In the summer of 2022 Cam Collier was projected as a Top 10 draft pick, but he slid down to the Cincinnati Reds at #18 and signed an over slot bonus. He didn’t play much, but he put up an OPS of 1.144 in his nine games that he did play for the Arizona Complex League Reds before their season came to an end.

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Cincinnati sent Cam Collier to Single-A Daytona. His season debut was a good one as he went 2-3 with a double, three walks, and three runs batted in. The next game saw him go 1-1 with another walk. Things slowed down from there as he went 7-40 (.175) in the remaining 12 games he played for the Tortugas in April. That slump carried over into the first week of May, too, as he went 2-18 against Palm Beach.

When Daytona returned to Jackie Robinson Ballpark to take on St. Lucie, Collier picked up a hit in every game of the series and over the next three weeks hit .279/.352/.443 for Daytona. But on May 31st he went 0-3 and went into a big slump, hitting just .098 from that day through June 20th, with just one extra-base hit, but he did walk nearly as often as he struck out in that stretch.

On June 21st he picked up two hits and his bat heated up over the next two weeks as he hit .325 in a 10-game stretch through July 5th. But starting on the 6th he went cold, going 10-52 (.192) over the next three weeks. Collier closed out the series against Lakeland and the month of July with a 2-hit day. He carried that forward for the next three-and-a-half weeks, hitting .391/.500/.580 with 13 walks, nine extra-base hits, and 15 strikeouts across 20 games.

Just as hot as he had been, he went that cold over the next 10 games, going 5-36 (.139). He would rebound well from that stretch in the final series of the year, going 7-19 (.368) with five walks against St. Lucie.

For all 2023 Season Reviews and Scouting Reports – click here (these will come out during the week throughout the offseason).

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 | Collier has an above-average hit tool.

Power | He has above-average power potential.

Speed | He’s a below-average runner.

Defense | His defense is below-average.

Arm | He has an above-average to plus arm.

When it comes to Cam Collier it seems that much of his value is likely to be tied up in his bat. He’s got a good arm and it’s impressive, but there are more than a few scouts that think he’s going to wind up at first base in the long run and his arm won’t be nearly as useful at first as it would be at third base.

If he’s going to remain at third base he’s going to need to maintain his body and athleticism, maybe even improving on both. Historically that’s been something most players who had those questions about them at his age haven’t been able to do.

With Collier, though, there’s a bunch of upside with his bat. He’s got a chance to hit for both average and power. He’s also a patient hitter, so there’s a chance for him to be a high on-base percentage guy as well.

In 2023 he struggled a bit to hit for average and for power. Collier battled inconsistency throughout the season. One of the youngest hitters in the pitcher friendly Florida State League he was roughly league average at the plate. He hits the ball hard, particularly for his age. His average exit velocity on line drives and ground balls was more than 6 MPH higher than the Florida State League average.

That works well when he gets the ball in the air. The problem he will need to overcome is that in 2023 he simply didn’t get the ball in the air nearly enough. His 53% ground ball rate was the 2nd highest among players in the farm system with at least 250 plate appearances (there were 44 such players).

In his full season debut Cam Collier didn’t really stand out when looking at the surface numbers. And the ground ball rate was a little concerning. But he seems to get the strikezone well for his age, he hits the ball a lot harder than his peers did despite being younger than almost all of them, and he makes contact in the zone at a high rate. The underlying stuff at the plate is quite promising with the exception of the ground ball rate. That needs to move in the right direction, but if he can get that on the right side of 50% he’s going to be a very good hitter.

Video

Cam Collier Spray Chart

Interesting Stat on Cam Collier

He crushed the ball on Tuesdays. In 17 games played on a Tuesday he hit .328/.452/.534. He struggled mightily on Thursdays, hitting .164/.292/.180 in 18 games.

