After getting a taste of Double-A in his first full professional season, the 2016 first-rounder has returned to Birmingham where he’s walking, whiffing and homering his way toward a three-true outcomes MLB future. To go with nine first half dingers, Collins has walked 23% and whiffed 28% of his at-bats respectively.
Collins DH’d in my recent all-star game look, and the prodigious left-handed hitter’s skills were on full display. After winning the home run derby in his home park, he put in a series of strong AB’s against quality pitching. His plate discipline stands out, letting pitches travel deep and having the discernment to lay off good pitches not only out of the zone but also strikes he can’t square up. Pitchers nibble against him, knowing that pitches in the zone, be it a fastball or breaker, could easily be deposited into the seats. With the walks, the strikeouts will come, but the power output should more than compensate. Collins just missed an opposite field blast on a patented late count fastball he let travel deep and barreled to the leftfield warning track.
With his 60 raw power playing at the same grade in-game, Collins’ approach at the plate will put him into plenty of counts where he can do damage. He’s likely an overall 45-grade hitter given the anticipated strikeout concerns, but the profile will play in the big leagues whether Collins sticks at catcher, moves to first, or lands in a positional share including designated hitter.