Cam Collier took a route that has rarely been taken – he graduated high school after his sophomore season and enrolled at Chipola Junior College this year. That allowed him to become draft eligible in what would have otherwise been his junior season of high school. Despite being younger than everyone on his team and in his league, Collier hit an impressive .333/.419/.537 at one of the top juco programs in the country with 25 walks and 33 strikeouts in 215 plate appearances.
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The performance and the future projection led to the Cincinnati Reds selecting Cam Collier in the 1st round of the 2022 draft. With the draft being held so late in the year now it’s almost just like it used to be for first rounders when the signing deadline was late in the year and most guys only wound up playing a few weeks before the season ended. That’s kind of how it goes now, but for all draft picks. Collier played in nine games after the draft. The Reds kept him at their complex out in Goodyear and the 17-year-old crushed the ball in his limited action, posting an OPS of 1.144 with more walks than strikeouts.
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Cam Collier Scouting Report
Position: Third Base | B/T: L/R
Height: 6′ 2″ | Weight: 210 lbs | Acquired: 1st Round, 2022 Draft
Born: November 20, 2004
Hitting | An above-average to plus tool. He can and does use the entire field. He also shows an advanced understanding of the strikezone despite his age, which bodes well for him being able to get the most out of his hit tool.
Power | He has plus raw power, but his swing and approach may not fully allow him to tap into that without some changes.
Speed | He is a below-average runner.
Defense | A solid-average defender at third base now. Some scouts, but not all of them, believe he may eventually slide over to first base down the road.
Arm | He has a plus to plus-plus arm.
There’s a lot to like about Cam Collier. Rarely have you seen someone his age do what he did in college – mostly because they are still high school juniors, but his numbers against college competition would have been good if he had done it in high school.
His bat is the selling card and no matter how you slice it up he projects to be an above-average hitter. The questions are exactly how he gets there. For him to get the most out of his power his all fields approach may need to be tweaked a little bit from where it’s at now as he will slap the ball the opposite way rather than try to hit for power to the opposite field. Perhaps with more time and experience and coaching that can change without doing much to the full field approach. But if he does have to give up a little more contact in order to get more power to the opposite field the power grade may go up while the hit grade could come down. There’s plenty of wiggle room on both, so it’s not necessarily a problem with either of them moving in one direction at the expense of the other.
Defensively there’s mixed thoughts on whether he ultimately winds up at first base in a decade or not because of his size. He’s got the bat to play at either corner infield spot, but there would be more value overall if he could remain at third base long term. Either way, though, if he does need to make that move it seems that the general consensus is that it won’t be something that happens soon.
While he will be just 18-years-old next year, Collier feels like a player who could move quickly through the organization. He’s got all of the tools and what seems like an advanced approach at the plate and good pitch recognition skills.
#Reds 2022 Draftee Cam Collier hits his first pro-ball home run!! @RedsInFour pic.twitter.com/1D3JMViINf
— Prospects Worldwide (@ProspectsWorldW) August 14, 2022
Cam Collier Spray Chart
Interesting Stat on Cam Collier
If you look at the spray chart above there are two things that really jump out at you. The first is that he went 3-3 on balls hit to the pitcher. The other is that he did not hit a single ball to right field. We are talking about a sample size of just 24 batted balls, but a left-handed hitter not putting one ball into right field even in that small number of balls in play feels strange.
I am assuming we think he will begin at Daytona next year?
That would be my guess, yes.
I love watching him hit
I think he will be a huge part of Daytona exciting 9: Cade Hunter, Stewart, Jorge, Acosta, Balcazar, Collier, Antonia, Almonte and Valdez
If Cabrera responds to his credentials as international top prospect, he’ll be in Daytona soon too….
Because his dad is a former major leaguer, I don’t feel the learning curve will be as steep both on and off the field. He won’t be a kid you need to leave in low A to understand the grind of a long season. I hope the Reds are aggressive with promotions. I said it the other day when comparing his rookie stats at the same age to Andruw Jones and Juan Soto….that making the bigs by 19 isn’t out of the realm of possibility.
Understand that it’s a juco program, but isn’t Chipola one of the top-5 in juco? And, what does that correspond to in MiLB – A, A+, AA? Thinking somewhere between A and A+ – could he start 2023 in Dayton? That would be mildly aggressive for the hitting side, but it sounds like he needs the most work/experience in the field, which is much less dependent on the MiLB level.
Rookie level at best. Reds ACL team would beat them 9 out of 10 times.
Whoa – Sure they’re 18-19 year olds, which is Rookie-level, but I thought Chipola was much better than that, more like a mediocre D-1 program. Akin to the all-recruit HS Sports Academy basketball programs which have half a dozen 5-star D-1 prospects.
If they were much better than that then they wouldn’t be at a Junior College they would be in professional ball themselves.
Chipola is certainly one of, if not the best juco programs in the country. But even your typical SEC team wouldn’t do much on a normal minor league schedule. Those teams have better players at some spots, but the biggest difference between those elite NCAA teams and teams in the minor leagues is the depth beyond the best 5-7 players. College teams would fall apart over the course of a season, particularly with the pitching side of things where they don’t have 5 legit starters or more than 2-3 legit relievers.
But no, I don’t think Collier will start in Dayton. I do expect him to start in Daytona, though, assuming he’s healthy when the season begins (he’s healthy now – but I think that health is the only reason he wouldn’t begin the year in Daytona).
Thanks Doug. I overlooked the pitching depth. Understandably a huge factor.
Meanwhile, interesting Ms-Jays trade – back to the MLB site for hot stove action.
As Doug says ,It is very strange Collier didn’t hit any ball into RF despite in it was inonly 35 PA. Could be the kind of swing he made in those games just looking to hit the ball in play or making contact?
Collier seems to have just one weakness : his speed…
We could live with a slow Cam Collier, just like we’ve lived with a slow Joey Votto and the Twins lived with a slow Harmon Killebrew.
I bet Collier could run backwards and still beat Sean Casey (or Ryan Hanigan) to first base. The harder he ran, the slower Casey got.
But Casey knew how to run the bases. He went first to third better than any slow guy I have ever seen.
Kind of thought Cam might be an add on to World Baseball Classic Team USA since his dad is a coach. Kind of a PR thing.
I dont think it matters to what field he hits to, he hits well. He hits the ball the best to center, a very good place to hit. I just hope they dont try to change his swing too much.