Braylon Payne boasts notable speed, upside

Braylon Payne likes to create havoc on the base pads. And frankly, Payne is really good at it, possessing well above-average speed.

Payne posted a 60-yard dash of 6.28 seconds at the Twelve Baseball Scout League in June 2023. A quality 60-yard dash time typically is between 6.7 and 7.0 seconds.

“It’s funny knowing that everyone knows how fast I am but that when I am on the base pads, they can’t really do anything about it,” Payne said.

Payne’s best attribute is his speed. He also has quality instincts, contact skills at the plate, and strong tools in center field. Payne’s tool set and overall potential make him an intriguing prospect.

Scouts project the Texas prep outfielder as a likely early-round pick in July’s MLB draft.

“It’s really cool,” said Payne on the draft attention. “Before last summer, no one knew who I was. I wasn’t on any of these lists or anything. As the summer went on, I kept my head down and kept grinding with other top talents in this class. That’s when I became one of the top players in the class.”

Payne is a 6-foot-2, 185-pound left-handed hitting center fielder who projects as a top-of-the-order hitter at the next level. He uses a short, compact swing to make consistent contact. His speed also plays a significant role in his offensive profile.

In the offseason, Payne worked with his hitting coach to tap into more power and consistently impact the baseball. He has emerging power, with scouts confident he will impact the baseball more consistently as he matures physically.

“My hitting has improved a lot over the summer,” Payne said. “I’ve been hitting with my hitting coach, and he helps me so much. He’s unlocked a lot of untapped potential in my swing that I didn’t know I had.”

Defensively, Payne is a quality defender in center field. He has strong instincts and can cover plenty of ground due to his speed. His arm strength continues to improve, and he profiles as a center fielder in pro ball.

“Fielding-wise, I feel like no one can touch me,” Payne said. “Running, no one can touch me. For my hit tool, I just want to keep improving as I get older and older.”

Payne is in a great position after he graduates high school. Besides his status as a draft prospect, Payne is a Houston commit. His relationship with the coaching staff and its proximity to home factored into his decision. Houston announced its move to the Big 12 Conference after Payne verbally committed, but the announcement excited the talented outfielder.

“It has been my dream school since I was like 5 years old,” Payne said. “I’ve always just wanted to play baseball there. I couldn’t wait to commit.”

Read more in-depth stories on top 2024 MLB draft prospects at Baseball Prospect Journal.

Video of Braylon Payne.

Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for nine years. He has interviewed 518 of the top draft prospects in that period, including four No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today,, The Arizona Republic and The Dallas Morning News, have quoted his work, while he has appeared on radio stations as a “MLB draft expert.” Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.

Dan Zielinski III
Dan Zielinski III
Dan Zielinski III is the creator of the Baseball Prospect Journal and has covered the MLB draft since 2015. His draft work originally appeared on, a sports website he started in December 2011. He also covered the Milwaukee Brewers as a member of the credentialed media for four years. Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.

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