Twins Daily Draft Preview: Zack Collins
Image courtesy of Richard Lewis / Miami AthleticsWHO IS HE?
Zack Collins is an offensive-minded catcher.
So far in 2016, Collins has hit .364/.540/.630 (1.170). He and the rest of the Hurricanes will begin their postseason hosting on Friday evening in the Coral Gables Region.
It’s not a one-year thing either. Collins has hit double-digit home runs in each of his three seasons. He’s increased his batting average, on-base percentage and slugging in each season, though his lowest OPS (as a freshman) was still a robust .983.
Impressively, Collins has walked more times (165) than he’s struck out (155) as a collegiate.
One mark against Collins - and it’s a tiny one - is that in his limited exposure to wood-bat leagues - the Cape Cod League in 2015 - he struggled in 13 at-bats. It’s a tiny sample, but the Twins have always kept a close eye on how players perform in that league.
WHY THE TWINS WILL DRAFT HIM
The bat is powerful and elite. Collins has the 39th-highest slugging percentage in the nation. Not many of the 38 above him are from power conferences. Not many above him put the catching gear on.
We’ve seen teams - such as the Cubs - take impactful bats in the draft recently even though those bats came with defensive question marks. Kyle Schwarber, a “catcher” in college, played less than 150 minor league games before getting the call to the Bigs. Why did he get that call? Because he had posted an OPS over 1.000 in four of the five levels he made stops at.
Who does Collins get compared to the most? Schwarber, of course. Defensive questions or not, Schwarber posted a 1.2 WAR in less than 70 games in 2015.
Any lineup could use a bat like Collins. A catcher who could add that much offensive potential to a lineup would be fantastic...
WHY THE TWINS WON'T DRAFT HIM
...but he’s not likely to stick at catcher.
Collins has shown a significant amount of improvement behind the plate. But most scouts don’t think he’ll ever be more than an average defender, if he’s even that good. One suggested that he could maybe be a “(Steven) Vogt-type if he hits enough.”
Athletically, Collins is average at best. Though he has plenty of arm strength, his receiving needs a lot of work.
For an organization that doesn’t have a clear long-term answer behind the plate, it would be difficult to make a $2.8m bet that he’ll stick and provide the team with a solution for the future. If you miss, you’re stuck with a(nother) first baseman.
Image courtesy of Richard Lewis / Miami Athletics
Collins has been all over in recent mock drafts, going as high as #10 overall in Baseball America’s most recent mock and as low as #19 in Keith Law’s last projection. I had him going to the Mariners at #11 in my second mock draft.
The last communication I got about Collins was that he was an “offensive force” but the Twins appeared to be “targeting a different batch of players.”
But if that “batch” prices themselves out of the Twins range and Collins is still available, who knows...?
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