try to sign him.

Vanderbilt baseball players eligible for selection in 2024 MLB Draft

Right-Handed Pitcher Owen Hall

MLB Pipeline rankings: 74

Hall has a fastball that has reached 97 mph. With a second-round grade, he is a prospect that Vanderbilt would often bring to campus but is sometimes lured with a seven-figure signing bonus. Hall did not participate in the MLB Draft Combine.

INF Rustan Rigdon

MLB Pipeline rankings: 113

Rigdon, a two-hitting infielder, is a polished hitter, but his draft stock fell after injuries plagued his senior year of high school. He was listed as a fourth-round pick.

Right-Handed Pitcher Hudson Barton

MLB Pipeline rankings: 209

Barton missed much pitching due to injuries as a junior at Grace Christian in Franklin, but showed off a fastball as high as 96 as a senior that caught the attention of teams.

INF Brodie Johnston

MLB Pipeline rankings: Unranked

Johnston isn’t on most major public draft lists, but he’s worth a mention because he’s making waves in the Appalachian League. As of July 8, Johnston leads or co-leads the league in home runs, extra-base hits and RBIs.

Aria Gerson covers Vanderbilt athletics for The Tennessean. Reach her at [email protected] or on Twitter. @aria_gerson.