As the summer heats up and baseball gets into the dog days of the schedule, the All-Star break serves as a nice pause before the final 10 weeks of the season. While the Home Run Derby and All-Star Game are premier events in primetime slots on Monday and Tuesday, the MLB Draft is the opening act of the midsummer break.

This year's draft is not as star-studded as last year's crop, led by No. 1 pick and NL Rookie of the Year frontrunner Paul Skenes, but it does have several players who could ease their way through the minors and become MLB regulars before we know it.

Although there's not as much pomp at the MLB Draft as in the NFL and NBA's counterparts, the league has improved its presentation of the event. The switch to an in-person first round with prospects attending was a great addition. With the first round now on two channels, adding more “experts” and in-depth analysis, baseball fans have several ways to follow draft coverage.

For the first time in franchise history, the Cleveland Guardians have the first pick. The 20-round draft begins with a 39-pick first round Sunday night in Fort Worth, Texas. Here's how we see the first round playing out.

1. Guardians – Charlie Condon, OF/3B, Georgia

Georgia's Charlie Condon (24) rounds the bases after hitting a home run during Game 3 of the Super NCAA Regional against NC State at Foley Field on Monday, June 10, 2024 in Athens, Ga. NC State won 8-5.

There's not quite a “no doubt” top prospect in this draft class, but if any player were close to that, it's Condon. The overlooked walk-on burst onto the scene as a redshirt freshman last year, then won the Golden Spikes Award as the best college baseball player of the year in 2024.

He profiles as the best college hitter in the draft, and his numbers against SEC pitching back that up. Condon launched 37 home runs while hitting .433 with a 1.565 OPS this past season.

Condon is probably best suited as a corner outfielder for the long term, but some scouts like his play in center. Teams could also give him a chance at third base, where he appeared in 36 games last season.

There is chatter that the Guardians want to save money with this pick. If that's true, Condon might be out of play considering the Georgia product likely won’t take much of a cut on his signing bonus. The Guardians also have the 36th pick toward the end of the first round, but would Cleveland be ok missing out on a premier corner player with plus power?

If Cleveland doesn’t want to give Condon $8 million or more, Travis Bazzana and JJ Wetherholt are other names to watch.

2. Reds – Travis Bazzana, 2B, Oregon State

Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, Bazzana might be the most polished hitter in the class. The left-handed-hitting infielder won Pac-12 Player of the Year in 2024 after hitting over .400 with a 1.479 OPS.

Bazzana's best attributes are his power and speed. He launched 45 home runs and swiped 66 bases during his college career. Bazzana is also among the best contact hitters coming out of college. He claimed the Cape Cod League batting title in 2023 and took home league MVP honors.

If any player were to rival Condon for the best prospect in the draft, it's Bazzana. He has All-Star upside as a plus-defender and could breeze through the minor leagues.

3. Rockies – Chase Burns, RHP, Wake Forest

Maybe the pitcher with the most ace potential, Chase Burns capped off his college career by leading the nation with 191 strikeouts in 100 innings in 2024. The 21-year-old allowed one earned run in four May starts, striking out 57 batters across 26 innings.

His final college start resulted in a season-ending loss in the regionals, but Burns rarely had a misstep and proved he was among the top pitching prospects in the class. A fastball that hits triple digits paired with a nasty slider is how Burns makes his name.

The Rockies have not had much luck drafting in the first round, but taking a flamethrower with frontline starter upside seems like a safe pick. Look at what Paul Skenes is doing for the Pirates.

I am not saying Chase Burns is Paul Skenes, but the former could steamroll through the minors and be on the cusp of the major leagues by this time next year.

4. Athletics – Jac Caglianone, 1B, Florida

The best two-way player in this year's class, Caglianone took major strides at the plate last season after leading Division I baseball in home runs in 2023. He cut down his chase-and-miss rates in 2024 while hitting over .400. His 35 home runs in 66 games were two more than the 33 he had in 71 the year before.

With solid defense at first base, Caglianone could stick in the heart of any team's lineup with a few more tweaks to his approach. The power will always be there, though his lack of versatility position-wise could turn some teams off. A move to right field isn’t out of the question somewhere down the line.

Teams will probably have him put pitching aside to work on fine-tuning his plate discipline. A move back to the mound later in his career is always a possibility.

Caglianone's build, a tall, power-first corner infielder, fits the A's perfectly. Remember when they had Matt Olson and Matt Chapman as the cornerstones of their franchise a few years back?

Oakland used its last eight first-round picks on position players and hasn’t selected a first baseman this high since taking Olson in 2012.

5. White Sox – JJ Wetherholt, SS/2B, West Virginia

Had it not been for a recurring hamstring injury, JJ Wetherholt would be getting much more buzz as the top pick in the draft. While there's still a chance Cleveland sees the middle infielder as their best choice, it's unlikely he falls past the White Sox at five.

