Reds select two 3B, C and OF on Day 1 of MLB Draft

July 18th, 2022

CINCINNATI -- Cam Collier didn’t waste any time getting his baseball career started, and the Reds didn’t hesitate to select the third baseman Sunday.

Cincinnati used the 18th overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft to pick Collier out of Chipola Junior College in Florida.

“There’s a small group of players that we thought were definitely off the board in front of us, and he was in that group. We were very happy when he got to our pick,” Reds director of amateur scouting Joe Katuska said. “Other teams have their opinions, and we have ours. We were just happy that he made it to our pick.”

Collier doesn’t turn 18 until Nov. 20 and would have normally been in line for the 2023 Draft out of high school. Instead, he already has experience playing ball in college and the Cape Cod League while following a path once blazed by superstar Bryce Harper.

The organization was impressed with his ability on the field and makeup off it.

“We’ve gotten the chance to know him over the last couple of years at all the events he’s been to,” Katuska said. “We think he has a really good, well-rounded package, but it leads with the bat and very advanced hit tool.”

The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Collier moved up his own draft timetable after his state-title-winning sophomore season at Mount Paran (Ga.) Christian School in 2021. He graduated early, reclassified and enrolled at Chipola Junior College.

While facing older competition, the lefty-hitting Collier batted .333/.419/.537 with 12 doubles, eight homers and 47 RBIs in 52 games. He followed that up this summer with a brief stint in the prestigious Cape Cod League, where he became the second-youngest player in league history.

“It’s extremely impressive what we saw him do,” Katuska said. “We saw him up in the Cape, and he faced a guy who just got drafted tonight. He wasn’t afraid to challenge himself against the guys that were quite a bit older than him.”

Collier, who is committed to the Univ. of Louisville, also has Major League talent in his family. His father, Lou, was a utility player who had an eight-year career (1997-2004) with the Pirates, Brewers, Expos, Red Sox and Phillies.

The Reds made four picks overall on the first night of the Draft, getting another third baseman, a catcher and an outfielder.

No. 32: Sal Stewart, 3B
Using their first-round compensation pick for losing Nick Castellanos as a free agent, the Reds took third baseman Sal Stewart with the 32nd overall selection. Stewart, 18, was taken out of Westminster Christian High School in Florida, the same Miami school that produced Alex Rodriguez.

“It’s the hit and power combination for him. He’s not just a masher up there. He knows how to hit,” Katuska said.

Two other products of Miami -- Padres third baseman Manny Machado and former Reds player Yonder Alonso -- have worked out with Stewart.

“Knowing I have them in my corner is something that really means a lot to me,” Stewart said.

A friend put Stewart in touch with Alonso, who was the seventh overall pick by the Reds in 2008 and played for Cincinnati from 2010-11.

“I'm actually very fortunate for that one friend because he set me up with him, and then it took off from there,” Stewart said. “Obviously, we all know what he did in Cincinnati. He's a tremendous player. Knowing that I can follow him especially because he's a big mentor for me, that's awesome.”

Stewart committed to playing for Vanderbilt and had already taken some classes, but he is excited to turn pro. The slot value for the 32nd pick is $2.37 million.

“It’s nice to be a Red. Let’s get to work,” he said.

No. 55: Logan Tanner, catcher
With their pick in the second round, the Reds selected catcher Logan Tanner out of Mississippi State. Tanner, who was ranked by as the No. 41 draft prospect, batted .285/.387/.425 with seven home runs and 38 RBIs in 55 games during his junior season. As a sophomore in 2021, he hit 15 homers, including one in the clinching game over Vanderbilt for the College World Series championship.

Tanner believed that experience has prepared him well for professional baseball, and potentially, the big leagues.

“You play some of the best competition in the country. You’re playing under pressure. It’s just win or lose,” Tanner said. “I think just being a part of that whole situation was huge for me in helping me become the player I am and how to handle pressure and how to handle the pressure that comes with playing with games on the line.”

Tanner, 21, was a two-way player in high school and could throw his fastball at up to 96 mph but wanted to focus solely on catching.

“I'd rather play every day than every fifth day,” Tanner said. “That's how I've felt about it. I had a chance to go out of high school as a pitcher and I didn't really want to do that, so I went to college and took my chance to be a position player, and all the hard work paid off. I'm fired up about it and I think I made the right choice.”

No. 73: Justin Boyd, OF
With their Compensation Round B pick, No. 73 overall, the Reds selected outfielder Justin Boyd out of Oregon State.

Boyd, 21, batted .373/.490/.577 with nine homers and 53 RBIs in 62 games this past season. He was ranked as the No. 153 draft prospect by, but the Reds rated him much higher as they scouted him heavily.

“Justin Boyd was a guy that really grew on us this year,” Katuska said. “We just really liked the profile. We got strong support from the scouts, strong support from analytics. He's athletic, he's played multiple positions. He just had a teammate that generally played center field, so he moved around to all three outfield spots. He's played on the infield dirt before. We see a lot of versatility, athleticism and upside in his package.”

For all four picks on Sunday, Katuska felt good about the chances the Reds could sign them -- especially their first two picks.

“Both of them expressed a strong desire to play,” he said. “We've had multiple meetings in person at the combine or over Zoom. So everyone has pretty much gotten on the same page that they want to go out and start their pro careers. Obviously, they have tremendous options, but we're pretty confident that we'll get them done.”