Cam Collier has signed with the Cincinnati Reds. The 1st rounder and 18th overall selection in last week’s draft posted on instagram a photo of himself signing the contract with the words “Officially a Red!!!”, breaking the news of things himself.
The 17-year-old third baseman out of Chipola Junior College was rated as the #2 prospect in the entire draft by Keith Law of The Athletic and was a consensus Top 10 prospect in the draft at all reputable organizations. Jim Callis of MLB.com is reporting that Collier signed for $5,000,000. That’s $1,340,200 over the slot value of the 18th overall pick. That does put the Reds in the red when it comes to their draft allotment, so they will have to pay a penalty. What they won’t have to do, though, is give up a future draft pick because they are still under the 5% overage that would trigger that penalty.
Collier is known more for his hitting ability, but that is more due to just how good his hitting ability is. He graduated from high school after his sophomore year in order to enroll at Chipola and play college baseball in 2022. Despite playing in what should have been his junior year of high school he was hitting .333/.419/.537 with 25 walks, 12 doubles, 8 home runs, and just 33 strikeouts in 215 plate appearances against college players at one of the top junior college baseball programs in the country.
With the signing of Collier, the Cincinnati Reds have now signed 14 of their 22 draft picks, including all 12 in the first 10 rounds (they had an extra pick for losing Nick Castellanos in free agency and then another extra pick as a compensation pick for being a small market team). You can check out all of the draft pick signings here. And to read up on all of the scouting reports on everyone you can check out all of the draft day coverage from RedsMinorLeagues.com right here.
This horrible, no good, no clue what they’re doing front office just (checks notes) signed their first round pick!
Fantastic draft execution by the Reds!
Collier is an absolute steal, mad props getting this kid into the fold. I knew it would take a large bonus, but I’da been shocked if they didnt sign him. Welcome Cam!
Exciting! A lucky and great pick, and the Reds didn’t shy away from having to go well over slot.
Go Cam, and go Reds!
Glad they got this done. He basically got the 9th puck slot value – good for him. I was hoping we’d be able to sign him and the 18th round pick outfield set out of Nevada – Neville. Since we had yo go so far over slot This probably clinches that we won’t be able to sign him – too bad but the Collier kid looks to be worth it.
He’s definitely one to watch going forward.
Moving Winker, Barnhart, Castellanos, and Suarez go over the off season really seem like a good choice now.
And, man, the Reds are getting stacked in the minors.
The Reds should add another 4+ top prospects within the next week for Castillo and Mahle.
And a top 10 prospect for Drury and possibly the same for Pham.
unfortunately, not for Pham. I don’t think he has any value to a contender.
Good job by the front office getting this done. Hopefully, we will see him in Cincinnati in four or five years. He has a sweet swing.
I’m not sure who ends up at what positions but having every-day lineup talent that potentially includes:
3B/1B – Collier
3B/2B – India
SS/OF – De La Cruz
SS/OF – Berrero
SS/2B – McClain
OF – Senzel
and starting pitchers Greene, Lodolo, and Ashcraft and Diaz as a relief pitcher looks like a pretty solid core of players. They won’t all work out but if most do, you’ll be able to add in some dark horse talented players like EDLC was a couple years ago and you don’t have to squint too hard to see a bright future for the Reds.
At 17 y.o. Collier will want to get up to MLB in a hurry if he wants to play w India, Senzel, Stephenson or any of the currently young pitchers before they go FA or the Reds trade them off for the next round of ‘prospects’.
That irony aside, I’d love for 20 y.o. Collier to pull a J Soto.
I count roughly 25 to 30 guys in the minors with above average or better potential. By getting another 10 or so in trades this week, they only need about half to pan out to challenge for a WS in the next 4 to 6 years.
I do not like the possibility of JD being in the return for LC because I think he will fall off the prospect cliff a la our own Hendrick. But, by targeting 17 to 22 year old rather than “major league ready”, they are showing signs of knowing what they are doing. Finally.
Dominguez is only 19.
.272/.379/.450 10 HRs in 78 games. at A Ball.
.828 OPS….21 Stolen Bases
VaRedsFan… I urge you to read his profile. Two years ago they called him the Martian because his tools were out of this world. Now they say “got thicker than we thought” and “more swing and miss than we thought” and “still has a chance to be solid across the board”. Red flags everywhere. Stock is dropping. Don’t want him.
JD might be a suitable headliner for Mahle or Drury. The Reds could take a chance.