Wetherholt won the Division I batting title as a sophomore in 2023 and was poised for a big year. He was limited to 35 games for West Virginia this year, posting a .472 on-base percentage and 16 extra-base hits.

A left-handed hitter, Wetherholt is above-average at everything and an elite baserunner when his body allows him to be. There are some reservations that he can stay at shortstop long-term, but his bat is good enough to warrant picking him this high as a second baseman.

6. Royals – Braden Montgomery, OF, Texas A&M

A brutal ending to the season that concluded with a broken ankle dropped Montgomery's stock. Still, he did enough in his lone year at Texas A&M after two seasons at Stanford to justify a top-10 selection.

The switch-hitting Montgomery has better numbers from the left side but has the swing to find success on both. His arm gives him added upside as a corner outfielder with the potential to club 30 homers in a season.

Improving his contact metrics will be key to his success at the MLB level, but Montgomery has everyday player potential.

7. Cardinals – Hagen Smith, LHP, Arkansas

Arkansas starting pitcher Hagen Smith pitches against LSU during the SEC Tournament elimination game Thursday, May 25, 2023, at the Hoover Met.
Gary Cosby Jr.-Tuscaloosa News / USA TODAY NETWORK

The reigning SEC Pitcher of the Year is the first left-handed pitcher off the board this year. Smith has frontline starter potential with maybe not as much upside as Burns. The 6-foot-3 southpaw has drawn comparisons to Chris Sale.

There's a concern for regression because of his unorthodox delivery, but Smith employs a mid-90s fastball with a premier slider that will play against MLB hitters.

The Cardinals lack top-end talent in their prospect pool, especially on the pitching side. Smith could be on the fast track to the MLB if he checks the right boxes and sticks in the front of St. Louis' rotation for a while.

8. Angels – Nick Kurtz, 1B, Wake Forest

If Burns or Smith fall that will be the pick, but the Angels will have to settle for the best college bat available.

Kurtz hit exceptionally well in all three seasons at Wake Forest and showed his power surge as a sophomore (24 homers) was no fluke with 22 bombs last season. Scouts are most excited about that aspect of his bat, but he also displayed great plate discipline and led Division I in walks in 2024.

There's room for improvement on the defensive side but there's a lot to like about Kurtz's game.

9. Pirates – Konnor Griffin, OF/SS, Jackson Prep, Miss. (LSU commit)

This two-way prep star probably won’t pitch as a pro given his elite tools as a hitter. Griffin has true five-tool potential and took home Gatorade National High School Player of the Year honors.

Scouts have him penciled in as an elite defender in center with the ability to be above-average at shortstop. Griffins's swing could use some work and he's aware of that, a sign that he's coachable at the highest level.

A 30-30 season is in Griffin's future with perennial All-Star upside.

10. Nationals – James Tibbs, OF, Florida State

Few first-round prospects improved their draft stock as much as James Tibbs did over the last 12 months. A strong 2023 season with Florida State gave way to an impressive showing in the Cape Cod League last summer.

Tibbs followed that by slugging 28 home runs and driving in 95 runs for the Seminoles in 2024, firmly establishing his stature as a top pick in the class.

He doesn’t have as high a ceiling as the other top 10 picks but Tibbs oozes confidence at the plate and is a better contact hitter than most in this draft.

11. Tigers – Bryce Rainer, SS, Harvard-Westlake, Calif. (Texas commit)

Rainer enters the draft as the top high school infielder in the class. Scouts project Gold Glove-caliber defense from the left side with this experience as a pitcher helping his potential in the field.

Rainer's swing needs work and he's struggled at times against high velocity. He has the tools to be a consistent hitter in the MLB though and has untapped potential as a power hitter. Corey Seager comes to mind when drawing comparisons to Rainer.

12. Red Sox – Christian Moore, 2B, Tennessee

The best attribute Moore brings to the table is his power. He clubbed 34 home runs this spring and broke the Tennessee school record with 61 for his career.

A monster showing in the College World Series vaulted Moore up draft boards. His aggressive swing will make some teams wary but he has a solid build and improved his contact numbers in 2024.

Moore leaves much to be desired as a defender, yet his potential of 30-home run power at second base brings him into the fold this early.

13. Giants – Trey Yesavage, RHP, East Carolina

Yesavage was among the best starting pitchers in college this past season, ranking in the top five in ERA, strikeouts, and batting average against.

He sports a four-pitch mix highlighted by a slider/cutter, while he also deploys a curveball and splitter on top of a mid-90s fastball. His short-arm action brings him a tier below Smith and Burns. Yesavage can be a middle of the rotation piece.

