2016 MLB Draft: Boston Red Sox a fit for Miami Hurricanes C Zack Collins?

The Hurricanes haven’t had a first-round MLB Draft pick since Yasmani Grandal in 2010. It’s all but certain Zack Collins will be next.

Hurricanes freshman Zack Collins takes a swing during UM baseball media day, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014. (instagram.com/mattyports)
Zack Collins, then a freshman, takes a swing during UM baseball media day, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014. (instagram.com/mattyports)

Several draft-focused writers believe he’s Boston-bound.

The hard-hitting junior catcher went No. 12 overall to the Red Sox in the latest Baseball America mock draft, released May 13. MLB.com’s Jim Callis predicted same slot, same team on May 20, as did DraftSite. The pick “makes perfect sense,” wrote SBNation’s Minor League Ball blog.

RELATED: Collins leads Canes in All-ACC balloting

The draft is ‎June 9–11. The top-seeded Hurricanes begin play at the ACC tournament at 3 p.m. Wednesday against ninth-seeded Georgia Tech.

Baseball America’s reasoning for Collins-to-Boston:

The Red Sox value track record and history, which Virginia righthander Connor Jones and Miami catcher Zack Collins bring to the table. Collins’ improved defense has him in consideration for teams in the 10-15 range, with the Red Sox being the most likely fit. Boston could also be in on a college arm, though there is some belief among sources that both Hudson and Jordan Sheffield could end up in the bullpen long-term, and T.J. Zeuch’s lack of a polished offspeed pitch has raised questions about how he’ll perform against hitters who have seen him before.

MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo predicted Collins would drop to No. 14, where the Cleveland Indians pick.


One of the best college hitters production-wise, Collins’ name is mentioned as a potential top 10 pick, with teams confident enough in his bat even if they think he can’t stick behind the plate.

Fangraphs has Collins at No. 21 to Toronto:

Collins is the definition of a “bat-first” player. He is destroying the baseball this year in the ACC with a walk total that is double his strikeout total. Collins seems to be a better fit in the AL where he could potentially DH and he has drawn some comparisons to Evan Gattis/Kyle Schwarber type. Scouts aren’t sure if he will stick behind the dish, but he has to potential to put up 20-plus homers annually.

Collins, who after leaving Plantation-American Heritage High was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 27th round of the 2013 draft, was rated the No. 29 draft prospect on Baseball America’s preseason list. In ranking him No. 20, MLB.com wrote this:

Back in 2013, Collins was a Top 100 prospect coming out of high school, sliding to the Reds in the 27th round because of his strong commitment to the University of Miami. Three years later, he’s back again, with a proven bat that could come off the board fairly early.

In high school, Collins had a reputation as an offensive-minded backstop, one who could really hit but with an uncertain defensive future. Not much has changed from that profile. While he has improved defensively, the jury is still very much out on whether he can stick behind the plate at the next level. He throws better than he did, though he still has a fringy average arm and he doesn’t move that well behind the plate. He can definitely hit, though, with a chance to put up 20-homer seasons annually. He has an advanced approach at the plate who isn’t afraid to take walks.

A team that thinks Collins has a shot to catch might take him in the first round. Even if he has to move, he has the offensive profile for first base and that bat should get him taken on day one of the draft.

He isn’t the only Hurricanes player with high-round draft potential.

Outfielder Jacob Heyward (Atlanta ’13, 38th) was No. 50. Another junior outfielder, Willie Abreu (Cincinnati ’13, 14th) was No. 83. Lefty Danny Garcia, who has not been drafted, was No. 95.

BA’s most recent rankings are less kind to the Hurricanes. Collins is rated No. 16, Garcia No. 191, Abreu No. 200 and Heyward No. 287. Several UM commits — pitcher Jesus Luzardo (No. 49), infielders Luis Curbelo (No. 93) and Colton Welker (No. 162) and catcher Mike Amditis (No. 194) — were also ranked.

We leave you with this fun fact: According to Baseball-Reference, 89 of UM’s 532 draft picks — 16 percent — played in the major leagues.

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