Not for LC
Accumulating young talent is good, but the development is the key. They need some of that Cardinal black magic. I’m confident the Cardinals could dump their entire farm system for Soto and still end up with a rookie of the year candidate next year.
No doubt the kid has some serious skills and is highly motivated.
Can’t wait to follow his progress.
Not sure what their thinking was in drafting Mason Neville in round 18, who seems pretty committed to going to college at Arkansas. I was hoping the Reds were saving some money to entice him to forego that experience, but he’s signaled that he expected first- or second-round money to do that, which they can’t give him without incurring a penalty. So why waste the pick? Otherwise, a good draft (and good to have signed so many so soon).
It’s a great question. If you don’t pick him, you can’t sign him. It comes down to the opportunity cost of the quality of who might be available at pick #543 with little to no signing risk (someone in the 500-550 range) and the chance they might convince a top #100 player to sign even though he’s telegraphing that he wants 1st/2nd money, or he’ll go to Arkansas. The chance the 550th or so best player in the draft will even sniff the majors is very, very low. So, this becomes a low risk, low reward play.
The Reds now know exactly what they can offer. Neville likely goes to Arkansas, but I think this pick was a good risk for them to take. The Reds can likely get similar value on the undrafted free agent market … just not a lot of risk.
P.S. Just read per Mark Sheldon, the Reds will not sign Neville.
An 18th round pick isn’t really worth much, AJ. The only 18th round pick since 2010 who had a decent career was Kris Bryant (2010), who didn’t sign with the Blue Jays, ala Neville.
There are only two 18th-rounders with a bWAR of at least 5.0 since 2010. The leader is Matt Duffy (2012), who had a good rookie year for the Giants and a couple of other plausible seasons, accumulating 9.5 WAR. The other is Jon Berti (2011), now with the Marlins. Berti leads the NL in steals, but accumulated no WAR for the team that drafted him (Toronto). He has 2.1bWAR in this, his age 32 season. David Bote (2012) of the Cubs has 3.6 WAR.
Garrett Whitlock got drafted in round 18 by the Yankees in 2017 and has accumulated 4.2 WAR, but all for the rival Red Sox, who got him in the Rule 5 draft.
It was worth a flyer for the Reds, if signability/injury issues developed with a guy or two who had a higher slot value. The Reds could then have used that money to make a good run at Neville. It didn’t work, but they didn’t really lose anything in trying.
Once you get to the third round of the draft, you have already hit the bottom of the barrel. At that point the chances of a player making it to the majors is miniscule. So drafting high schoolers that probably won’t sign will often have more value than random college players when it comes to helping the major league team in the future.
Not to belabor this, but while it’s true that most players drafted in the 18th round never pan out, Neville was not a typical 18th rounder. He was generally seen as a top 100 prospect, and some of the rankings had him in the top 75 available players. If he had signaled (as many high school players do) that he wanted to turn pro, he would have gone in the second or third round, with slot money somewhere between $500K and a million. But the fact that he dropped to round 18 tells us that most teams saw him as unsignable. I suppose the Reds might still find a way to pay him the money it would take to make him give up college, but the money they paid Collier indicates that’s very unlikely. At least they are saving the $125K they would have owed a typical 18th round player, which might have been the strategy all along.
Had the Reds not been able to come to an agreement with Collier, he was likely the backup plan to use the draft savings from other picks to at least recoup a little value.
Nice draft and post draft by the Reds. I have to give props to the front office here. They have out performed.
Glad he fell to the Reds, and good job getting him signed, just wondering why he fell so far if he was widely considered a top ten pick.
It’s not just this year that the Reds have had a great draft. It’s been productive, what, 6 or 7 years in a row?
The wide difference between the decision making for the drafts and the decision making at a major league level has been interesting to watch. To be fair, I’ve been in the camp of focusing on 2024 and beyond for quite some time. Seeing Winker and Suarez go was hard, but I could see the strategy. The Minor signing was about as deflating to me as anything in the last years of Reds’ history. It just looked so incompetent.
So, it’s great to see them nailing these drafts. The core of inexpensive, home-grown talent is exactly the path to real success. Makes me excited about the future.
Should also say that being able to read about it here, accurately and in depth, makes the development process so much easier to follow and enjoy. Support Doug.
I am in total agreement with that comment ! Support Doug .. He does a fantastic job covering all things Reds that we really care about for the future .