MLB Draft: Reds happy to see 17-year-old third baseman fall to them in first round

Cam Collier was expected to go as high as No. 4 in some mock drafts

Credit: Jae C. Hong

Credit: Jae C. Hong

Cam Collier should have been a high school junior this past spring. On a normal schedule, he would be starting his senior year this August.

Instead, assuming he signs instead of continuing his college career with the Louisville Cardinals, he’ll start his professional baseball career with the Cincinnati Reds, who selected the third baseman with the No. 18 overall pick in the Major League Baseball draft on Sunday night.

Collier is 17 and won’t turn 18 until November.

“He decided to reclassify and go to a junior college and really challenged himself,” said Cincinnati Reds Director of Amateur Scouting Joe Katuska. “We haven’t seen someone of his age do that since Bryce Harper did. Really advanced hitter. He’s been around the game his whole life. His father played in the big leagues. He’s a tremendous person off the field, too. We’ve gotten the chance to know him over the last couple of years at all the events he’s been to. We think he has a really good well-rounded package, but it leads with the bat.”

Draft experts such as ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel and The Athletic’s Keith Law predicted the Pittsburgh Pirates would draft Collier with the No. 4 pick in the first round. Instead, he slipped to the Reds, who had their lowest pick in the first round since 2014 when they took pitcher Nick Howard with the No. 19 pick.

The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Collier played his sophomore season at Mount Paran Christian High School near Atlanta, hitting .434 with 13 home runs and 40 RBIs. He earned his GED this year and enrolled at Chipola College in Marianna, Fla. He hit .333 with eight home runs in 52 games.

“He stepped it up a level of competition and challenged himself at one of the top junior college programs in the country,” Katuska said.

Collier then played in the Cape Cod League this summer against some of the best Division I players in the country, Katsuka said, and “he wasn’t afraid to challenge himself against the guys that were quite a bit older than him.”

Collier is the son of Lou Collier, who played eight seasons in the big leagues with five teams from 1997-2004.

“I have a lot of information that other guys don’t have,” Collier told “I was fortunate to have a professional coach at all my games and at home growing up.”

The Reds drafted three other players Sunday:

No. 32: The Reds received this pick as compensation for losing Nick Castellanos to free agency. They drafted third baseman Sal Stewart, of of Westminster Christian School (Fla.). He was the 73rd-ranked prospect in the draft, according to

“It’s the hit-and-power combination for him,” Katuska said. “He’s not just a masher up there. He knows how to hit. We saw him against advanced competition on the Showcase Circuit last year, and then all spring they play really good baseball down in South Florida.”

No. 55: The Reds drafted Mississippi State catcher Logan Tanner, of Lucedale, Miss., in the second round. ranked him the 41st-best prospect in the draft.

Tanner hit .285 with eight doubles, seven homers and 38 RBIs as a junior. He helped lead Mississippi State to the national championship as a sophomore in 2021 when he led the team with 15 home runs.

Tanner was also a pitcher in high school and could hit 97 miles per hour, Katuska said.

“He made it clear to everyone he wanted to be a catcher,” Katuska said “He went to school. He put in the work and showed that the bat was enough, and the bat’s continuing to get better. It’s a really strong defensive profile that certainly leads the way for him.”

No. 73: With a pick in the Competitive Balance Round B, the No. 73 pick, the Reds selected Oregon State outfielder Justin Boyd, who was the 153rd-ranked prospect.

Boyd led the Pac-12 with a .373 average and 24 stolen bases. He had 14 doubles, four triples, nine home runs and 53 RBIs.

“We just really liked the profile,” Katuska said, “and we got strong support from the scouts, strong support from analytics. He’s athletic. He’s played multiple positions. He moved around to all three outfield spots, and he’s played on the infield before, so we see a lot of versatility and athleticism.”

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