Top high school MLB Draft prospect Konnor Griffin 'sleeping fine' ahead of Sunday's first round

MLB Draft prospect and LSU commit Konnor Griffin says he's ready to hear his name called and see what the future holds when the first round starts Sunday
Kevin Griffin hands his son Konnor Griffin a trophy for Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year at Jackson Prep in Flowood, Miss., on Thursday, June 6, 2024.
Kevin Griffin hands his son Konnor Griffin a trophy for Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year at Jackson Prep in Flowood, Miss., on Thursday, June 6, 2024. / Lauren Witte/Clarion Ledger / USA TODAY

Jackson Prep superstar Konnor Griffin may well be the first high school player taken in the 2024 MLB Draft this weekend, but the LSU signee wants you to know he’ll be fine either way.

The five-tool shortstop/outfielder/pitcher may be nervous about the weekend, but you’d never know it talking to him.

“I’m sleeping just fine,” Griffin said Monday in an interview recorded for the Crooked Letter Sports podcast. “It’s been a lot of years in the making and a lot of hard work. I just wanna give thanks to my parents and all the glory to God. It’s just a great opportunity I have ahead of me, whether I go to LSU or get drafted.”

Griffin has spent the last four years molding his game — and his body — into what pro scouts believe make up one of the most promising prospects in the country. He’s grown from a gangly pre-teen into his strapping, 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame.

While most teenagers come of age He did all of this under tremendous scrutiny, with dozens of pro and college scouts attending most games, batting cage sessions and workouts.

“I think at our first game there were 52 scout surrounding the cage,” he said. “It’s a good thing that they are all there, but my biggest goal was to not let it distract me from going out and winning a baseball game. That was the goal, and I think it helped me a lot to be able to go play loose and free and just do what I can to help the team win.”

And win they did — the Patriots clinched state championships in Mississippi's private-school organization all four years of Konnor’s high school career, with multiple publications ranking the Patriots among the top three teams in the state, regardless of classification, in each season.

Griffin is quick to give credit to coaches and his teammates, but there’s little doubt the phenom played a huge role in that success. In his senior year, Griffin hit for a .559 average over 171 plate appearances, stole 85 bases and drove in 39 runs and scored 76 more in just 43 games. He also went 10-0 as a starter on the mound, leading Jackson Prep to a state championship and finishing with a 0.72 ERA, 107 strikeouts and just 26 walks. He earned Gatorade National Player of the Year honors.

The only criticism out there is that Griffin's eye-popping numbers were a product of his competition against other private-school teams in Mississippi, where public and private schools remain mostly separate. But Griffin also played for the 18-and-under USA National team, started every game and never once struck out.

“That’s something that touches my heart, because I’m a Mississippi guy and I don’t like it when people talk down on Mississippi,” Griffin said. “One, we’ve had some really good players, especially coming out of Jackson Prep, that have done just fine at the next level.

"Then as a whole, Mississippi has had some great players. Just this year, we’ve got three guys from Mississippi that could go in the first round between Braden Montgomery, me and Dakota (Jordan) and there could be another guy slip into the Top 30 picks. Dakota is another guy who played in the (Mississippi Association of Independent Schools) and Braden is a public school guy, but they play the same teams we do, really. But that kinda makes me mad when I hear that, because Mississippi produces good players and we face good competition all the time.”

MORE: Meet the 5 Mississippi natives ranked in the Top 200 prospects headed into the 2024 MLB Draft

The natural comparison for Griffin is Atlanta Braves all-star third baseman Austin Riley, another Mississippi product who pitched and played multiple positions his senior year at DeSoto Central High School in Southaven.

There’s a lot of speculation about how high Griffin could go in the draft, which is scheduled to start Sunday. Just this week, he topped SB Live's list of the Top 50 draft-eligible high school players.

The Cleveland Guardians have the first pick, and sent as many as eight scouts — including the director of scouting — to Jackson Prep games this spring.

The Chicago White Sox, owners of the fourth pick, have also reportedly shown great interest in the Florence, Miss. native. Griffin has met with scouts and various representatives from two dozen other teams as well.

The good news is that the 18-year-old doesn’t have to navigate all of this on his own. He said he’s leaned on his parents for advice and deferred to the expertise from his agent Joey Devine and Excel Sports Management to guide him through the process.

Konnor's father Kevin has stayed locked into the process despite having a busy spring himself — the elder Griffin serves as the softball coach at nearby Belhaven College, and led the Blazers to a runner-up finish at the D-III College World Series last month.

Jackson Prep baseball star Konnor Griffin poses for a photo with his father, Kevin Griffin a week before the 2024 MLB Draft
Jackson Prep baseball phenom Konnor Griffin (left) poses for a photo with his father Kevin Griffin, the head coach of the Belhaven Blazer softball team on Monday, July 9 in Jackson, Miss. / Photo by Tyler Cleveland, SBLive

“(The teams) aren’t talking to me much right now because it’s a quiet period,” He said. “But that’s why it’s good to have an advisor and my dad. It’s a stressful process. It’s not just ‘who is the best player on the board,’ there’s a lot of business that goes into it. A lot of it is not in my control right now. If a team wants to pour into me, I’ll know they want me there. I’m just trying to control what I can and keep my game sharp.”

And if the right offer doesn’t come along on draft day? Griffin says he’s got a heckuva backup plan.

“I don’t think I’d ever regret going to pro ball or starting in college,” Griffin said. “I won’t regret the decision I make because one, if I go to LSU, I know I’m going to be developed my that coaching staff… Jay Johnson has a great track record of getting guys to the big leagues. And if I go pro out of high school, a team is investing in me and pouring into me, so they are going to want me to get the (at-bats), they want me to develop and I’ll get to play every single day. So either way, I don’t think I’ll regret it.”

Published |Modified
Tyler Cleveland