14 Responses

  1. Krozley

    Definitely room for improvement, but he has some interesting splits that provide some optimism for me. I think being 18 years old in his first full season out of high school effected him a bit. He had an OPS split of .780 home and .628 away and .887 in day games vs. .676 night, possibly suggesting it took him longer to adjust to the conditions of pro ball vs. high school. His 2nd half line was solid, .283/.382/.387. He had an OPS of .897 in “late/close” situations indicating some competitiveness under pressure. If he can get his power up and become at least adequate defensively somewhere, he can get back to being a top 50 prospect. I don’t think it is time to worry about him yet.

    • Optimist

      True that there is very little to worry about. Wholly agree on the age/adjustment issue. Also, as Doug notes, “league average” in a pitchers league is just fine for his first year. The underlying analytics are very encouraging, and the issue to address is clearly identified. Also not too concerned about the physical nature – he comes from a professional background and clearly is focussed on his career.

      Perhaps a comparison to Rece Hinds is in order. Hinds lost 2-3 seasons to injury and Covid, and just last season rounded into the projected form. Essentially, he looks to be “MLB ready” later this season or into 2025, age 23-24. Collier is more highly regarded, hasn’t lost any development time, and if he proves capable of adjusting thru A+/AA he’ll be looking to debut at age 21-22.

      It seems the big adjustment for most players is from high A to AA, but if Collier shines in Dayton, and continues to show or improve the BB/K %, he could move fast thru AA/AAA.

      A hot start this season means that injury is about the only thing to slow him down.

    • Old Big Ed

      Collier played what would have been his senior year in HS at Chipola (Junior) College, but being 18 in the FSL was certainly a factor.

      Chipola has produced some players, including Russell Martin, Jose Bautista and Patrick Corbin. The Reds have Chipola guys Ivan Johnson and Kenya Huggins, who was having a fairly good showing at Daytona, but was apparently sidelined by an injury at mid-season.

  2. MK

    Conditioning might be an issue long term. Really looked like he thickened up in the hips and thighs. Hope has to be this doesn’t create an issue with quickness or flexibility.

  3. Doug Gray

    Just as a heads up – The Top 25 write ups will return on Monday. With Friday being what it is, I don’t expect much traffic and don’t want to just bury the write up on a day when no one’s going to read it. I’ll probably just do a check in on some winter league stuff for Friday.

  4. MBS

    Where we picked him we can’t be too mad, but where he was projected to go, it seems like a disappointing start. I think I need to look at Collier as a mid 1st rounder instead of a “potential 4 pick”.

    He’s young and has time to adjust so I’m not down on him, I’m just not feeling like we got the steel that we all thought he was.

    • Stock

      I think he is a steal. His problem last year was launch angle with is easily correctable.

      I expect him to be the teams #1 prospect by mid-season this year.

      • DaveCT

        In a rare case where I am disappointed with Baseball America, they have been really harsh on Collier. This article is far more optimistic and, IMO, realistic.

        Kid was playing his first year in full season ball, in a pitcher’s league, in what was essentially his senior year in high school, and was basically average. His flaw is correctable — see Sal Stewart.

        He obviously has keen skill, and all the off-field supports a kid could wish for. I suspect he is working his arse off this fall and winter. And, if he is observant, he will notice the work the above mentioned Stewart put in getting his body more conditioned.

      • Greenfield Red

        Agree DaveCT. What’s the average age for the FSL? 20? 21?. The kid is 18 years old and hit baseically league average. While I too hope for better numbers next year, there is no way anyone should dismiss the current he was swimming against in 23.

      • MBS

        I hope you guys are right. Like I said I’m not down on him, I’m just not as high as the early talk had me. I hope he tears them up this year. Now that left handers are cool again since the shift is gone, it would be great to get a guy like him at 3B, and Jorge at 2B. That would really let you lean on some teams.

    • Doug Gray

      Yes. He just arrived.

      As a sidenote – Ricardo Cabrera has not yet arrived (unless he did today).