14. Cubs – Ryan Waldschmidt, OF, Kentucky

Kentucky Wildcats outfielder Ryan Waldschmidt (21) hits a pitch during the sixth inning against the Oregon State Beavers at Kentucky Proud Park.
Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

A run of bad injury luck in the early portion of his high school and college career derailed Waldschmidt's chances of being a surefire top-10 pick in his class. The Kentucky product still managed to keep his name toward the top of draft boards thanks to an outstanding 2024 season.

Waldschmidt turned heads with his elite contact ability and strong hitting metrics. He's gotten better and more confident on the basepaths as he's gotten healthier although he lacks on the defensive side as a corner outfielder.

The Cubs haven’t drafted an outfielder in the first round since they took Ian Happ ninth overall in 2015.

15. Mariners – Cam Caminiti, LHP, Saguaro HS, Ariz. (LSU commit)

The consensus top high school arm in the class, Caminiti brings a strong delivery and a potential four-pitch arsenal to the table. He commands his fastball well with scouts projecting improvement on it as he gets older.

Caminiti has the tools to consistently throw strikes. He'll have to fine-tune his secondary pitches to become a one or two starter in a major league rotation.

16. Marlins – Seaver King, 3B/SS/OF, Wake Forest

Kings' versatility in the field will draw attention but his bat is nothing to scoff at. He has a quick bat and is aggressive as a hitter. He lacks in power but has great speed to make up for it.

If a team can live with his tendencies to swing out of the zone (where he does find success some of the time) they'll have a reliable runner with the ability to play all over the diamond.

Waldschmidt and Christian Moore will be in the mix here if they're still available.

17. Brewers – Carson Benge, OF, Oklahoma State

Another two-way player who projects better as a hitter, Benge showed tremendous athleticism during his college years. His bat-to-ball skills are off the charts and he's shown an ability to use the whole field with his low launch angles.

MLB teams will want to see him lift the ball more, but he did show off some pop with 18 home runs for the Cowboys in 2024.

Benge is a plus defender with a great arm in right field thanks to his pitching background.

18. Rays – Cam Smith, 3B, Florida State

Smith saw improvements across the board at the plate this spring. He drove that ball better than he did previously and improved his bat speed while showing off some raw power.

He projects as a plus defender at third base but could shift to first if the glove doesn’t translate at the hot corner. If he can keep his swing-and-miss rates down, Smith will be a strong MLB player.

The Rays could also look at a pitcher, perhaps Jurrangelo Cijntje, with this pick.

19. Mets – William Schmidt, RHP, Catholic HS, La. (LSU commit)

The Mets have a solid eye for pitching talent but have selected only one pitcher in the first round since 2017. That was Kumar Rocker in 2021, who did not sign with New York and is now a top prospect with the Texas Rangers.

Schmidt's potential may be too good to pass up here, although he comes with some risks with a strong fallback as LSU beckons for the Louisiana native.

If teams are confident he'll sign, they'll get the best right-handed high school arm in the class. Schmidt might have the best stuff in the draft with an improved fastball and an elite curveball. Adding some strength could turn him into an All-Star.

20. Blue Jays – Walker Janek, C, Sam Houston

Janek represents the first of three catchers coming off the board in the first round. He earned the Buster Posey Award as the nation's top catcher this past season and showed solid power for a backstop.

Janek could do without chasing as much as he does, but he's improved his ability to spray it to all fields.

His defensive abilities project nicely with some room to work on the receiving end. He has a solid pop time though and is quick behind the plate.

21. Twins – Theo Gillen, SS/2B, Westlake HS, Texas (Texas commit)

As far as high school hitters go in this draft, few project as well as Theo Gillen. He has quick hands and is a consistent contact hitter from the left side with space to grow in the power department. Still, 15-20 homers is realistic.

Shoulder surgery as a sophomore limits his potential at short but his speed could make him a solid defender in the outfield. Second base is his best landing spot as an infielder and his offensive ability will allow teams to be flexible with him.

22. Orioles – Kaelen Culpepper, SS/3B, Kansas State

This is about as great a match as any in the first round. The Orioles have shown a knack for developing position players in the minors. With the right guidance, Culpepper could turn into a strong everyday MLB player.

Where he lacks raw power he makes up for in bat speed, although he doesn’t usually get much loft on the ball. His plate discipline can use some work too.

Culpepper has Gold Glove potential at third with his strong arm but needs to hit for more power to stick there. He showed in college he could handle shortstop.

23. Dodgers – Brody Brecht, RHP, Iowa

A two-sport athlete at Iowa, Brecht shifted his attention to baseball full-time in 2023 after his football career flamed out with the Hawkeyes. The move clearly paid off as Brecht pitched his way into a first-round projection.

Brecht offers a fastball that hits triple digits and a wicked slider that projects as his best pitch. He doesn’t have much after that though with a splitter and changeup that can use work. His control also needs some adjusting.

