Cam Collier's Advanced Bat Could Usher Him Quickly To Cincinnati
The Reds weren’t expecting Cam Collier to be available with the 18th overall pick in 2022. When he was, they jumped at the opportunity to select the 17-year-old third baseman.
“We think he has a really well-rounded package, but it leads with the bat and the very advanced hit tool,” Reds scouting director Joe Katuska said.
After hitting .333/.419/.537 at Chipola JC in Florida, Collier headed to the Arizona Complex League. He didn’t skip a beat there, hitting .370/.514/.630 with seven walks and six strikeouts in nine games.
“We saw a player who had a very pure approach at the plate,” Reds farm director Shawn Pender said. “He creates tremendous natural power for a young kid, uses the whole field and drives the ball to the opposite field.”
And use the opposite field he did. While the sample size was small—just 10 games including the playoffs—Collier didn’t have a single batted ball that was fielded by the right fielder. Collier hit six balls to left field, and four of his nine hits to center field went for extra bases.
After making an error in his debut, Collier played a clean third base for the rest of the season. His defense isn’t as advanced as his bat, but the organization believes he just needs reps and experience at third base.
“We just need to continue to work on his approach,” Pender said. “I think there will be a focal point on getting him more experience defensively. I don’t think we saw anything that a normal projection over time with experience wouldn’t give him.”
Cincinnati doesn’t have a long-term answer at third at the moment, but the farm system has more than a few quality options.
Collier, at 18 years old, is still likely a few years away. If he can improve his glovework, his bat projects to be more than enough to help him play the hot corner in the big leagues.