It’s easy to get hung up on the usual baseball stats without reading further into them. Yes, Cam Collier posted just a .706 OPS during his 2023 season, a number that on the surface does little to catch the eye.
Dig a little bit deeper, though, and you begin to see exactly why Collier just landed the #6 spot in this year’s Community Prospect Rankings.
Take this: despite spending the entirety of his 2023 season in the Florida State League, a Class-A league with the youngest of young professionals populating almost all of it, he faced a pitcher younger than him in just 6 total PA. Six.
In a league that notoriously leans pitcher-friendly and has cavernous parks, his .356 SLG truly wasn’t as pedestrian as it looked, and that’s what he provided in a season in which he was just 18 years old throughout. He’s a player whose power hasn’t fully developed playing in a league that suppresses power, too, so that’s probably all we really should have expected from him in that arena.
What we were hoping would play through was his excellent strike-zone command, something he had already showed was well beyond his years. That showed up in spades, his .349 OBP and 12.4% walk rate key indicators that he knows what to swing at, and when.
He’ll continue to grow, to develop, and to finally play in parks where even a little bit of power goes a lot longer way, and that begins in 2024. The sky is still very much the limit for Cam.
On to the voting for the #7 prospect in this year’s rankings!
Sal Stewart, 3B/2B - 20 years old
2023 at a glance: .275/.396/.416 with 12 HR, 15 SB in 518 PA split between the Daytona Tortugas (Class-A Florida State League) and Dayton Dragons (High-A Midwest League)
Pros: More walks (84) than strikeouts (77) last year, advanced strike zone command; raw power
Cons: In-game power still developing; questions whether he’ll stick defensively at 3B
The Reds selected Sal Stewart out of high school in Florida with the 32nd overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft, doing so despite knowing he was committed to baseball powerhouse Vanderbilt University. Perhaps they knew something, or had some inside info from former Vandy pithing coach Derek Johnson, since they managed to get Stewart signed for just the 40th highest bonus of the draft class despite that strong commitment.
Stewart has hit the ground running as a pro, flashing each of the impressive tools that made him so highly regarded as an amateur. He’s got elite command of the strike zone, and the power he flashes in batting practice (and dinger derbies) even began to show through in his time in Daytona, a league that’s notoriously pitcher-friendly. Frankly, if he hadn’t seen some of that power dip after his promotion to Dayton, he’d rank higher on my own personal list than I think he’ll land here. If that power shows up from day one in 2024, however, I think it’s pretty clear he’ll be on-track to be a quality, quality big league bat in short order.
The only real question with Sal, though, is where he’ll land defensively. Despite a strong arm (and enough speed to swipe 15 bags last year), his defense at 3B hasn’t exactly been lauded so far. If he can become even passable there, however...
Carlos Jorge, 2B/CF - 20 years old
2023 at a glance: .282/.374/.464 with 12 HR, 32 SB in 450 PA split between the Daytona Tortugas (Class-A Florida State League) and Dayton Dragons (High-A Midwest League)
Pros: Impressive 13.2% walk rate with Daytona; obliterated Florida State League pitching despite its proclivity for pitching-friendliness; four true tools and potential for plus power/speed
Cons: Moved off SS already, still searching for a defensive identity; struggled in initial 23 G for High-A Dayton after mid-season promotion (.674 OPS)
Listed at just 5’10” and 160 lbs, Jorge isn’t the kind of player who would wow you getting off the bus, but he possesses plus speed and a sweet, sweet left-handed swing that can spray liners all over the field. His power is progressing, and that paired with an elite eye at the plate led him to the single highest OPS in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League last year (min. 250 PA).
He was signed out of the Dominican Republic as a SS, but he’s already been moved to 2B primarily, though last season saw him begin to get clock in CF (due both to his talent and to a crowded infield mix his age that includes both Cam Collier and Sal Stewart also looking for their defensive roles). If he can stick at either of those spots - or hell, at both! - his offensive profile looks promising, with 15-20 homer upside and enough speed to swipe 30+ bags in the cards. If he has to move to 3B or a corner OF spot, however, that outlook becomes dimmer due to the offensive expectations of players in those spots.
