The Braves have made a living developing talented outfield prospects, and one guy I’ve had my eye on since he was drafted is Texas high school product Tyler Collins. MLBPipeline has been raving about his raw speed:
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) June 3, 2022
Collins was an eighth round pick by a Braves club that mostly focused on college talent. The Braves obviously love Collins’ tools, and they gave him a big bonus to sign him:
Braves: Tyler Collins, OF (No. 23)
The Braves went over slot to sign Collins away from his Oklahoma State commitment in the eighth round of last year’s Draft and he immediately rewarded their faith with a strong pro debut in the Florida Complex League that included 12 stolen bases in just 23 games. The 19-year-old center fielder has yet to play in 2022 and put that 70 speed to good use.
I’ve long given Collins a comparison to Michael Harris II. It’s unsure if he develops at this level, but I had him in my Top 15 prospects following the Matt Olson trade. Here’s MLB’s scouting report on Collins:
Collins starred at McKinney Boyd High School in Texas and looked like he might be headed to Oklahoma State for college ball. The Braves loved his speed and feel to hit enough to nab him in the eighth round of the 2021 Draft, signing him for an above-slot $447,500 and making him the first ever draftee from his school. Collins returned their faith in him by hitting .347/.424/.453 with 12 steals in 23 Florida Complex League games.
The left-handed hitting outfielder’s calling card is his speed, which is nearly close to top of the scale. He’s a legitimate basestealing threat who registers very low times from home to first and uses his legs well to stretch singles to doubles and doubles to triples. He can make a lot of contact, but is content to spray the ball around the field. He’s not likely to ever be a big power guy, but added strength will help him impact the ball more consistently.
Collins’ speed is also an asset in the outfield and while he’ll need to sharpen his reads and routes, he does have the chance to stick in center field. If he can keep getting on base and get strong enough to drive the ball a little, he could profile as an intriguing table-setting type in the future.