Cam Collier was one of the top prep prospects in the 2023 class until he reclassified on Aug. 2, making him eligible for the 2022 MLB draft.
His success, especially offensively, against older competition led to Collier’s decision. Collier, a third baseman, will be one of the youngest players in the 2022 draft at 17 years old, as he won’t turn 18 until November 2022.
Collier recently made another move in what he believes will better prepare him for pro ball. He left Mount Paran Christian (Ga.) High and is working towards attending a junior college this spring, he said.
The spring season will be significant in determining the next step in his career. Scouts currently project Collier as a potential first-round pick in the 2022 draft.
“I haven’t had the opportunity to talk to a lot of scouts yet, but it’s been cool to see where I rank and where I could maybe go in the draft,” Collier said. “I think reclassifying is what’s best for my family and me with how well I played up this summer. For me, I just felt I was ready for the move.”
Collier grew up in a baseball family. His father, Lou, played eight years in the major leagues with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Milwaukee Brewers, Montreal Expos, Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies from 1997 to 2004.
Learning the game from his father, who played shortstop, third base and outfield, has benefited Collier. It has also helped him prepare for the draft and a potential pro career in 2022.
“It’s easier going through the draft process because he knows how it goes and has gone through it,” Collier said. “He has helped guide me through the process, which has helped me a lot.”
Collier is a 6-foot-2, 210-pound left-handed hitter who has an impressive and advanced swing that looks effortless. He consistently squares up the ball and drives the ball to all parts of the field.
His offensive skills are his biggest strength and one reason he’s one of the top players in the 2022 draft class. In the spring, Collier hopes to improve his approach and cut down on swings and misses on breaking pitches out of the strike zone, he said.
“I feel like my biggest strength is my ability to work an at-bat, staying off pitches and hitting my pitch,” Collier said. “I think that’s my best trait right now.”
Defensively, Collier will play third base in pro ball. He has above-average arm strength and sound fundamentals. He could improve his footwork and speed, though.
“I really think I need to improve my feet and get them quick,” Collier said. “I think if I can get my feet quicker, my defense will be a lot better.”
Collier is a Louisville commit. He committed to the Cardinals in the summer after his freshman year on July 4, 2019. The program’s track record of success, coaching staff, and proven ability to develop talent for pro ball stood out to him during the recruiting process.
He also is a fan of former Louisville outfielder Corey Ray, who played for the Cardinals from 2014-16. The Brewers drafted Ray fifth overall in the 2016 draft, and he made his major league debut this year.
“I always loved the campus and the recruiting coordinator, Eric Snider,” Collier said. “When I was younger, I looked up to a guy named Corey Ray. That’s where he went, and ever since then, that’s where I wanted to go.”
Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for seven years. He has interviewed 356 of the top draft prospects in that period, including four No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today, MLB.com and The Arizona Republic, have quoted his work, while he has appeared on radio stations as a “MLB draft expert.” Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.