Brecht has so much room to grow and with the right coaching could become a steal in this class. The Dodgers seem like a great place for him.

24. Braves – Jurrangelo Cijntje, RHP/LHP, Mississippi State

Mississippi State Bulldogs pitcher Jurrangelo Cijntje (50) pitches against the Vanderbilt Commodores during the SEC Baseball Tournament at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.
Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

While most of the two-way players in the class project to stick to hitting, there is a unicorn of sorts on the pitching side in Jurrangelo Cijntje.

The switch-pitching Dutchman is better from the right side than the left but has true potential to pitch with both arms in the big leagues. If teams don’t want to go that route, they'll likely push Cijntje to be a right-handed start, which scouts project he has No. 2 upside as.

He needs to improve his control to make it as an MLB regular. The Braves love a good pitching prospect and have selected a pitcher with their first pick in four consecutive drafts.

25. Padres – Ryan Sloan, RHP, York HS, Ill. (Wake Forest commit)

Sloan produces arguably the most deceptive fastball in the class. It sits at 93-96 but he did touch triple digits this spring.

Scouts love his delivery and his secondary pitches, mainly his changeup and slider, project well. He offers the ability to go deep into games and his velocity stays as the game progresses.

The Padres reportedly want Caminiti but it's a longshot he falls to them. Each of San Diego's last six first-round picks was spent on high school players.

26. Yankees – Braylon Doughty, RHP, Chaparral HS, Calif. (Oklahoma State commit)

The run of arms continues with another high school righty. Doughty is a bit of a reach here but ESPN and have mentioned his name as high as 24th to the Braves.

The 18-year-old has great command of his fastball that stays at 96-97 mph. His best secondary pitch is his curveball which generated a ton of swings and misses during high school showcases this spring.

Doughty's small frame hurts his stock but he throws strikes consistently and could become an elite prospect by developing his third and fourth pitches.

27. Phillies – Kash Mayfield, LHP, Elk City HS, Okla. (Oklahoma State commit)

Mayfield could go anywhere in this stretch of pitchers but we project he'll slide down Philly. It would mark the third time the Phillies took a high school pitcher with their first pick since 2020.

Mayfield wasn’t expected to be a first-rounder before the spring. The increased velocity in his fastball paired with the command of his changeup launched him into first-round orbit.

Teams are skeptical that he'll sign for less than his draft slot with a solid fallback at Oklahoma State. Regardless of where he pitches next spring, Mayfield has an upward trajectory if he continues to put in the work.

28. Astros – Dakota Jordan, OF, Mississippi State

A toolsy player with ‘project' written all over him, Dakota Jordan possesses the ability to be a solid major league player. He has elite bat speed and has as much pop as anyone in the class, but he swings and misses too much to be a firm first-round selection.

Jordan struck out at a nearly 30 percent clip this spring, a number he has to cut down to make it as an MLB regular.

He has good speed on the basepaths but that hasn’t helped him much in the outfield, where he's graded as nothing more than an ok fielder.

29. D-backs – Kellon Lindsey, SS, Hardee Senior HS, Fla. (Florida commit)

One of the premier athletes in this year's draft, Lindsey is a former quarterback who improved tremendously on the diamond after leaving the gridiron behind.

He grades better with his glove than his bat but Lindsey has a contact swing and good ability to drive the ball up the middle. He'll need to work on his pitch recognition having faced weaker competition than other high schoolers in the class.

Lindsey is a real threat on the basepaths and should stick at shortstop with solid range and an average arm.

30. Rangers – Malcolm Moore, C, Stanford

Looking strictly at statistics, Moore isn’t a top prospect. Baseball is often a game of luck and Moore didn’t have much of that in 2024.

His batting average on balls in play tanked as he hit for a .255 average. He was still able to show off his elite bat speed though and handles high velocity well.

Moore's defense leaves plenty of question marks, hurting his stock as a first-round projection. Premier hitting catchers are tough to come by though and worth taking a chance on with a backend pick.

Texas could look at a high school arm here as well.

31. D-backs – Caleb Lomavita, C, California

32. Orioles – Billy Amick, 3B, Tennessee

33. Twins – Vance Honeycutt, OF, North Carolina

34. Brewers – Griff O'Ferrall, SS, Virginia

35. D-backs – PJ Morlando, OF, Summerville HS, S.C. (South Carolina commit)

36. Guardians – Wyatt Sanford, SS, Independence HS, Texas (Texas A&M commit)

37. Pirates – Tommy White, 3B, LSU

LSU Tigers third baseman Tommy White (47) hits an RBI single against the Florida Gators in the second inning at Charles Schwab Field Omaha.
Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

38. Rockies – Slade Caldwell, OF, Valley View HS, Ark. (Ole Miss commit)

39. Royals – Ben Hess, RHP, Alabama