The Reds have agreed to terms with first-round pick Cam Collier on a $5MM deal, tweets Mark Sheldon of MLB.com. R.J. Anderson of CBS Sports reported over the weekend that Collier was expected to receive a bonus in that range. That’s well north of the $3.6598MM slot value associated with the #18 pick, with which the infielder was selected. Collier had been committed to the University of Louisville, but he’ll instead make the jump to pro ball.
The overslot bonus reflects the fact that he was widely regarded as one of the best players in the class. Each of Baseball America, The Athletic, MLB Pipeline, ESPN and FanGraphs placed him among their top ten prospects in pre-draft rankings. Keith Law of the Athletic was the most bullish, naming Collier the #2 prospect in the draft. The $5MM bonus falls between the slot values of the ninth and tenth overall selections, better aligning with his prospect reputation than the #18 pick would suggest.
A left-handed hitter, Collier won’t turn 18 years old until November. He was originally slated to be a member of the 2023 class, but he enrolled at a Florida junior college this spring to qualify for this year’s draft. Despite his youth, Collier had very good numbers in JUCO ball, reaffirming his stock as one of the better offensive players in the class. Evaluators suggest the 6’2″ infielder should blossom into an above-average to plus hitter with solid raw power. Collier has already moved to third base, but reports indicate he has a decent chance to stick at the hot corner, where his plus arm should be an asset.