Zack Collins | C
Collins, 21, is a Florida kid from the Miami area who now plays for the Hurricanes. He’s a career .321/.470/.591 hitter at Miami, including a .381/.552/.645 batting line with eleven homers, 62 walks, and 39 strikeouts in 51 games this spring. Collins turned down the Reds as the 27th round pick out of high school in 2013.
Collins is very much a bat first prospect. He’s a left-handed hitter with arguably the best approach in college baseball, one that not only allows him to get on base at a high rate, but also do damage against both righties and lefties. Collins has 20+ homer power in addition to the potential for hit for average, though there is some question whether pro pitchers will be able to beat him inside with fastballs. Right now he can fight those pitches off with metal bats. Behind the plate Collins has a barely average arm and he moves just okay with his 6-foot-3, 220 lb. frame. The Miami pitching staff is always loaded with pro prospects, so he has experience catching high-end stuff, but the fact there’s already talk about moving him to first base is not good. Collins is going to get drafted because of his bat, not his glove. Plain and simple.
In their most recent draft rankings, Baseball America ranked Collins as the 16th best draft prospect in the country, while Keith Law (subs. req’d) and MLB.com had him 18th and 20th, respectively. The Yankees pick 18th. Left-handed hitters with power and patience are a Yankee trademark, and for what it’s worth, the team has had some success developing iffy catchers into strong defenders. Francisco Cervelli and John Ryan Murphy developed into great defenders, Luis Torrens took the position quickly, and even Gary Sanchez has improved a lot over the years. Collins may not be salvageable behind the plate though. As long as the bat works out, he’ll be fine anywhere.