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Road to The Show™: Reds' Collier

No. 92 overall prospect advancing from prodigy to power threat
Reds prospect Cam Collier has played exclusively at third base in every game as a professional. (Justin Nuoffer/
June 25, 2024

Each week, profiles an elite prospect by chronicling the steps he's taken toward achieving his Major League dream. Here's a look at fourth-ranked Reds prospect Cam Collier. For more stories about players on The Road to The Show, click here. Cam Collier popped up on prospect radars at a

Each week, profiles an elite prospect by chronicling the steps he's taken toward achieving his Major League dream. Here's a look at fourth-ranked Reds prospect Cam Collier. For more stories about players on The Road to The Show, click here.

Cam Collier popped up on prospect radars at a very young age and has set his sights on the next level ever since.

The Reds' No. 4 prospect and son of former Major Leaguer Lou Collier took an unorthodox path to pro ball. Collier committed to a Division I program as a high school freshman, reclassified to the 2022 Draft, obtained his GED the following year, enrolled in junior college and played in a prestigious college league the summer before what would have been his senior year of high school.

Now the 19-year-old is in the midst of his second full Minor League season with High-A Dayton. Over his first 63 games with the Dragons, he batted .229 with a .713 OPS, 11 homers and 44 RBIs.

Collier opened the season as the third-youngest player in the Midwest League. Although his average and near-27 percent strikeout rate might suggest he’s overmatched at times, he’s been able to tap into his power this season as he hits the ball into the air more.


He’s nearly doubled his 2023 home run total and increased his slugging percentage to .413.

After producing a ground-ball rate of 53 percent last year with Single-A Daytona, Collier has lowered that figure to 44 percent. His fly ball rate has improved significantly to 38 percent in 2024.

MLB Pipeline's No. 92 overall prospect has played exclusively at third base as a professional. His 60-grade arm is his highest-rated tool, and he figures to stick at the hot corner for the long term.

“What he's done defensively and at the plate has been really fun to watch. He's in a really good spot right now,” Reds player development director Jeremy Farrell told in April. “He's still a young kid.

"A lot of it is still learning himself and maturing as a player and learning the professional game. His ability to make adjustments in this early part of the season is really good."

In 2004, when Cam Collier was born -- in his father’s hometown Chicago -- Lou Collier had just completed the last of his eight Major League seasons. Lou Collier played the next two years in Korea and returned to affiliated ball for his final professional season in 2007, playing for the Ottawa Lynx, the Triple-A affiliate of the Phillies at the time.

As Cam finished up middle school in Chicago and started on the travel ball circuit, Lou noticed his son had a chance to make a career out of baseball. The family moved to the Atlanta area and Cam began his high school career at Mount Paran Christian School.

In 2017, Cam Collier participated in the Elite Development Invitational, an MLB Develops program that was eventually renamed the Hank Aaron Invitational in 2019. Collier participated in that invitational every year from 2017-2021 and also played in the Breakthrough Series, Dream Series and High School All-American Game, all of which are MLB Develops programs, in the years leading up to his Draft.

But before all that, Collier absolutely tore high school ball apart for two seasons.

After an excellent freshman year, he committed to the University of Louisville and began to emerge as one of the best prospects in the 2023 Draft class. Collier followed that with an even better, state title-winning sophomore season, batting .434 with 13 home runs, 40 RBIs and 19 stolen bases. He then decided to reclassify for the 2022 Draft class, obtaining his GED and enrolling at Chipola JC in Marianna, Florida – a baseball powerhouse that has produced more than 100 pro players in the past 70 years, including All-Stars José Bautista and Russell Martin.

Collier was the only junior college player listed among the 55 qualifiers for the 2022 Golden Spikes Award preseason watch list. He batted .333 with eight homers, 12 doubles and 47 RBIs in 52 games and appeared in 10 games on the mound, yielding six runs while striking out 16 in 11⅓ total innings.

That summer, Collier, who would have been readying for his senior year of high school on a traditional timeline, instead suited up against some of the best college players in the country at the Cape Cod League. He played in just nine total games with the Cotuit Kettleers – taking a week-long break to attend the MLB Draft Combine in San Diego.

Collier, who was the second-youngest player in league history at the time, collected five hits in 29 at-bats (.217) on the Cape, but was already cemented as a first-round talent, ranked No. 8 in the class by MLB Pipeline.

As a 17-year-old, Collier had time on his side heading into the 2022 Draft. He fell to the Reds at No. 18 but still received an above-slot bonus of $5 million, which was closer to the value of a Top 10 pick and almost half of Cincinnati’s total bonus pool.

Following the Draft, Collier finished the season in the Rookie-level Arizona Complex League. He went 10-for-27 (.370) at the plate with a pair of homers and four RBIs in nine games.

The 6-foot-1, 210-pound lefty spent all of his first full season last year in Daytona. Over 111 games, he batted .246/.349/.356 with six homers, 21 doubles, six triples, 68 RBIs and 40 runs.

Although the numbers didn’t jump off the page, the Reds noticed that Collier started finding the barrel and getting the ball in the air more frequently. Collier rewarded their optimism in the early going this year, beginning in the Spring Breakout game, where he crushed a two-run shot.

Collier’s power surge continued into the regular season for Dayton, and he matched his 2023 homer total just 13 games and 54 at-bats into the season.

The Reds have been excellent at developing infielders, and six of their current Top 10 prospects, a group which includes No. 28 overall prospect Noelvi Marte and No. 52 Edwin Arroyo, play on the dirt.

In his amateur days, Collier dictated his own timeline. That hasn't necessarily changed as he progresses through the Minors. The Reds have the room to be patient with Collier’s development, but the young slugger has the power and skill set to reach the Majors before his 21st birthday.

Gerard Gilberto is a reporter for