This season will be a defining one for Jorge as he’ll begin back in Dayton with a chance to show that his early success in the lower minors can translate to better competition. The tools, though, are very much there.
Ricardo Cabrera, SS/3B - 19 years old
2023 at a glance: .346/.475/.531 with 5 HR, 24 SB in 202 PA split between the Arizona Complex League Reds and Daytona Tortugas (Class-A Florida State League)
Pros: High contact rate & plus hit tool; developing power while remaining selective at the plate; plus speed
Cons: Likely will need to move off SS for good
The Cincinnati Reds swung big to sign Cabrera for $2.7 million during the 2022 international signing period, and he’s begun to make them look wise in their decision already. He blistered ACL pitching at age 18 last season while adding 21 steals in just 39 games at that level, eventually joining the Daytona Tortugas for their final stretch run.
His bat is what defines him at this stage, with a swing that allows him to use all fields with relatively low swing and miss to it. Most every scouting report I’ve come across suggests he’s got power potential he’s yet to tap into, too, with room to grow as well.
It’s that growth that may ultimately lead him to 3B, as he’s got the arm for the position while his range and mechanics at SS aren’t exactly plus at this point despite his speed. Add in that the Reds have an abundance of SS-caliber prospects around his level (Leo Balcazar, Carlos Sanchez, and the recently drafted Sammy Stafura, among others), and we may well see him get even more run at 3B in 2024 than he got last year. Still, if the bat continues to develop as it has so far, where he lines up defensively won’t be at all what defines him.
Ty Floyd, RHP - 22 years old
2023 at a glance: 4.35 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 120/37 K/BB in 91.0 IP for Louisiana State University; Drafted in the 1st round (38th overall) by the Cincinnati Reds in the 2023 MLB Draft
Pros: 95+ mph fastball from low release point whose ride allows him to flourish up in the zone (a la Tyler Mahle); excellent command of primary pitches
Cons: Low-use secondary offerings (slider, change) that still need a lot of work to avoid landing as a reliever
Floyd’s delivery and mastery of his go-to offering - a rising fastball from a low-ish arm angle that is deceptive as heck to hitters - means his upside is that of a big league reliever in very, very short order. If he can manage to improve his slider and change, though, he’s got the kind of control of the zone that could make him a very effective mid-rotation starter, too.
Said delivery elicits memories of both Tyler Mahle and Lucas Sims, in many ways, an almost abrupt, short-armed motion that creates deception to go along with mid-90’s gas. Said approach was incredibly effective during his time with LSU, including a spotlighted 17 K game against the University of Florida in the highest profile game in which Floyd has pitched thus far (the College World Series).
Alfredo Duno, C/DH - 18 years old
2023 at a glance: .303/.451/.493 with 6 HR, 6 SB, and 38/41 BB/K in 195 PA for the Dominican Summer League Reds
Pros: Plus arm and agility at the catching position paired with plus raw power and elite bat speed
Cons: Served only as DH during his DSL season, so we’ve not seen those potential catching tools on display yet; if he grows any more, he could be forced to move off catching altogether
Alfredo Duno is still very much the ink and paper of his scouting report and little more at this juncture, even if what’s written on there makes your eyes widen with almost every word. Signed for $3.1 million out of Venezuela during last year’s international signing window, he’s got talent galore that, if continually developed, could see him boast the kind of skills that make one an All Star catcher.
Great arm strength, athleticism defensively behind the plate, an eye at the plate (38/41 BB/K last season), elite raw power, and bat speed that should make him a consistent hitter for average? So far, he’s checked most all of those boxes at least somewhere along the line, though we’ve just simply not had the chance to see it play out at a high enough level to truly get blown away.
He’s not had that chance...yet. He’ll begin to get it in 2024.
Who is the #7 prospect in the Cincinnati Reds system?
This poll is closed