Pittsburgh Pirates Draft: Could Cameron Collier be Pick #4?

(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

The Pittsburgh Pirates have the 4th overall pick in this year’s MLB Draft.  Could the team look to add an intriguing college hitter with their selection?

Leading up to the 2021 Draft, there was a lot of hype around the Pittsburgh Pirates and their potential selection.  Last year, the Bucs were center stage, as everyone wanted to know who the team would take with the first overall pick.  So many different names were discussed during the time leading up to the Draft, and it ended up being catcher Henry Davis.

This year, there is not as much hype leading up to the Draft.  Nonetheless, it is still very important that the Pittsburgh Pirates take advantage of having a top 5 pick.  If things go according to plan, then this will be the last time the team picks in the top 5 for some time.  So the Bucs need to make this pick count at #4.

Right now it seems that the Pittsburgh Pirates are leaning toward taking a college hitter with the fourth pick.  Many have mocked Cal Poly shortstop Brooks Lee to the Bucs at pick #4.  Georgia Tech catcher/outfielder Kevin Parada could also be in play.

However, there is one college prospect that checks a lot of boxes that this Front Office looks for in a Draft prospect.  Cameron Collier is one of the more intriguing prospects in the 2022 Draft. He is just 17 years old but may have the best raw tools in the Draft.

So how does he check boxes for this Front Office?  First off, yes he is just 17 years old, but he is coming out of the college ranks.  Collier finished high school early and joined a JUCO program to help expedite his Baseball career.  This is a very similar path to what 2010 first overall pick Brya Harper did. So yes, Collier is a college hitter.

Also, he took part in the Cape Cod League, a league that Ben Cherington and Steven Sanders have heavily drafted prospects out of.  The Cape is considered to be the most competitive summer league with most of the top college prospects playing against one another.  All three of the Pittsburgh Pirates top college selections over the last two years played in the Cap League, Nick Gonzales, Carmen Mlodzinski, and Henry Davis.

Collier, who is just 17, was considered to be young for the League.  In fact, he was nearly 3.5 years younger than the other players in the League.  So this is not just a big-time step up in competition, but also just against older more polished players.

With him being so young he did not get a lot of plate appearances, but he took advantage of the ones he did.  Overall he received 20 plate appearances and hit .286 with 6 walks and only 5 strikeouts.  He did more than hold his own against advanced competition.

Collier is a third baseman who bats left-handed.  Left-handed power is something we are seeing the Pittsburgh Pirates taking advantage of more this season. The Clemente Wall is built for left-handed hitters.  It is easy to see how Collier could project at PNC.

Lastly, both Ben Cherington and Steven Sanders came from the Toronto Blue Jays Organization. They saw firsthand how taking players with pedigree can pay off as well.  More and more there are former Big League players kids or relatives entering the League.  Cameron is the son of former Big League utility man Lou Collier.  Collier played for 8 years and actually was a draft pick by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1992 Draft.

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Cam Collier has a lot of upside as a hitter.  He is 6’2” and weighs around 210 pounds.  He ranks as the #12 prospect on MLB Pipeline but has just as much potential as anyone, plus pedigree.  Furthermore, the Bucs could look to save some of their Bonus Money by taking him a bit higher than he is projected.  We saw how much that mattered for the team in the 2021 Draft.